How to find the Right Logistics Partner the Easy Way
With multiple factors to consider before signing on the dotted line, selecting the right third party logistics partner (3PL) is not an easy task. However, by understanding what you need to look for and how it affects your business, selecting a 3PL becomes a simple task for any business. If you’re trying to find a logistics partner, here is a simple 5-step guide that will help make the process easy.
1 - Perform a Quick Local Online Search
Regardless of whether it’s Google, Yahoo, Bing or a number of other search engines, performing a quick local online search will help you create a list of great logistics partners. Simply search “best logistics company in X” and you will be able to find a list of top-rated logistics companies in or around your area. Make a list of the top 10 logistics companies on the page.
2 - Select the Top 5 3PL providers that offer Truly “Tailored” Solutions
When you have your top 10 list ready, you need to select a logistics partner that offers truly tailored solutions. Most cookie cutter partners offer standard rates on every option you select, giving the illusion of a tailored solution.
Contact the providers and find out who is providing truly tailored solutions. As a rule of thumb, they may not give a quote over the phone; they may require you to visit them. Companies that ask you to visit them instead of offering a simple quote usually offer tailored solutions.
Choose the top 5 providers based on how fast they replied, the different factors they considered before providing an estimate, and whether they offer scalable solutions. It’s important that they offer solutions that can change and be upgraded as your business does.
3 - Select the Top 3 with the Best Reputation
With your list down to 5, select the top 3 companies based on their overall reputation. Reputable companies usually have plenty of years, often decades, of experience and have a vast and impressive portfolio. Choose the 3 with the best reputations. To gain a better grasp of their reputation, search for online reviews and testimonials.
4 - Select the 2 with the Most Relevant Services
More often than not, selecting a logistics partner based purely on the number of services they offer is not the best idea. However, since you have already narrowed your list down to companies that are highly rated, have a great reputation, and offer great tailored solutions, this is a great idea.
Count the number of services offered by all 3 logistics companies and select the ones with the most relevant services. This is important because, as you grow, you will require a logistic partner that offers an increasing number of services; it’s easier to upgrade than to find a new partner.
5 - Choose the one offering the Best Rate
At this point, you likely have only 2 companies left on your list. All you need to do is simply select the company that is offering the best rate for the level and quantity of services that they are both willing to offer. The “best rate” is one where you obtain greater services, quantitatively and qualitatively, for the price you are willing to pay.
When selecting a logistics partner, ensure you have a list of companies that you can choose from and start skimming through. Simply make a list, reduce it gradually by eliminating those that do not provide the right solution and price and those that do not meet your needs - current and future. Doing so will make finding the right logistics partner an easy process.