When it comes to making the choice between working with a 3PL or directly with a carrier, the question is — How much time and capacity does your business have to devote to logistics?
Hiring a carrier means dealing another vendor, which involves getting quotes, handling paperwork, and overseeing the shipping process in-house.
When you work with a 3PL, you gain a partner with the expertise and resources to manage your complete supply chain, so you and your employees can focus on growing your brand.
How working with 3PL companies benefits shippers
An Extensive Network
When committing to a carrier, you only have access to the services and equipment they have available, on the specific lanes their company runs. 3PL companies have the ability to bid your freight out to trusted carriers around the nation, with fleets of all types and sizes. The results are lower rates, higher capacity, and more shipping flexibility.
Great Customer Service
3PLs offer hands-on customer service that keeps shippers in the know about the status of their freight and handles any issues that may arise. If a truck breaks down, a standard carrier may not have equipment available in the area to continue the shipment. 3PL companies have the capacity to quickly dispatch another carrier, so your freight reaches its destination safely and on time.
3PL companies tend to invest more heavily in transportation technology than standard carriers, so they can keep track of numerous shipments by multiple carriers daily. With real-time GPS surveillance, ruggedized locking mechanisms, and covert monitoring devices, 3PLs offer shippers highly visible tracking and tracing of their cargo.
When demand increases, shippers working directly with carriers are often forced to deal with other lesser known carriers to move all of their freight on time. Shipping with unfamiliar carriers comes with increased risk of cargo theft, including fictitious pickups and carrier identity theft. 3PL companies reduce the threat of freight loss by utilizing a network of vetted carriers with successful performance histories.
3PL provider’s services go far beyond handling individual shipments. A 3PL can offer shippers full supply chain solutions from procurement and rate negotiation, to management and capacity sourcing. Through continuous analysis a shipper’s processes, 3PL companies can make adjustments to each link of the supply chain to reduce costs and maximize efficiency.