Just because a company is a Food and Beverage 3PL does not mean that they can ship ALL food and beverages. The food and beverage industry is very diverse. Saying that you can ship food well is like saying that you can play sports well.
There’s a huge difference between playing rugby and tennis, just like there is a huge difference between shipping bread rolls and packaged granola bars. Because of this difference, it is vital that shippers properly investigate the 3PLs that they hope to partner with. Doing so will result in a quality shipping experience with problems solved before they even come up.
Why Experience is Important From a Food and Beverage 3PL
We have established that food and beverage shipping is diverse. Also, that a 3PL has to have experience shipping in your specific industry to be successful. But why? What’s the worse that will happen when you let someone ship your freight when they’ve never shipped anything like it before?
Well, mistakes are bound to happen. And not just in the shipping process, but in the very first steps with the 3PL as well. In a previous blog post, we talked about the steps that a shipment goes through. There is an opportunity for mistakes to be made during each one of these.
A Food and Beverage 3PL that knows what they are doing can see all of the warning signs. And then work to prevent possible mistakes. They will also know the ins and outs of what’s needed, making sure that food-grade trailers are used, that the reefer trailers are working. Also, they will know when cost-saving measures can be applied.
What to Look For in Potential 3PL Partners
Now that we are on the same page regarding the importance of industry experience, how can you find a food and beverage 3PL that will work for you?
The best way is to get a list of some of their current or former customers. If you ship apples and are talking to a 3PL that has shipped apples for 6 other companies they probably know what they are doing. They have the carriers and knowledge to ensure your apples are going to be taken care of and arrive undamaged.
Another important aspect to look at is the technology that they are using. Mainly track and trace. Are you going to be able to get live updates on your food freight? This will be more important in shipping food that spoils easily and needs refrigeration but is definitely worth asking about either way.
Third, is the experience level of the person that you will be working with. Just because the Food and Beverage 3PL you are looking at has worked in your industry doesn’t mean the account manager has. The account manager is going to be your direct link to the 3PL. They’ll be handling most of your concerns so it is important to have a relationship built on trust and reliability. Because of this, it is vital to work with an individual that can handle the issues that arise.
Becker Logistics Aim to the Best Food and Beverage 3PL
At Becker Logistics, food shipping is our bread and butter. We have teams of account managers and carrier representatives that can help you get the best shipping available. Over the past 24 years, we have also assembled an impressive carrier base that can handle any and all freight. If you want to see if Becker Logistics is the Food and Beverage 3PL for you then feel free to reach out at any time or request a quote.