How to Choose the Right 3PL Partner

Steve Stewart

Shippers are often approached by  3rd party logistics companies looking for a partnership. The company may be large or small, technology-driven or old school, focused on sustainability or on working in their communities – but what does all of that mean to customers today? How can a shipper decide what is the right partnership for them?

Gone are the days shippers and manufacturers rely solely on basic customer service metrics such as on-time performance, cost, and responsiveness.  Instead, many have turned to end-to-end strategic partners who can help optimize workflows, make smarter business decisions faster, and open them up to new markets. This large shift can be attributed to many things, most notably the increase in robust technologies and a stronger and larger competitive landscape. These types of changes have placed pressure on many supply chain managers to procure the best partners available.

In understanding my customers’ needs, I realized where I have been able to add the most value, and consider the list below some of the things that shippers should be looking for when choosing a third-party logistics company:

  • Agile – being flexible and quickly adapting offerings to match the customers’ needs
  • Committed – providing consistent service and savings during high and low times
  • Exceeds Expectations – going above and beyond contractual agreements
  • Innovative – being creative and investing in programs and technology to help improve efficiencies
  • Proactive – crafting solutions before problems arise
  • Reliable – creating a trustworthy and dependable support system

Before you choose your 3PL partner, consider the items above. Are you choosing a company that will be able to add the most value to your partnership?

Contact Steve Stewart, National Accounts, to learn more about choosing the right 3PL partner for you.


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