Business is built on partnerships, and a better 3PL partner will help do more than move your freight from point A to B. By choosing a 3PL that fits with your organization, you will be able to invest your time and efforts into other areas of your business, which will allow you to focus on the things that you are good at and make more money! You always want to keep an eye on how your freight is being delivered, but there’s no need to spend countless hours each day doing it. Partnering with a better 3PL leads to you saving time, money, as well as gain a better understanding of the supply chain.
A Better 3PL Partner Saves you Money
Money and profits are the biggest driving factor in all of business. Most businesses will not start doing something if it is going to lose them money! By partnering with a quality 3PL, you are going to save money on your transportation simply because they are better at moving freight. A flexible 3PL partner will have the technology, carrier relations and knowledge to ensure your freight is being moved at the best rate possible. Without a good 3PL partnership in place, you would have to bring on more people to handle your shipping, and depending on your size, that could have a big impact.
Working with a Better 3PL Saves you Time
When you spend less time working on freight transportation you can then spend more time doing the things that make you money. This will come in varying degrees, depending on you.
Ask yourself: how much control are you willing to give away on your transportation? The more control you give over to the 3PL, the more time you will have to refocus on other areas of your organization.
A good 3PL partner will only come to you with the things that you need to see, such as important updates or solutions to problems. Of course, you get to determine how involved you are in the shipping process when you partner with a 3PL. Meaning, if you want hourly updates then you can seek out and discover a 3PL that will provide those kinds of updates – and this goes back to the point about finding a 3PL that works best for you!
3PL’s Help You Gain Insight Into the Transportation Market
By operating with a better 3PL partner, you will gain some insight and knowledge into the freight transportation market which will only help you in the future. A better 3PL partner can provide some degree of transparency into their operations which, over time, allows you to learn some new techniques! At the very least you should gain a better understanding of what impacts the market and how the rates change depending on location and time of year.
With this new knowledge you will make better decisions when you are looking for another 3PL partner, or need someone to pick up a spot quote for you. A good 3PL will work hand in hand with you through the process.
How to Find a Better 3PL
So, the real question is, how do you find a better 3PL partner? There are thousands of them out there and there is certainly no one ideal 3PL to look for, as it all depends on how your operations run and what you place importance on. Also, as stated earlier in the article, it’s always worth building partnerships with multiple 3PLs so that you can have a backup plan.
The actual processes of a search for a 3PL also varies. Typically you want to get to know the company a little bit before you start working with them. Some great starting questions are:
- What are your operations like?
- What type of loads do you typically move?
- Who are some of your other clients that ship similar items?
- How many carriers do you have?
- How long have they been in business for?
You should get answers to all of these questions (and more) so that you can be assured that your freight will be in good hands.