When It Comes to Your 3PL, Always Opt for Value Over Upfront Savings

Partnering with a 3PL or Integrated Logistics Provider can be beneficial not just in cost savings, but in overall value as well.

Partnering with a 3PL or Integrated Logistics Provider can be beneficial not just in cost savings, but in overall value as well.

For many companies, choosing a third-party logistics (3PL) partner often comes down to the price tag. However, while rates will always factor into that decision, they shouldn’t be the only consideration. In an increasingly complex and competitive shipping market, sustainable success demands value-driven strategies — not short-term savings. If you’re interested in finding a long-term logistics partner, here are three key things you should be on the lookout for.

Commitment Customer Service

In the age of automated and/or SaaS freight services, customer service has taken a backseat to convenience and minimal cost savings. Amid an increasingly complex logistical and regulatory landscape, however, this so-called “benefit” may actually hinder your ability to remain competitive and profitable. When choosing a logistics partner, look for a demonstrated commitment to customer service, creative problem solving, and the team’s overall level of experience. The purpose of your 3PL investment is to bring on additional expertise and bandwidth — so make sure the partner you choose can actually provide those advantageous.

Flexibility and Options

One of the biggest problems with working with a direct carrier is being confined by one-size-fits-all solutions. Shipping is a living, breathing process, meaning that sudden changes and/or issues are inevitable. When they do arise, adapting quickly and efficiently requires having multiple options at your disposal, as well as a real person who is actively monitoring the situation and reacting immediately to resolve problems or seize new cost-savings opportunities. An ideal logistics partner will have expertise across a wide variety of transportation modes and supply chain processes, not to mention an extensive global trading network and considerable resources at its disposal.

Experience and Demonstrated Success

Like any business investment, your choice of a 3PL provider should be based on its level of experience and demonstrable successes for their customers. Of course, that means you’ll need to do a little homework; you should read up on the history and core values of the company, ask for referrals from existing or past clients, and look for case studies and success stories that demonstrate an ability solve complex problems and drive value.

Putting it All Together

When Primary Freight launched nearly two decades ago, we decided we wanted to create a different kind of shipping and logistics company — one that focused on establishing long-term client relationships instead of generating short-term profits. We’ve managed to build an incredible team over the years, largely based on the company’s initial set of core values, including empathy, dedication, creativity, and honesty.

At the end of the day, that’s our main differentiator; when you partner with Primary Freight, you’re not only gaining access to an extensive international trading network, array of service options, and cutting-edge technologies — you’re buying into an individual who has the experience, the resources, and the personal buy-in to drive real value for you and your company in the long-term.

For most 3PLs, and certainly direct carriers, you’ll see a decline in the level of investment the moment you sign on the dotted line. They keep their prices low by skimping on service and flexibility further down the line. At Primary Freight, we’ve managed to keep our rates competitive without having to sacrifice customer satisfaction in the process. Moreover, as our customers will tell you, the long-term savings and peace of mind our program provides more than make up for any added upfront costs — in other words, ROI in the truest sense of the word.

If you’re interested in learning more about Primary Freight’s award-winning shipping and logistics services, give us a call today at (800) 635-0013.