What is Manufacturing Plant Support?

Operating an efficient food processing and manufacturing plant requires a well-oiled supply chain of reliable suppliers and vendors, production personnel, and a network of additional skilled resources.

Often working within tight schedules and in busy areas such as the outskirts of major cities, manufacturers rely on a smooth chain of interconnected processes and operations to get their finished product to customers, with no delays or damages incurred along the way.

One way to ease the pressure is for manufacturers to outsource certain services to third-party logistics (3PL) companies specializing in plant support operations. But what does this look like in action?

How Does Plant Support Benefit Manufacturers?

Third-party plant support partners can serve many functions that help manufacturers avoid soaring warehousing costs and carrier rates while eliminating the need to hire in-house operational warehouse staff or trailer drivers.

Outsourced plant support services can include:

  • Outsourced Warehousing: 3PL companies offering transportation and distribution services can provide manufacturers with intermediary warehousing options and real-time inventory management.

  • Outsourced Logistics: They can transport the plant’s inbound raw materials and outbound freight, warehouse manufactured goods, and manage the flow of orders and deliveries from storage through distribution centers to retail shelves.

    Turning to a third-party logistics (3PL) partner for plant support provides a processing and manufacturing company with access to additional equipment and vehicles, such as tractors and trailers, without extra overheads. Purchasing, renting, and maintaining equipment and transportation is expensive; hiring and training staff to operate the machinery also requires time and resources. A reliable transportation and distribution company has a fleet of vehicles and drivers trained in transporting goods efficiently and securely.
  • Outsourced Packaging: A 3PL plant support partner can also provide co-packaging services, a valuable resource, and a time-saving service for manufacturers needing help with intermediate or final product packaging. Packaging goods typically requires specific machinery, line space, and skilled workers; outsourcing this service saves a manufacturing plant valuable real estate and reduces labor costs.

Extra Benefits of Outsourced Plant Support

Beyond cost, time, and labor-saving benefits, choosing the right plant support provider allows a manufacturing company to enjoy the following:

  • Increased Capacity: Many manufacturers need help to meet orders, constantly experiencing bottlenecks in deliveries or storage. Outsourcing transportation and warehousing frees up the deadlock, expanding the plant’s capacity.
  • Reliable Transportation: Hiring a less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping partner means knowing your orders can be shipped as soon as they’re ready. A conveniently located carrier can also transport inbounds (raw materials) to processing plants to streamline production, allowing operations to run more efficiently.
  • Lean Manufacturing: As a business grows, facilities also need to expand. Increased storage space, packaging areas (and more) are required to process raw and finished goods. Increasing a facility’s footprint is expensive. Plant support takes the pressure off, transporting and storing goods in dedicated warehouses, freeing up a plant’s capacity while keeping costs down.

Colonial Cartage: Expert Plant Support in Georgia

Colonial Cartage supports food processors and customer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers, helping them transport and store their goods along their supply chain. We provide LTL services so our customers can ship their finished goods as and when needed without committing to a full truckload.

Temperature-controlled LTL carriers ensure temperature-sensitive freight (such as pharmaceuticals or beverages) travels securely, and ambient and temperature-controlled warehouses at Atlanta Bonded Warehouse provide innovative storage solutions for temperature-sensitive products.

We have the assets, resources, and expertise to help you keep up with demand at your manufacturing plant so you can increase your capacity and optimize your efficiency.

Learn more about our solutions on our service page, and if you think a plant support partner will benefit your business, contact us today.