3 fun games to teach your families about 3PLs


For those of us in the 3PL industry, there is nothing more fulfilling than managing a successful business relationship. When a company decides to outsource its logistical needs to a 3PL, the success or failure of the venture will be determined by how well the two companies work together.

This is exciting stuff! Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to convey this excitement to others, especially to those closest to us – our families. Admittedly, to anyone who has never attended business school, most concepts in supply chain logistics can seem really foreign.

Luckily, the core concepts in managing a successful 3PL relationship, or supply chains in general, can be found in many of the popular board games played today. With the holidays coming, playing board games is not only a fun social activity – with kids learning about the importance of math and creative thinking, for instance – but also a way to share your love of 3PLs and logistical strategies with your family.

So try these three games (in no particular order) with your family and give them a taste of the industry basics:

Lords of Waterdeep: Storing and shipping adventure

In this 2012 German-style board game, players take on the role of rulers of a fictional city-state. Unlike a lot of other games, there is little to no battling between the players. Instead, players need to carefully manage and allocate their resources to increase influence and business opportunities.


Image credit: CarpeGM (Dan Whorl) / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

The great thing about this board game (other than being incredibly fun) is that it encourages a lot of creativity when it comes to resource management. There is very little randomness or luck involved, so players need to strategize their supply chains to get the necessary number of points to win before the other players do.

Business on the Move: 3PL in a box

This board game presents the following challenge: How do you, as a player, move different products from China to their UK customers? You are given the options of different modes of transportation (land, sea and air) and your objective is to move your goods as quickly as possible, with maximized profits, while respecting all requirements and constraints.


The game also touches on the difficulties of meeting delivery deadlines, improving supply chains, reducing your company’s carbon footprint (yes, that’s a mechanic in the game) and ultimately, how to profit.

While all of this may seem too heavy for a family board game, rest assured that Business on the Move has been listed as being suitable for players aged 9 and above. For more information, check out this post.

Risk: The KPI war

Along with Monopoly, Risk is one of most well-known board games in North America, and for good reason. Its emphasis on negotiation strategies and tactics to win is why this almost 60-year-old game has endured as long as it has.


Image credit: Usonian / Flickr

In many ways, Risk exemplifies the need for key performance indicators when two or more players team up to tackle a mutually beneficial goal. If the arrangement between two or more players during a game is ill-defined, the partnership may collapse, leaving both parties more vulnerable than when they began.

For players to succeed at this game, they need to outline the items that indicate an acceptable performance and review them regularly. This may seem counter-intuitive in a turn-based war board game, but it works – limited resources mean that any single player will have trouble surviving in this game on their own.

Whether it’s Lords of Waterdeep, Business on the Move, a good game of Risk or the highly anticipated holiday edition of Smart Trucking Challenge, give them a try. Here’s to an entertaining and educational holiday season with your family!

Contributed by Kelli Saunders.

About Kelli Saunders

Kelli-Saunders-Protrait-2x3-300dpi_SKelli Saunders started Morai Logistics Inc,in 2010 as an agent for Mode Transportation, a leading third-party logistics company. Offering a full range of logistics services, the company provides domestic, cross-border (Mexico, US, Canada), and international logistics. Kelli has received numerous awards for her expertise in strategic sales and as a small business owner, including Salesperson of the Year for four consecutive years (Mark VII, Exel, Mode; 2000-2004). She was also honored with WeConnect Canada’s Doing Business International Award for Morai Logistics in 2012.


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