Choosing a third-party logistics (3PL) company is a challenging yet important decision. There are so many transport and logistics providers – all claiming to be the best in the industry – and, with this in mind, it is vital that you research the market and choose the right 3PL partner for your business.
Of course, the cost will be one of the key factors in your decision; you need to find a logistics company that you can afford on a long-term basis. However, there are a number of other factors that should be taken into consideration and here we outline each of these in detail.
5 factors to consider when choosing a 3PL provider
- What transport and logistics services do they offer?
Your business is unique and, when choosing a new 3PL partner, it is a good idea to find out exactly what services they offer and whether these will meet your individual needs and requirements.
A good 3PL provider will typically offer a comprehensive range of services, including everything from warehousing and distribution to pallet delivery, freight-forwarding and more. Rather than offering a generic package, they will tailor their services and create a bespoke solution for your business – thus making sure that you get exactly what you need and offering maximum value-for-money.
- Are they reliable?
When it comes to third-party logistics, reliability is everything. You need a 3PL partner that you can trust; someone who will do the job quickly and professionally. After all, if goods arrive late or damaged, this may reflect badly on you and it has the potential to affect your business reputation.
One way to gauge the reliability of a logistics company is to look at their existing client base. If they have worked with the same clients for many years, they must be doing something right! It is also a good idea to check company references and take note of any industry recommendations.
- Do they keep up-to-date with the latest technology?
Technology has a huge role to play in modern-day transport and logistics services. Computer software is now used to automate and streamline logistical processes and clients are usually able to access real-time information regarding their stock levels and consignments.
When researching the market for a new 3PL partner, it is therefore important to note if they utilise technology in this way. A good logistics company will prioritise technology and innovation, investing in the latest updates and making sure that all of their logistics services are fully optimised.
- Would they be able to support your business as it grows?
Scalability is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a third party logistics company. Most business owners will decide to invest in a 3PL partner so that they can concentrate on the growth and expansion of their business. As such, you need a partner who can fully support such growth – adapting their logistics services to meet your ever-changing needs.
- Where are they based?
When seeking a 3PL provider, the obvious choice is to go for a local company, based near your headquarters. However, it is also a good idea to consider your target distribution area too.
Try to find a 3PL partner that is strategically located for your needs; someone who can deliver your consignments quickly and easily to their intended destination. Ideally, they should have easy access to an extensive transport network – including motorways, airports, and shipping ports – and it is often worth finding a logistics company that offers a professional freight-forwarding service.
Contact Graylaw Freight Group today
Graylaw Freight Group is one of the UK’s leading third-party logistics providers, with over 30 years’ experience in the industry. We offer a fantastic range of transport and logistics services (all at a reasonable price) and, when it comes to the factors outlined above, we tick all the right boxes.
If you would like to find out more about our 3PL services, please feel free to get in touch. Either give us a call on 01695 729101 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss if we are the right 3PL partner for you and your business.