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The Dynamics of Shipper-3PL Relationships

As the demand for third-party logistics companies (3PLs) grows, supply chain and logistics professionals will face greater pressure to improve shipper-3PL relationships. Shippers are now taking a closer look at top logistics trends and are viewing their logistics providers as a strategic partner. However, a strong relationship is not everything, a 3PL must be making competitive offerings. To differentiate themselves, 3PLs must stand out amongst their competitors and not just in the pricing game. Here are a few ways in which 3PLs can make a difference in the eyes of a customer.

  • Build a better relationship – Building strong relationships is imperative; it builds trust and open communication between the shipping company and the 3PL. Better communication ensures a better experience for everyone involved.
  • Define expectations – This will ensure that that 3PL can adhere to customer expectations and can deliver on such expectations. It can be difficult to meet these standards. 3PLs must continue to look inward and ensure that they are operating with integrity and treating their customers as partners.
  • Establish a strategic partnership – Provide sustained value, innovative solutions and information to facilitate data-driven decisions.
  • Make a competitive offering – Stay competitive. Logistics companies will begin offering more unique services, such as invoice auditing, automated freight classification, better rates on dimensional pricing, and a host of last-mile services. Amazon has already taken great strides in with the creation of Amazon Key, which allows Amazon to place packages into their customer’s garages directly. It is innovations like the ones listed above that allow 3PLs to continue to offer exceptional services that are sought out by shippers.

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