What to Know Before Choosing a Third-Party Logistics Partner

A third-party logistics (3PL) partner can be a valuable asset to your business. The best thing is that you get to choose the partner. There are many out there that specialize in one industry over another, one type of transportation mode over another, or one geographical area over another. Your supply chain can greatly benefit from having a 3PL that practices with integrity and seamlessly. Your job is to scope out potential partners and go with one that fits best for your needs. And it would be wise to investigate key factors regarding 3PLs early on to save time and money eventually. Here are some main points to be aware of when choosing a 3PL partner today. 

Track Record Score

First, you want to be sure of finding a 3PL that has the necessary qualities and experience to handle your business. Their proven track record should speak for itself in how they manage supply chains. Essentially, you want to be confident with someone who is reliable and will guarantee professional services. You can test their credibility and see what comes out of it. Dive into how the 3PL company has handled success and failures. Getting references from other people or organizations can help guide you in choosing an experienced 3PL. Actively seek available 3PLs that have good knowledge about third-party logistics and have expertise in working with a diverse range of outsourced operations and providers.

Financial Stability of the 3PL Partner

In addition to having a clean and level record of accomplishment, you want to check the financial stability of your 3PL partner. There can be major ups and downs in the transportation and supply chain world, so you want to check to make sure that the 3PL can handle those situations. Their abilities reflect how well your supply chain can continue despite turbulent times. Choosing a 3PL that has flexibility means that they can scale operations as demand rises and falls unexpectedly. Requirement changes display the real capabilities of a 3PL. Financial stability may include how well the 3PL has done in sales and how much they have acquired over time to maintain higher profit margins.  

3PL Partner Culture Mix

A big factor to be mindful of is how well does a potential 3PL fit culturally with your company. The kind of values and mindset that are brought to the table when dealing with companies and partnership help provide necessary insights. Look into the leadership and the company structure. The way the company and its stakeholders engage with each other, or their local community, can tell you a lot about their culture. If you can sense good integrity and ownership, then you may get a successful partnership out of it.  

Timely Communication

Finally, you want to choose a 3PL that agrees to meet regularly and is prepared for those meetings. It’s important to always have clear and open communication to meet your overall goals. Constant collaboration makes for better operational systems. Not only is communication between you and 3PL critical, but the responsiveness to customers is also key. Customer service needs to be prioritized. Have a good idea on what type of coordination is in place to handle time-sensitive communication, such as inquiries or transport issues.  If you need a 3PL service that hits these shared key points, then you should check out HTL Freight. We have the experience and expertise required to make your shipping operations run smoothly. To find out more, you can contact us. Additionally, if you want to get started today, you can click here and request a freight quote.