Score not one, but two wins for the International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA), which represents warehouse-based third-party logistics (3PL) companies. The group says it was instrumental in getting 3PLs onto legislators' radar screens at both the national and state levels. That's a notable accomplishment considering how little most lawmakers know about logistics—if they're aware of it at all.
In Florida, new legislation revising drug-pedigree rules spells out the responsibilities of 3PLs that handle pharmaceuticals in that state. Previous laws dealt only with manufacturers or wholesalers, and third parties usually were treated as wholesalers. Under the new law, 3PLs are no longer required to comply with all of the (sometimes irrelevant) requirements for wholesalers; they only have to comply with the storage and handling rules. The legislation also exempts 3PLs from certain requirements if they already are responsible for a manufacturer client's entire pedigree process.
On the national stage, IWLA convinced Congress to insert a definition of "third-party logistics provider" in this summer's consumer product safety law. According to the group, the law imposes new safety requirements and penalties for noncompliance on manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. It specifically states that 3PLs are not included in those categories—thereby affirming their status as intermediaries that have no responsibility for product quality. Originally, the law would have classified third-party warehouses as distributors, but IWLA's members and Washington staff worked with legislators to draft new language that was included in the final version.