What Sets the Logistics Third Party 3PL Apart from the Freight Industry

What Sets the Logistics Third Party 3PL Apart from the Freight Industry?

What Sets the Logistics Third Party 3PL Apart from the Freight Industry | If you choose to utilise a 3PL provider for your shipment, you must be aware that there is a love-hate connection between 3PL and freight carriers.

What Sets the Logistics Third Party (3PL) Apart from the Freight Industry? If you don’t take the required steps to lessen the impact that it can have on your business, will it affect it?

Being in the transportation sector, I am aware of how little respect freight carriers appear to have for 3PL firms. When examining the freight of a 3PL compared to other freight, carriers are typically harsher.

I have personally observed this in the profession, and while most people might find it odd, it is a truth that should never be disregarded. If you work in the industry for some time, you will readily release it because it is no longer a secret.

Nowadays, 3PL is a requirement for any large company, so most carriers view 3PL as rivals rather than clients. However, because of the business model and utility of 3PL, carriers will never be able to compete with them.

Not all carriers adopt such a mindset; you may come across a carrier that treats the 3PL with consideration, and some of them have even partnered with the 3PL and adopted its business model.

What Sets the Logistics Third Party 3PL Apart from the Freight Industry

As a customer, you must ensure that you give a 3PL’s reputation and respect in the industry, particularly among carriers, extra consideration before choosing them. Additionally, you must ensure that the 3PL considers everything before shipping.

In order to prevent problems with the carrier, you should communicate with the 3PL provider about important issues and make them as informed and organised as you can. Even though the majority of 3PL are already experts in their field and you don’t need to tell them most of the things, it is still worthwhile to have a lengthy discussion with them about important issues.

Carriers do provide low rates to 3PLs, but they balance this out with strict oversight. They do this so that they may increase their business with the 3PL. Your best man must serve as a sales representative in order for him to interact with the 3PL;

A well-educated, intelligent person serving as your sales representative, along with a positive working relationship, can be very beneficial to you. He might provide you access to knowledge you wouldn’t otherwise have.

Although freight firms sometimes treat 3PL companies poorly, it is a fact that they both depend on one another and send a tonne of business their way. As a result, it is up to you as a client to ensure that you hire a 3PL with a good reputation and standing in the sector.

What to Think About When Selecting a 3PL

selecting a 3PL

Finding and selecting a third-party logistics provider (3PL) is the next step after deciding to outsource your logistics-related tasks. What is a 3PL, to begin with? A 3PL is a business that offers fulfilment or logistics services to other businesses. A 3PL is in charge of managing a piece, if not the entire supply chain, to make sure your items reach their destination.

Choosing a 3PL can be challenging, especially in the competitive economy of today. There are other significant factors that need to be taken into account, even if cost is a critical component of the choosing process.

Similar Businesses

It is crucial to look for companies with comparable corporate ethics. Your chosen 3PL will become a part of your company and frequently interact with clients or customers on behalf of it.


It’s crucial that you give your 3PL all the information. The 3PL will be able to accurately assess whether or not they can handle your items and, more crucially, accurately price if your exact needs are documented through an RFI.


It’s critical to have a precise approach up front. Any possible pressure on the partnership will be lessened by clearly defining expectations and developing a transparent procedure together. The objectives of your company and your 3PL must be the same.


Imagine that six months from now, your business is expanding in part as a result of your connection with your 3PL, and everything is going well. What would happen if your 3PL suddenly went out of business? Doing your research and taking the time to understand your 3PL, their past, and their future objectives is crucial.


Can your 3PL handle daily changes that can have an impact on your business. Can they handle it if your business quickly doubles in size or triples in size? Will they continue to do so if growth is not as appealing as anticipated? It’s critical to plan ahead and take precautions.

What Sets the Logistics Third Party 3PL Apart from the Freight Industry

one place to shop?

Does your 3PL provide any value-added services for your business, such as freight forwarding or customs clearance? Utilising a single 3PL for all of these services can be quite advantageous because they will oversee the entire supply chain, producing a solution that is effective and economical.

