The Beginning of a New 3PL Partnership

Jan 1, 2021
A Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics: What You Need to Know

If you run a product-based business, you need to transport goods to your customers. Now, managing logistics and supply chain can be complicated and involves additional work and pressures. If you run a small or midsized company, then deciding for a third-party logistics provider to take care of transportation, warehousing, and distribution can greatly improve efficiencies. With a logistics partner, you won’t need to think about truckers, licenses, taxes, and regulations. But with so many logistics companies offering similar services, how to choose the one that suits your requirements?

Determine Your Customer’s Requirements

Which service is the most suitable? How quickly do your customers expect the delivery? Are there any access restrictions at the point of delivery? One of the most important aspects is a notice given to the 3PL to set up your shipment. Most carriers coordinate at the very least 24-48 hours in advance on driver load planning. Same day requests can increase customer costs.

The High Cost of Low Prices

When choosing a logistics partner, price shouldn’t be the deciding factor. It doesn’t mean price is not important – it’s certainly a significant consideration. However, if your product doesn’t make it in good transit time and safely, it won’t matter if you got a cheap rate. All you’ll have is an unhappy customer and a potential loss in revenue. Low-cost logistics services are often less reliable, usually, fall short on customer service, and offer less visibility. Be sure to focus first on the overall value that a logistics partner can add to your work.

How to Truly Gage a Valuable Partnership: Customer Service

The service level you receive is determined by the operations personnel of a third-party logistics company. In case they are not responding promptly or are unhelpful, you should look for a new company to partner up with. Great 3PL companies always follow up with phone calls, emails, monitor their call answering times, and take a more proactive approach to service. Don’t settle for slow response rates because of bargain services.

Delays or errors in transport can occur due to vehicle breakdowns, traffic delays, human error, and many other things. Having honest and prompt communication from the carrier is essential. Many logistics companies offer services that they don’t perform themselves but sub-contract from other companies. In these cases, if something goes wrong, the information you receive is the same as the one they’re getting from their supplier. It can make communication very difficult and lead to tensions.

Find a logistics provider who operates and controls the entire network of distribution – from pick up to delivery. They know where your goods are in real-time and can tell you immediately. If something goes wrong, the right logistics provider will immediately start to work on the solution and maintain open communication with everyone involved. Things can go wrong because logistics isn’t an exact science. What often makes 3PL companies great is how they respond and recover.

Raising the Bar with First Call Logistics

Experts at First Call Logistics specialize in helping source same-day, contractual, or schedule capabilities within our carrier network. We offer single-point-of-contact customer service, a premier transportation management system, a reliable network of vetted core carriers, and many more services. Contact us today to find a 3PL partner in FCL.

Simplify your Next Shipment with First Call Logistics

Building and managing cost-efficient supply chains is a full-time job. First Call’s rare combination of in-house assets, expert problem-solving and track record of stellar customer service makes us the 3PL of choice for business partners with a wide range of shipping needs.

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