15 September 2023

3PL Team

The toy and gaming sector in the UK is one that is enjoying steady growth year on year. After all there will always be children and big kids alike!

With a turnover of £4.7bn in 2021 it is expected to reach over £5.5bn by 2027.

Whilst there is demand across the year, there is also a huge seasonal spike in demand, often demonstrated throughout Q4 with the peak typically occurring between mid-November and mid-December as the Christmas frenzy kicks in.

Yet, to prepare for that peak in demand, there is a complex supply chain working throughout the year to ensure enough stock is sourced and held, ready to be delivered direct, into retailers or to ecommerce warehouses.

Part of that supply chain are 3PL partners, creating tailored end-to-end solutions to suit each individual manufacturer or retailer.

Manufacturing assistance

Manufacturers plan months ahead to cope with seasonal demands, and the demand for toys and games in the run up to the festive season is colossal.

With old favourites being manufactured and stored, to the latest must have toys for the year, manufacturers need the support of independent 3PL providers to ensure they have sufficient storage available to them and that this storage can be flexed accordingly.

This negates the need for manufacturers to have huge warehouse facilities much of which can be near empty at quieter times.

It is also important to any manufacturing business that they can manage stock levels with ease and that this is always visible. Shifting pallets full of goods to warehouses that are then all but forgotten about, doesn't make good business sense.

This is why a professional and well equipped 3PL provider, such as Carlton Forest 3PL, can add real value to supply chain operations with sophisticated warehouse management systems, real time reporting, and regular partnership meetings to ensure operations are scaled in line with demand.

Import efficiency

With a thriving network of independent and larger toy manufacturers in the UK, it also important to recognise the part that imported goods play in supplying the demand.

Plans to import product to cope with demand, and just to keep the shelves stocked throughout the year, is a highly complex operation and one that is planned months, and often years in advance, on a rolling programme.

It is no accident that the must have toy list that is released each year, and which fuels customer demands, sees retailers and supply chains generally able to fulfil that demand at a time when the consumer requires it.

Portside container services, container de-stuffing, re-palletising, freight forwarding, and the full complement of transport and logistics solutions ensures that imports are dealt with effectively and efficiently.

It's also important to ensure that your chosen 3PL provider is adept at the necessary paperwork and compliance that is part of the import and freight forwarding process, and that this integrates with its warehouse management system (WMS) to ensure complete visibility, transparency, and efficiency.

Storage and distribution

Whilst manufacturing and importing toys and games and all the paraphernalia that goes with it such as games consoles, gaming chairs etc. is a key part of the supply chain, it's important to make sure that a robust storage and distribution plan is in place.

Whether it's an ecommerce function that sees goods delivered direct from warehouses to consumers, a call off function from distribution centres to retailers, or the storage of containers full of product in readiness to cope with demand, its important to be prepared.

When choosing a 3PL partner you should check that:

*They have the experience to deal with every part of your operational requirements

*They have the facilities and space to be able to upscale support in line with your demand when required

*They have the infrastructure and experience to support all elements of your operation from delivery notes, stock control and customer dispatch (if delivering direct)

Alistair Plant, Head of Sales, Carlton Forest 3PL commented; “The toy and gaming industry is a multi-billion-pound year-round industry and 3PL providers, and warehouse and transport company's play such an important part in meeting consumer demand, especially in the lead up to the festive period.

Our team at Carlton Forest 3PL has decades of experience in delivering tailored, agile solutions that truly meet the needs of the customer and with several warehouses, a dedicated fleet, and driven, experienced personnel, many businesses find us the perfect partner to create and deliver success.

To discuss how Carlton Forest 3PL can support your business contact our Head of Sales, Alistair Plant alistair.plant@carltonforestgroup.com