A Good 3PL Helps ‘Keep Everybody Cool’

A Good 3PL Helps ‘Keep Everybody Cool’

Over-the-road drivers benefit from the relationships and advocacy of Third-Party Logistics (3PL) providers. 

Owner-Operator Orrin Hintz knows first-hand the impact from all the changes happening in our industry. He also knows how much a strong third-party logistics provider (3PL) like GW Transportation Services helps navigate the challenges that have come with those changes.

Orrin has seen it all during his 45 years in the transportation business, as a warehouse worker, mechanic, over-the-road company driver, warehouse and distribution manager, private fleet manager, small trucking company owner, and now as a single-truck owner/operator.

Shrinking margins on the freight side has forced many carriers to be more competitive by taking on more work—just to get the work—at smaller margins. This drives some to cut corners to get the work done.

“Oftentimes, a driver’s personal time and his family time are sacrificed to make a living wage in this economy,” Orrin says.

The latest round of federal regulations, namely hours of service (HOS) has taken much of the flexibility out of a driver’s schedule. The driver has no control over weather, traffic, loading and unloading schedules and delays, breakdowns, but still must adhere to the very strict guidelines within which he needs to work—without any avenues to arbitrate a citation from a law enforcement official.

Orrin sees himself trying to balance these challenges with all of the great things he feels when he’s actually on the road.

“When the weather is good, the road is straight and you’re out on the highway with other competent drivers, pulling 45,000 pounds of America’s needs to its next destination, it doesn’t get any better,” Orrin says. “Every day it’s something new—places, people and situations.”

The challenges come, he adds, when the weather is not so good, the road is not so straight and you’re out on the highway with incompetent drivers.

A 3PL like GW Transportation makes Orrin’s job as an owner-operator easier by acting as the intermediary between him and the shipper and receiver.

“Sometimes you need a third party just to keep everybody cool,” Orrin says.

He benefits from the fact that GW Transportation Services has the time and resources to establish relationships with many more customers than he can, and they’ve qualified the payee to the extent that they assume financial risk for late and non-payments. GW also has enough industry experience to advocate for owner/operators when the need arises. He chooses GW to avoid the pitfalls that can happen if a broker isn’t a strong advocate for the owner/operator.

If a broker doesn’t give accurate or sufficient information on posted loads, that can be a problem, Orrin explains. A large percentage of posted loads are either “ghost loads” (loads coming from or going to a small, isolated town but listed as a larger city that can be up to 100 miles from the actual destination) or have been moved already. Sometimes they have unrealistic expectations of drivers and equipment.

Orrin praises GW for its involvement in his business through the years.

“In nearly 30 years of working with GW, they have been my gold standard. I judge everyone else by GW’s ethics, communications and commitment to the carriers and our industry,” he says.

For more information, or to receive a quote from GW for your next shipment, contact us at (877) 260-1595 or fill out our quick quote form.