Make sure a 3PL is a good fit for your company by being ready to ask lots of questions. This is a crucial phase that deserves careful attention because it can help a firm expand.

How a 3PL Can Help You

A 3PL is what? A 3PL (Third Party Logistics Company) is a non-asset based business that doesn’t own trucks or other equipment but can assist you in lowering costs, reducing risk, and saving time and money when putting your logistics plan into practice. This is how they go about it.

Massive rate savings, but not!

The rates with a 3PL are typically comparable to what you are now paying. Do not anticipate significant rate reductions simply because you have chosen to look into a 3PL. Rates are more heavily influenced by the market price than by cost.

In actuality, you are probably far more knowledgeable about the market price than a 3PL firm if you have been collecting rates on your laneways for some time. Your 3PL should know about your rates so they can collaborate with you to put together a rate-neutral bundle for you.

You might be wondering what the benefit of a 3PL is if it can’t lower my rates. Mode switching, time savings, consolidations, improved carrier management, cargo visibility, and risk mitigation are all advantages.

Modal switching

Do you transport a lot of standard LTL? By collaborating with a 3PL, you can take advantage of their computer tracking systems to spot trends that could be combined into truckload shipments.

For instance, shipping one full truck load once a week from Chicago to Toronto would save you a lot of money if you ship there twice a week. While it may seem straightforward, your shipping data contains these opportunities.

3PLs can assist you in taking advantage of such possibilities because they have software to find them. The more you can switch from LTL to truckload, the less it will cost you per pound.

Order Monitoring

How many times have unanticipated events required you to pay for expedited shipping? Many software programmes used by shippers have the drawback of ending at the shipping ports.

The order is finished as soon as the truck is loaded. You are aware that a satisfied consumer who receives your product on schedule is what matters most. To manage your shipments from your dock to your customers, 3PLs offer software. Many include “dashboard” web access, which allows you to view the status of any shipments you have in transit on a single, straightforward screen.

What Sets the Logistics Third Party 3PL Apart from the Freight Industry

You can track all of your shipments, and you may do it from any location. You may access most of these dashboards from your home, Blackberry, or even the golf course because they are web-based.

Time reduction

Do you have a map of the route? Have you put a lot of effort into making sure all of your shipping locations follow it? You have to be conscious of the struggle. Have you ever thought about all the time your workers spend phoning the carriers on the list to find someone who is accessible when you need them, even if people are following it?

Big time wasters are present here. Your customer service representatives ought to be helping your clients, not shopping for trucks. Most likely, you already know where this is going. The 3PL will be in charge of this. When you need a vehicle, you will always have one.

In order for your customer service representatives to focus on what they do best—serving your clients and accepting orders—the 3PL will handle the bulk of the coordination between your facility, suppliers, and customers.

Enhancing Carrier Management

Do you need to keep track of a plethora of contracts, accessorial fees, fuel surcharge tables, insurances, permits, etc.? If you’re like the majority of transportation professionals, you have tons of it! 3PLs typically have software that is intended to keep track of all of this.

Additionally, they are able to assist you in negotiating normal assessorial and fuel surcharges. Not only will you save time submitting and gathering all of this information, but also consider how much time your invoice approval process will save.

Visibility of Shipments

Have you ever considered the price tag on putting in place a software solution to track and manage your shipments? To buy, use, and maintain it might cost tens of thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What Sets the Logistics Third Party 3PL Apart from the Freight Industry

You can utilise a 3PL’s technology for nothing. Free, that’s the word. The majority of 3PLs can adapt their software to your needs. All of the cargo visibility and data you require are available without additional cost.

Risk mitigation

Many individuals fail to take into account the danger they take when loading a shipment into a truck. Is that ship secure? Is his coverage current? Traffic management today must take these considerations into account.

Due to the shipper’s lack of “due diligence” in researching the carrier they selected to transport their shipments, shippers have recently been found negligent in court and forced to pay significant settlements to individuals hurt in trucking accidents.

