Having a reliable, quality, and communicative 3PL provider can make a huge impact on your business. They’ll help you control your costs, keep your supply chain moving, and find countless efficiencies. However, how can you find the best 3PL provider for you and your organization? Below are 7 steps you should take when shopping for a new shipping provider.
1. Research, Research, Research
This is going to be the first and probably more important step. Before reaching out to anyone take a look around and figure out what you can about the company. Do they have the experience that you need? Do they have processes and systems that will work seamlessly with yours? Also, what are some of the other customers they have worked with?
2. Try Out More than One
You rarely want to go with the first idea or the first shipping provider you find. Sure, sometimes you’ll get lucky but in most cases, you’ll be happy you looked at the other options. In shipping and logistics, this means trying out some spot quotes with several companies until you find the right fit.
3. Make Sure They Can Scale
When choosing any business partner you want to make sure that they can stick around for the long run. So, when choosing a 3PL provider make sure you are going to be able to grow with you. Will they be able to make the time for you and your business?
4. Look for Flexibility
As I am sure you know, there are always things that go wrong in the supply chain process. Maybe production took additional time, an unexpected order came in, or maybe one of your trucks broke down. In these cases, it is vital to have a 3PL partner with flexibility. Someone that can adapt quickly to changing circumstances to ensure you get the best quality shipping.
5. Communication is Key
When you have a shipment running behind, need an update, or are looking for a load to be picked up the worst thing you can have is an uncommunicative 3PL partner. When building a partnership really pay attention to how quickly they are getting back to you. In fact, they should be being proactive and reach out to you!
6. Check the Tech
There is a lot of technology available to 3PL companies. Technology that will make YOUR shipping better. Things like tracking and tracing, EDI, TMS’s, and more. When partnering with a 3PL make sure they have these so that you can get the best service possible.
7. Build a Partnership
Building a strong partnership is always going to work better for you in the long run than switching it up every other week. There are going to be times when you are going to need to rely on your shipping partner and when you do make sure it’s someone that you have a relationship with. Someone that you trust.
So, how do you find the best 3PL provider? With a lot of hard work and preservance. You have to try out several companies, see how they fit within your organization. Also, make sure they are there when needed.
At Becker Logistics, we make sure that we check off each one of the items in each shipment. We have 25 years of experience and in that time have developed the processes and team to ensure the success of all of our partners. To see if Becker Logistics is the right fit for you, request a quote and we’ll see how we can start to simplify your shipping.