How to Select the Right 3PL Company for B2B Logistics
In whatever industry you are in, whether you sell products in a brick and mortar shop or you deal in e-commerce, you do need a logistics company at some point. Some logistics companies are not reliable at all times and may deceive you into a contract and not deliver afterward. How can you fork out the bad weeds and choose amongst the good logistics companies?
Capability of the Logistics Company
Check for the coverage of each freight company by going through each service area listed on their site or catalogs. If a logistics company has knowledge in your specific target area, you will get faster service and efficient transportation of goods.
Above a large service area, a freight company should be able to handle all your needs. You should set out all your requirements before you commit to a contract with any freight company no matter how reputable it is.
Confirm the maximum load capacity if you will be shipping and transporting heavy weighing goods and if there are any extra costs for that service.
The key to finding a reputable freight company is ensuring on how they treat their customers. Checking whether companies respond swiftly will help you know how fast your shipping related queries will be resolved.
Checking online for customer reviews and checking the estimated response time on Facebook, if the company has a Facebook page is a great start.
Be careful when doing an online check, some companies may fake testimonials on their site, so try to delve deeper into that research. You can also tackle this problem by asking for references of companies that use that freight company.
If a company is clear and responds to your queries, that may be an indication of good customer service. If there is no good communication from the onset, you will likely face major problems in the future.
It doesn’t matter how affordable a company may seem because if that company compromises on customer service, you will face bigger financial woes in the future. Consider the money you will lose if your orders are late by weeks with no sound explanation and how much that will cost you.
Offering of Safety & Security
The safety and protection of your goods are paramount when it comes to choosing the perfect logistics company. The safety and protection of your goods include insurance that covers damage and theft of your goods even when caused by third parties.
Checking all the documentation of that insurance and doing your own background check of the underwriters will tell you a lot about that insurance company.
For example, it will tell you if a company will really pay out, how reliable it is and how long it usually takes for the cover to take care of all losses incurred. Read all the fine print and terms and conditions before you sign to avoid nasty surprises later on when you claim.
Make sure that the logistics company you choose has goods-in-transit insurance. Other added value services you should look out for are GPS trackers dashboard cameras and advanced driver assistance systems.
Check if the company is also registered with Truck Associations in your State to ensure its authenticity as there will be some level of accountability for that company.
Services and Fit to Your Needs
If you have large shipment requirements, you need to look for freight companies that have warehouses and storage facilities in the areas you wish to ship to. It should also be able to suit your needs of any transportation mode you will require to ship to your destination.
At this point, you also should not compromise your quality of service with affordability because low-cost companies are not always reliable and offer less visibility, which are two factors that are an enemy of progress. However, you also should not pay exorbitant prices, so try to balance out the services offered and the pricing.
If you have a smaller company that needs fast courier services, you can opt for express courier services offered by various companies. Some courier companies offer next day delivery services and these are great because of several reasons.
Some of those reasons are that even if your delivery does fall short, it won’t be delayed for long. Another reason is that your package stays for only a short while at the hands of the courier company, which minimizes the risk of theft and damage.
Tracking and Real-time Data for Inventory Management
Hiring a freight company that offers real-time data and live tracking services for your goods is a valuable factor in your decision-making process. You should go for a courier company that will let you know where you package in real time and get an accurate estimated time of arrival.
Many companies claim to have this feature only to find out later that they actually don’t, so ask for each company to subject you to a sample. Automated systems are taking this industry to higher levels and if a company is not willing to change, it may be an indicator unreliable service.
The importance of this feature is seen when your freight company has unavoidable delays. With that feature, you can tell your customers exactly where their products are and when they can expect them. So, another feature that is important in your decision-making is the accuracy of the data you receive.
Choosing the best logistics company is a hard and tedious task to do but with these points outlined above, you can make the best use of your resources. Saving your time and costs is always good for business.
To save your time in businesses reliant on logistical support, you should aim at getting swift delivery services. Keep a close eye on the customer service you receive and if it starts to change, consider converting to another company before it starts crippling your business. Lastly, always ensure the safety and security of your goods as the damage might prove to more than a monetary loss.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer the best practices in warehousing, trucking, and order fulfillment. We are strategically located in the heart of the west and offer industry leading facilities and customer service for any logistics need.