How to Choose a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Partner

How to Choose a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Partner

Your Checklist for Logistics Services and Cargo Brokers 

According to Wikipedia, third-party logistics (3PL) providers “specialize in transportation services that can be scaled and customized to your needs based on market conditions and the demands and delivery service requirements for your products and materials.”

These providers “perform functions such as consultation on packaging and transportation, freight quoting, financial settlement, auditing, tracking, customer service and issue resolution and maintain a great degree of hands-on involvement in the transportation of products.”

This is a great way to outsource a process that’s important to your business without having to acquire a fleet of trucks and hire drivers. But, how do you choose the one best for your needs?

Here’s a checklist of things to consider when choosing a 3PL transportation provider:

  • Does the 3PL provide the services you require? (Depending on what you are shipping, you may need: Truckload (TL) shipments, which fill the entire trailer or flatbed; Partial Truckload (PTL) shipments, which usually consist of loads that take up lots of space but weigh very little and in cases where more than 10,000 pounds of freight or 10 or more pallets are being shipped; or Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipments, which do not by themselves fill the truck to capacity by weight or volume.)
  • Does the provider have experience in the geographical areas you need to go?
  • Is the provider financially sound?
  • How do the provider’s costs compare to others in your marketplace?
  • Do they have customer references for the types of transportation you require?
  • Do their current customers say the provider responds quickly and effectively to changes?
  • Does the provider take time to understand your business needs?
  • Will the provider communicate with you in the manner you prefer?
  • Does the provider’s corporate “personality” match up to you and your company?

Answering these questions will help you determine the right choice when making this important decision. In the business of moving materials from one place to another, time truly is money.

GW Transportation Services is a resource that can answer any and all transportation services questions you may have. GW provides Truckload (TL), Partial Truckload (PTL) and Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping expertise and experience, with the flexibility to handle many different types of loads.

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