Deciding on a logistics company with top-notch service goes without saying, and most anyone would agree that service is needed when you get into stressful logistics problems. Whether you have freight damage, delayed shipments, packaging issues or misclassifications, it is important to have a company that will back you up in those situations. Choosing the right logistics company can be hard and there are a lot of factors to consider, but service should be one of the most important. You will be working with logistics coordinators from a logistics company on a daily basis and having someone that provides excellent service is a must while moving your shipments successfully. Every company knows how essential your word can be in business and the importance of honoring it. When you promise a customer your product by a certain deadline, you need a company that can deliver and uphold your guarantee. Make sure to look for the values of a company in the way they treat their customers. Look for the honesty, transparency, and integrity to find a company dedicated to giving you the best service with an added benefit of shipping.
Network of Suppliers and Carriers/Relationships
Logistics can be difficult, complex, and unpredictable. However, everyone expects their shipments to reach their intended destination on time, revealing how essential shipping is for the success of businesses. We cannot always avoid the discrepancies of logistics, but having a strong relationship with a logistics company can make or break your logistics experience. Those who carry a vast network of suppliers and carriers can ensure that your cargo gets where it needs to go, when it needs to. In many cases, finding a 3PL company that has a massive network of regional and national suppliers and carriers means the difference between success and failure of your shipments. As much as companies try to plan for the unexpected, there will always be situations where freight needs to be expedited or recovered (sometimes more often than we would like). There are also times when the challenges are unique, especially in relation to intermodal or international shipments. Logistics companies with small carrier networks and few options can create compounding problems. The lack of relationships and choices has an effect, not only on the shipment, but the way your 3PL partner sells to clients, and the reputation of the companies involved. You need a logistics company that not only works for you, but has the resources to meet your needs.
The network of suppliers and carriers that a 3PL company has can also be a reflection on their business practice as a whole. 3PL companies that are consistent in their operation, courteous in their approach, and provide significant business tend to carry larger networks of reliable logistics companies in their portfolio. In the same way that a 3PL company carries a relationship with the logistics suppliers, they will be promoting a positive culture in the relationships with clients.
Choosing a logistics company can sometimes be as easy as choosing the right 3PL for your company. You need to consider the topics previously mentioned above on service, network of suppliers and carriers, and the importance of a relationship built on the core missions of your company. However, there are other factors to consider, namely your 3PL. A skilled 3PL with access to suppliers and carriers, commitment to your company, and a desire to work hard for you, puts your company in a great position to move your freight successfully. Your 3PL will be the people that you call in a desperate situation and need someone who will pick up and take care of your complications. They will also be the place that you rely on daily to execute the logistics needs of your company and navigate through the complexities of logistics problems that you run into. Look for 3PLs that are willing to go the extra mile and put in effort for your company. Finding the right logistics partnership means a fundamental belief in the trust you have that your 3PL can get it done for your company.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a logistics company is the experience that they bring to the table and what their reputation says about their work. How do you find companies that know the answers to all your logistics questions? Knowledge. Sure, but also experience. How do companies find answers to unique/complex logistics problems? Experience. How do companies build a reputation as being an expert in their field? Experience. All of the aspects to consider when choosing a logistics company do not mean much if they do not have the experience required to serve you. Having the resources is vital, but being able to leverage those resources toward a solution for you means that your freight arrived. Look for a company with a high volume of reviews and make sure that the reviews are positive! You cannot just rely on reviews, ask the logistics companies about some clients that they are currently serving and have served in the past. Do your homework and check these references to paint an accurate picture of the 3PL company you are choosing.
Additionally, you should think about the various logistics options a 3PL company has to offer you. You want to choose a company that can do everything you need them to. For example, say you need to ship through different avenues such as truckload, rail, air freight, ocean freight, or maybe even warehousing and expedited options. You should be able to find a company that has all the services you need in one place. However, you should not only think about the present, but also what you think you might need in the future. What kind of capabilities do these companies have that can take care of your short-term and long-term requirements?
- Do they have the right kind of trucks to move your freight? Can they offer Hazmat, oversized options, or maybe a drop trailer?
- What is their carrier and supplier network and is it sizable enough to give you the best option to move your shipments?
- How good are they with moving freight across borders and oceans?
- Do you require extra needs that a 3PL can directly help you with?
- What sort of technology do they offer?
Look at what your company needs overall that will make your logistics experience the most successful and choose a 3PL company that will maximize the service you deserve.
Given the high impact of choosing the correct 3PL company, check their history as the final step. I list this attribute last because it can be deceiving, but it also can be a great indicator. The tenure of a company, however short or long, does not always translate directly into a decision. However, a company with a long history might help you decide. Look into how long they have been in business and how consistent they have been in that time, what is their story? Look for a longstanding company with an upstanding reputation of service, a vast network of reliable suppliers and carriers, skilled logistics experts that work for you, and growth through relationships and experience. Doing business with a 3PL company that has a great reputation and a deep history can make a good shipment into an easy and great experience that will make your job easier.
Finding a good logistics partnership is important and at ATS we are always dedicated to our customers. Contact us for a service that will be unique and personalized. We ship anything from point A to point B for any kind of business!