It’s frightening. The task of choosing the carrier is frequently given to customer service representatives or warehouse workers who load the trucks. This will only lead to disaster. Here, there are very real hazards that need to be controlled and reduced.

A 3PL has the infrastructure in place to obtain insurance payments from carriers prior to their expiration. to examine licences and the DOT’s safety rating of the carriers. By employing a 3PL, you can get all of this done for nothing.

In a nutshell: Reasons to switch to a 3PL

  • savings from changing modes
  • the cost savings of order tracking systems
  • time saved by applying the routing guidance and choosing the carrier
  • Management of free carriers
  • Free shipping tracking software
  • Free service for carrier qualification

What Sets the Logistics Third Party 3PL Apart from the Freight Industry

3PL Solutions: How a Small Business Can Benefit from Third-Party Logistics

The old adage in business, “If you are not growing, you are shrinking,” has always been accurate. For small and medium-sized businesses, or “SMBs,” the decision is not whether to grow but rather how to develop. 

Similar to this, knowing how to grow entails that you not only have a strategy for growth but also understand which area of your company you want to grow.

Sales, product lines, and market penetration are three areas that all SMBs may tolerate growing. Since it can result in the other two, market reach is the most crucial of them. The more customers who are aware of and able to buy your items, the more sales your company will experience and, as a result, the more things it will be able to provide when it reinvests in inventory.

However, expanding market penetration can be expensive and difficult. Consider the case where your company started to sell products on websites like Amazon and eBay. This may give you more exposure and allow you to move more units, but it also comes with more orders to satisfy, which can quickly become an overwhelming task.

Of course, some organisations ramp up for a higher volume of sales by expanding their workforce. But when you factor in the cost of a larger payroll and employee benefits, this may not be feasible for every business’s budget. In this context, it is extremely simple to understand how this strategy for growth could very soon result in cash-flow issues, if not force you to take out a loan.

Partnering with a third-party logistics provider, or 3PL, is another option for companies looking to grow their market reach without adding additional staff. 3PLs offer extensive logistical assistance with tasks like shipping and warehousing. Your company can simply hire a 3PL to execute these tasks for you prior to your online launch rather than recruiting additional workers and placing site-based orders for new goods.

Reduced Shipping Costs Can Increase Your Profits

Merrill Douglas pointed out in Inbound Logistics (July 2009) that 3PLs can assist SMBs in a variety of ways. The most evident of them is perhaps the fact that SMBs can use a 3PL for a specific service and classify the 3PL’s cost as an operating expense paid after services are provided. This contrasts with internal market expansion, which frequently necessitates a substantial capital outlay as an initial investment.

But in addition to this crucial support, 3PL contracts can also have ancillary advantages, such as enabling SMBs to geographically expand their market reach by working with 3PLs outside of their home region. Furthermore, because 3PLs provide services to a variety of SMB shippers, they move the volume required to secure better shipping rates than their contractual partners could have obtained on their own.

What Sets the Logistics Third Party 3PL Apart from the Freight Industry

Inventory control speeds up business operations

Inventory held by third-party logistics companies is frequently spread over several global distribution facilities. This enables them to bring the goods of SMBs closer to their clients. As a result, the contracting SMBs see even cheaper shipping costs as a result of the decreased distance that less-than-truckload, or “LTL,” carriers must travel to deliver their goods.

However, the fact that 3PLs frequently provide inventory management services is probably the most crucial contribution they can make to the success of their contractors. This implies that keeping inventory records is not necessary for SMBs engaged in contracting. The SMBs may easily place restocking orders and have them dispatched to their 3PLs when the contracted 3PL alerts them that there aren’t many units of a certain product left in their stocks.

Consider it a success if your company has grown to the point where a 3PL solution is required. Despite being an additional cost, 3PL services can ultimately streamline shipping procedures, assist with inventory control, and boost the profitability of your business.


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