With the many supply chain issues facing freight and logistics today, it can be hard for businesses to see the forest for the trees. But in uncertain times, the certainty of a long-term strategy is even more important. While developing such a plan is tough for many businesses, making it a 3PL strategy (third-party logistics strategy) takes the burdensome part away. The shipper working with the right 3PL provider gets the best of both worlds, a coherent long-term vision, and responsive service when unexpected needs arise.
Why Is Logistics Strategy Important?
Having a logistics strategy is important for any business, especially in an ever changing environment. Setting a baseline of key overarching plans, goals, and the like actually makes it easier to pivot and adjust when needed. Otherwise, you may find your business is jumping from one crisis to another without any standard operating procedures to fall back upon.
Put another way, planning and implementing a coherent logistics strategy can help your business optimize the effectiveness and efficiency of the storage and movement of your goods - that's logistics. That not only helps the reputation of a business, but can also lead to lower costs with a baseline of contract rates over exclusively triaging with the spot rate market. Additionally, it helps inventory to stay at the right levels, which can also lead to reduced overall costs and better sales channel sell through.
What is a reason to use a 3PL?
Reasons to use a 3PL - third-party logistics provider - are aplenty. When it comes to logistics strategy, a 3PL can handle many of the nitty gritty details that can be difficult and time-consuming for a business to tackle on its own. A 3PL strategy developed by a provider in concert with its client can also leverage the 3PL's connections in logistics for cost savings, immediate capacity options and more effective delivery. And there are plenty of additional benefits of an overall managed transportation service arrangement between the 3PL and the business.
How do you select a 3PL?
Selecting a 3PL comes down to knowing what each third party logistics provider has to offer, so it starts with research. See what services the 3PL provides, and look for testimonials from actual customers to see if the results back up what they say. Choosing a 3PL for managed transportation services means entering into a relationship, so talk to staff and ensure communication and transparency are key values as well.
There is no shortage of choice in the managed transportation services market. And at InTek, we've helped curate some other options. But if your company's considering working with a 3PL, that's right in our wheelhouse. Let us know if you're looking for a provider, and we'll be happy to touch base to see if we're the right fit for you.