If your company has items to ship but is having a hard time coordinating loads, it may be time to outsource to a 3PL. Follow these tips to find the best transportation provider to fulfill your supply chain demands.
Research The Carrier
Make sure the transportation management company you consider hiring is qualified and experienced in carrying your commodity.
Choose Value Over Price
As a shipper, you should feel confident that your 3PL will coordinate your move safely and effectively from point A to point B. The lowest-cost 3PL and carriers may not always be the most reliable option.
Understand Your Shipping Options
You don’t have to be the expert in the transportation of your product but it’s beneficial to know what shipping options are available to you. The knowledge you gain from your research will help you better communicate your requirements to the carrier you select.
Consider Multiple Modes of Transportation
Capacity constraints can be a concern for supply chain managers. Familiarity with alternate or multiple modes of transportation can help your shipment stay on track during a capacity shortage. Choose a 3PL with experience in multiple transportation modes.
Get to Know Your Carrier’s Other Services
Become familiar with the other services your transportation provider offers, such as project management, customs brokerage and overdimensional hauling. If you should ever need these services later, you’ll be ahead of the curve.
Don’t Hire Too Many 3PLs at Once
Hiring multiple 3PLs at the same time to manage different aspects of your transportation can be confusing. To keep your logistics plan organized, select one carrier or have a single point-of-contact who has the experience and capability to move all of your freight.
Become Familiar With Hours-of-Service Regulations
With the recent ELD mandate, it’s more important than ever for shippers to be aware of how the hours-of-service regulations may affect deliveries.
Look For a Custom Solution
Because every shipment and its requirements are unique, a blanket solution may not always work for you. Work with a transportation provider that will off er you a customized solution to your shipping challenges.
Industry Best Practices guest author is Rob Brasher, executive vice president, Landstar western field division of Landstar Transportation Logistics. For more information on Landstar’s services, click here to request a quote.