Although there are many third-party logistics (3PL) providers for your business to choose from, it's important to select one that provides a specific offering of services. Selecting the right provider can make or break your logistics processes, which is why you should have your own list of expectations and requirements when searching for a 3PL provider.
Not sure where to start? In this article, we've put together a full list of reasons to partner with a 3PL and what to look for as you select the best 3PL provider for your unique business needs.
What a 3PL Can Do for Your Business
It's no secret that 3PL companies enable businesses to streamline their logistics solutions, but a beneficial partnership should include much more than that. Reliable 3PLs should allow you to customize solutions to fit your unique needs and provide integrative software to help you manage your day-to-day shipping tasks. They should also allow for periods of growth and decay, and account for product seasonality or economic challenges.
When searching for your ideal 3PL partner, keep an eye out for one that:
- Offers a full suite of parcel and freight shipping and logistics solutions to take care of all your business needs
- Provides access to innovative, integrative software that's easy to learn and operate
- Has a wide carrier network spanning a variety of modes and services to carefully ship all your packages and freight
- Maintains a network of customers across the nation that hold positive experiences and notions about the company
When to Switch to 3PL Services
Perhaps the largest challenge of partnering with a 3PL company is knowing when it's time to switch from working directly with carriers to working with a transportation manager. All too often, companies juggle multiple carrier accounts with the intention of retaining their independence. But partnering with a 3PL provider can actually provide increased freedom to choose the carriers and shipping solutions needed to best take care of your shipments.
Some indications that it's time to start utilizing 3PL services from a trusted provider like GlobalTranz include:
- Transportation management efforts are costing your company more money than necessary.
- Carriers' service offerings are not diverse enough to cover your company's unique needs.
- Poor carrier service is affecting your brand's reputation or your customer experience.
- You or your carriers offer ineffective technology.
- Carrier options are too limited to meet your capacity needs.
- Carriers are not flexible enough to allow for scaling up or down to match your business cycle.
What to Look for When Choosing a 3PL Partner
Not sure where to start? You're not alone! Many companies struggle to even pare down 3PL attributes to those that match their business needs. Reliable 3PL partners like GlobalTranz will make sure you have access to all the answers and information you needed to make an educated decision.
When searching for a 3PL provider, here's what to look for:
- Industry longevity and a wide range of expertise
- Proven financial stability and success
- A solid reputation with both carriers and other shippers
- A team of logistics experts and dependable back-office support
- Negotiation strength and rapport with carriers
- A network of strategically located warehouses and distribution centers spanning your typical shipping area
- Cost-saving and value-add solutions to maximize your budget
- Intuitive, efficient technologies and ease of systems integration
What to Expect from 3PL Companies
When it comes to 3PL partners, you'll want to ensure that the company is able to meet (and exceed) your expectations — but it is important to make sure that your expectations are also realistic. You don't want to miss out on any key benefits, but you also don't want have such high expectations that you miss out on the ideal 3PL provider for your unique business needs.
Prioritize these expectations when selecting your new 3PL partner:
- A dedicated, long-term relationship with scalable business solutions
- A commitment to open, honest communication
- Effective transactional commitments
- Strong performance metrics
- Up-to-date insights on trends and risk mitigation strategies
- Data-driven analytics and guidance on best practices and decision making
What Types of 3PL Services Do Businesses Offer
Another important insight to consider when selecting a 3PL provider for your business is what types of services they offer. You'll want to partner with a company that specializes in a variety of shipping solutions to make sure that all your shipments — no matter how big or small — are adequately taken care of.
When searching for a 3PL partner, make sure they offer:
- Parcel, less-than-truckload (LTL) freight, full truckload (FTL) freight and specialty transportation services
- Local, regional, national and international carrier networks
- Procurement, warehousing, inventory management, project logistics, managed transportation, inbound and outbound shipping and reverse logistics solutions
- Scalable shipping solutions that match your needs as you grow
GlobalTranz: Your 3PL Partner
The process of selecting your ideal 3PL provider is full of decisions, but the choice can be a simple one by selecting a partner with a full suite of top solutions and a team of dedicated industry experts. At GlobalTranz, we offer freight shipping from 85,000+ FTL and 75+ LTL carriers. Plus, we provide scalable solutions to serve your current company needs and to grow alongside you.
Let Globaltranz streamline your shipping and logistics processes. Reach out and connect with an expert today to get started.