There are many logistics service providers but you need to select a company that has sufficient experience in the field as well as a good reputation so you don’t need to worry about missing delivery deadlines. The facilities of the provider should also be looked into.
You need to consider the capabilities of the third party logistics service to ensure that you are able to achieve all your requirements. The service areas that your company needs will be different from others so you have to contact several companies to see whether they are a good fit for the requirements of your company. It should also be able to provide for future requirements that you will have as well so that you are not limited by the capabilities of the logistics provider. Some providers will be sufficient to complete your short-term requirements but there will be no possibility of growth unless you find a different provider. When this happens, you will have to unwind the integration work that has gone into the partnership and start the whole process from scratch again.
There are also questions you need to ask in the beginning to clarify all aspects of the partnership. So you need to ask whether the shipments are time sensitive or whether there is a degree of flexibility provided by the company. You should also ask whether the truckload lanes are repetitive and whether there is a possibility of expansion. You need to decide between a company that provides all the capabilities and a company that focuses on several core services only but to a considerable depth. You can also ask whether there is a 3PL division for the provider. The customer satisfaction rates should be considered as well. You can look at their customer testimonials and reviews on other websites to get an idea of this. Ask for references from customers that are in the same industry and have similar needs as yours.
The safety measures in place should be assessed as well. Check their safety record and reviews of their safety statistics. If you can’t find this online, you can contact the provider and ask for official documentation. Ask them about the technology that they use and whether they are able to provide you with more automation solutions so that your processes can be more streamlined. Check how their technology connects to the online store you have and the existing software that you use. You need to check whether there can be seamless integration between the two. They should also have scalable technology so that you are able to scale up when required. Ask whether they have a cloud based warehouse management process so that you are able to automate most of the processes. This will make managing inventory, processing and tracking orders easy. Your company will grow over time and you need to make sure that the logistics provider is able to adapt to your changing needs. You also need to check their reputation and the stability of the company so that you can be assured they will continue to be in the industry.