Properly utilizing a 3PL shipping service can result in huge improvements to a company’s supply chain. However, the shipper should still put in some work if they want to make sure they are getting the best service possible. Sure, a shipper could find a 3PL to handle their freight and never look at it again but you never know what might happen then.
When building a partnership with a 3PL there is a lot that the shipper can do to ensure that the relationship is utilized to the fullest. By doing the following 5 steps and their shipping operations will benefit greatly.
- Plan ahead and give lead time
- Communicate expectations
- Meet regularly on KPIs
- Know the shipping industry
- Don’t rely too much on any one 3PL
Each one of these helps to ensure that a shipper’s supply chain operations stay at their highest level and that they are receiving the best level of service possible.
Breakdown of the 5 steps
1. Plan ahead and give lead time to the 3PL. The more time a 3PL has to find a carrier, the better the carrier they can find. This will result in higher quality shipments and maybe even reduced prices. Also, as a side note, it will lead to better relations between the shipper and 3PL. No one wants to work with a shipper that’s throwing out loads at the last second.
2. Communicate your expectations. It’s important that the shipper and 3PL agree on what each party’s responsibilities are for every stage of the shipping process. This can prevent miscommunication down the road and ensure that the 3PL shipping services are performed as expected.
3. Meet regularly on KPIs (key performance indicators). One of the main benefits that 3PLs offer is their ability to utilize their technology to pull relevant data to improve their customer’s operations. To ensure that each step is being completed at the highest quality possible, it’s vital that both parties meet regularly to discuss how things are going from all angles.
4. Know the shipping industry. This can help you understand where your shipments are going and what needs to happen for them to get there safely and on time. This also allows you to know where the market is going and plan accordingly.
5. Don’t rely too much on any one 3PL. As a shipper, you always want to keep your options open. Even if you are signing on for contracted rates, it’s worth it to constantly reevaluate your partnerships and make sure there are no better options out there.
How to Find the Best 3PL Shipping Service for Your Company
Before placing the 5 steps above into action a shipper first needs to go through the processes to find a 3PL that works well within their operations. This is a topic that we have covered in past blogs but to sum it up, you want to find a company that is experienced, reliable, and communicative. These three factors will result in a great 3PL service. Finding a 3PL with all three, on the other hand, can be a challenge.
If a shipper follows the 5 tips mentioned in this post, they will be able to guarantee that their shipping needs are covered. It’s vital to plan ahead and give lead time, communicate expectations, meet regularly on KPIs, know the shipping industry, and never rely too much on any one 3PL.
Following through on these will make sure both the shipper and their partnered 3PL have everything that they need in order to succeed.
If you are currently in the market for a new 3PL provider then check out Becker Logistics. We have been in the industry for 25 years and in that time have developed the team, technology, and processes to ensure our customer’s success. To get in touch you can check out our contact page. Additionally, to get started today, you can request a freight quote.