Your business is growing, and you’re shipping more freight than before. Now you’re ready to work with a company to handle your transportation and logistics needs. The next step is finding a third-party logistics (3PL) provider who offers the right services and understands your goals.
As you begin searching for a 3PL for LTL and warehouse services, having a clear understanding of your needs can help to make the process easier. This article will assist you in determining your goals, the type of transportation and logistics services available, and the traits of a successful 3PL provider.
Determine Your Current and Future Needs
With so many 3PL providers to select from, it can quickly become an overwhelming process. When you have a clear expectation of your current and future needs can make it easier. Taking the time to review your freight needs is worth the investment because it’ll help to ensure you select the best provider for your business.
Review the following questions to learn what to search for in a 3PL. Knowing what you want will make it simpler when you begin talking to providers.
- What’s working well with your current fulfillment process?
- What needs improvement with your fulfillment process?
- What is a typical LTL shipment?
- Type of products
- Product dimensions
- Pallet size
- Pickup and delivery locations
- Special services
- Specialized trucks (refrigeration)
- What kind of warehousing storage will you need?
- Type of products
- Long-term or short-term
- Temperature-controlled space
- How much control do you want in the day-to-day process?
- Will you now or in the future need to ship throughout the U.S.?
- What do you anticipate your fulfillment and transportation needs to look like in the future?
- What are your high fulfillment and transportation months?
Review LTL and Warehouse Services
The next step is evaluating the various LTL and warehouse services. Even if you’re still determining the exact service you want, it’s good to know your options.
- Provider obtains LTL quotes
- Provider manages the freight transportation process
- Provides up-to-date tracking
- Expedited deliveries
- Liftgates and pallet jacks
- Business Deliveries
- Palletized deliveries
- Cross docking
- Food grade space
- Ambient, refrigerator, and frozen options
- Warehouses that follow federal, state, and local regulations
- Inventory management
- On-demand storage
- Palletized storage
- Pick and pack
- Short-term storage with freight consolidation
- Sort and seg
- Truckload sorting
5 Key Traits of a Successful Provider
You know your goals, and you know what you want. The next step is working with an experienced and trustworthy 3PL provider. Unfortunately, not all companies are equal. Some have a more experienced team, efficient processes, and up-to-date technology than others.
Here are some traits to look for when searching for an LTL and warehouse provider.
Large Network of Partners
Gain access to the most competitive pricing and reliable options available.
A Reputation of Integrity
Look for a company that provides references and testimonials that reflect their team’s professionalism, efficiency, and honesty.
24/7 Operational Support
You can rely on service and help at any time of the day.
Last-minute changes happen; it’s part of life. Work with a provider who can adapt and thrive during those times.
Find a team who understands the transportation and logistics market so that they know how to maneuver through challenges.
Learn Why BLS is the Right Provider for You!
At Beitler Logistics Services, our team is known for their superior service because we become an extension of your transportation and logistics departments. We’ve been a family-owned company for over 100 years with a reputation for providing reliable and excellent service with flexibility.