15 September 2023

3PL Team

The education sector is not typically renowned for utilising the services of 3PL and warehousing companies, however, that's not to say that significant benefits can't be reaped.


In 2022, it was estimated that the gross added value (GVA) of the UK education sector topped £117 bn, a rise of over £7bn from the year before.

This goes some way to highlighting the scale of educating the UK across its state and private sectors, and from nursery to higher education.

So how does a 3PL provider support the strategic and day-to-day operations of an educational establishment?

Third party storage

It's not unusual for educational buildings to be filled to bursting point giving little leeway for storing goods and products that are not required on a daily or regular basis.

Whether its products that have been purchased ahead of a refurb, the storing of seasonal products such as bulky storage equipment, exam tables and chairs, or sets for festive or end of year concerts and plays, choosing a reliable third-party storage provider can free up vital space that can be better utilised for day to day activities within the school.

The added value of choosing to store products on an external basis means that equipment can be delivered just-in-time, and removed as soon as it is no longer required.

Multi- academy trust and school groups

Investing in quality equipment can greatly enhance learning experiences for pupils and students of all ages and multi-academy trust and school groups can manage resources more efficiently when choosing a reliable, independent 3PL provider.

From sports and musical equipment to paraphernalia required for social events, such end of year soirees or sporting events, sharing products between sites and schools can often mean that better quality products can be purchased and moved between sites as required.

Not only does this manage budgets and investment costs more efficiently, but it also minimises the need for products that would not stand the test of time, perhaps have to be thrown away prematurely and not be able to be recycled fuelling our throw-away culture that businesses are trying hard to move away from.

Higher education

The university sector is a huge operation within the UK and Universities often occupy multiple sites across a city, or multi-location campus.

The impact that they have on the UK economy is significant. In research by the University of Cambridge earlier this year it was stated that for every £1 the University spends, it creates £11.70 of economic impact. For every £1 million of publicly funded research income the University receives, it generates £12.65 million in economic impact across the UK.

It's certainly big business. To that end, its operational functionalities, away from the actual education part of its activities needs to run smoothly and be as streamlined as possible to ensure the University succeeds.

Just as with the multi-academy and school trust group, the flexibility that a 3PL provider can bring for outside storage, just in time deliveries for equipment and the sharing of resources which can decrease necessary spend, can bring tangible benefits.

Supporting the education sector

Perhaps, as a manufacturer or supplier of products to the education sector utilising a 3PL provider could be preferable over managing your own warehousing and transport operations.

Because of the fluidity and seasonality of many products associated with the sector‚ exam related products, summer or winter sports equipment or equipment and infrastructure to facilitate curriculum content, many businesses find that using a 3PL provider to facilitate the movement of goods through the supply chain brings measurable advantages.

Because of the fluid nature of our 3PL services, and the fact that they can be tailored to suit individual business requirements that truly add value, a workable solution that supports educational establishments, and the suppliers of goods to them, can be found.

Vanessa Hope, Chief Commercial Officer, Carlton Forest Group commented; "The education system and sector is multi-faceted and impacts on several areas of the UK economy. With an estimated 2.86m people at university and around 9m school age pupils, it's a large part of our population that are relying on an education system that is efficient, manages it costs effectively and provides a level of service that is expected by parents and participants alike."

It is our responsibility, and that of education providers to ensure that best practices are adopted, integrating a 3PL provider into those practices can elevate operations and unlock advantages that have previously been under appreciated.

To contact our 3PL team email Business Development Manager Marcus Laurent