Partnerships with 3PLs

Important Factors Considering Partnerships with 3PLs

Pricing is only one factor influencing how shippers award logistics service contracts. Most shippers favor service over price.

A partnership with a 3PL can provide tremendous value to a shipper’s supply chain, but finding the right partner can be a process.  Below are several tips when looking for the right partnership:

Increase volume by consolidating shipments:

Look for opportunities to combine the clients’ shipments. Consolidation decreases overall costs and still increases efficient volume.  Combining loads also helps warehouses avoid loading dock congestion and can result in fewer accessorial charges.

Budgeting for high-demand seasons:

Looking ahead and remembering there will be times during the year where higher-demand for trucks could impact your costs. Produce and holiday seasons place a higher demand on the nation’s trucks, which in turn could increase rates.  For example, East Coast Transport knows that starting in August frozen foods for Thanksgiving begin to be shipped to their end destinations.

Condensing length of haul:

Shippers can save time and money by strategically using distribution centers and condensing length of haul based on the location of clients.

Paper rates vs. truck rates:

Line-haul distance can look completely different on paper than it does in real-life.  There could be additional details that affect a bid, such as a pickup or delivery appointments and hours the loading dock is open. A ‘straightforward’ 100-mile haul on paper, could take two days if the consignee can’t accept a shipment that arrives after 5 p.m., increasing the cost. Knowing the background information is critical in providing an accurate estimate.
Communication is critical goals to achieve: 3PLs concerned with their clients’ goal, like ECT, hold themselves accountable and benchmark for continuous improvement to ensure they’re helping make an impact on your business. On-time pickup, on-time delivery, and tender acceptance or rejection percentages are a few examples of typical goals.