What Does a Logistics Agency Do?
A logistics agency helps businesses navigate the challenges of managing supply chains. They help with warehouse storage, synchronized inventory distribution and transportation services.
The Defense Logistics Agency, for example, supplies military services with weapons, fuel, repair parts and more. It also disposes of excess equipment through reutilization and demilitarization programs.
Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management is the process that encompasses the import, export and creation of raw materials or finished goods for a company. It also covers the logistics of getting the products to their end customers and all the steps in between. A logistics agency provides services such as network planning and design, sourcing and procurement, product lifecycle management, inventory control, production planning and scheduling, distribution and fulfillment.
A logistic agent makes sure that the items that are supposed to be where they’re supposed to be show up at those locations at a timely and cost-effective manner. They do this by coordinating the flow of information between the company’s manufacturing, warehouses and distribution centers as well as its suppliers and vendors. They also monitor the entire manufacturing process for quality, efficiency and productivity.
Many businesses work with logistics agencies to help them manage their global supply chains. They can offer warehousing, freight shipping and courier services for their clients. They can also provide advanced tracking systems and data analytics to give companies a comprehensive view of their logistics operations.
The services that a logistics agency can offer will vary depending on the needs of their clients. Some can handle all three categories, while others specialize in one or another. For example, ShipBob, a tech-enabled logistics partner for DTC and B2B ecommerce, offers warehousing, freight shipping and logistics support to its clients.
Customs management is a critical part of global trade for companies. It involves the coordination of imports and exports with local government authorities and regulatory bodies. This process is complex because regulations can vary from country to country and can change frequently.
Custom management can include preparing and processing customs declarations, logistics agency organizing inspections, and offering support in the use of duty suspension, duty drawback, and free trade agreements to reduce costs. Advanced customs management platforms help businesses automate these processes and stay up to date with changing trade regulations.
As a result, these platforms provide greater precision and compliance. They also allow for seamless integration with logistics systems to minimize data entry and reduce technical system infrastructure requirements.
Career opportunities in logistics agencies include positions in the field and upper management. In the field, responsibilities are diverse and can include providing logistical services, such as inventory management, order fulfillment, shipment preparation, and transportation. Some logistics agencies also offer warehousing and distribution.
Those working for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) are responsible for procuring all the supplies America’s military needs to perform its duties. This includes everything from ice cream bars and bath towels to valve assemblies and aircraft structure beams. The organization serves the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and other government agencies. Its headquarters are located at Fort Belvoir in Northern Virginia.
Global Trade Management
Global trade management services help companies handle the paperwork associated with global shipping and importing goods. This includes submitting export control paperwork and managing international compliance and supply chain visibility. It also involves facilitating multi-modal transportation and providing customs clearance services for goods traveling across borders and ocean ports.
A logistics agency that offers global trade management services can provide the right tools for businesses to reduce costs, streamline processes and ensure regulatory compliance. These include software that automates international import and export compliance, international shipping, freight forwarding and more. This helps businesses save time and resources by reducing the manual effort involved in these processes and allowing them to focus on their core business.
In addition to handling paperwork, these services can also manage warehouses and track inventory. They can also provide support to customers and suppliers by managing communication, monitoring performance, and ensuring on-time delivery. Logistics agencies can also help companies optimize their international supply chains by identifying cost-saving opportunities and improving customer service.
A company that offers these services can also help with transportation procurement by integrating them international logistics company into its broader TMS solution. This can enable a shipper to improve supplier compliance, reduce transportation costs, and reduce risk by centralizing cross-border shipping operations and implementing landed cost pricing analytics. This can enable a company to make more informed decisions about future investments in global trading and shipping capabilities.
A logistics agency provides warehousing, freight shipping and courier services. Client companies may choose to handle one or more of these responsibilities in-house, or they can let their logistics service provider (LSP) take care of all three. The LSP manages all aspects of the client’s supply chain, from raw materials procurement to customer delivery.
LSPs also provide access to more advanced shipping processes than many small businesses are able to implement in-house. They operate more sophisticated warehouse/distribution center management systems and transportation management planning/scheduling systems. This allows them to offer more shipping options and reduce costs for their clients.
For example, a logistics agent can use data from past deliveries to predict future volumes and plan accordingly. They can also offer clients bulk discounts that they might not qualify for on their own. This helps them free up capital for growth and other managerial investments.
A logistics agent can work for a range of industries and organizations, from warehouses to retailers to disaster relief groups to the military. They generally wear many hats and are responsible for scheduling, planning, tracking, ordering, and reporting. They also oversee other logistics agents and shipping/warehouse employees. For example, a logistics agent in a store might handle returns for customers and help them get their merchandise back. This makes the return process faster and easier for everyone involved, which improves customer satisfaction.