If you have a lot of goods to move around, you will want to work with a third-party logistics service (3PL). When you choose to outsource your logistics to a third-party logistics service, you need to carefully select the 3PL you work with, as they can impact your business's success.
1. Find Out What Systems They Have in Place
When you are looking for a 3PL, you will want to find out what systems they have in place. You are going to want to find out what computer systems they use for their business. Ideally, you will want to work with a 3PL that uses some of the same systems your business already uses or that uses systems that can integrate into your systems. You want your systems to integrate quickly so you don't have to change the way you do things to work with a 3PL.
2. See What Services They Offer
Not all third-party logistic services are going to offer the same services. You need to consider what type of assistance you need — do you need assistance with ground shipping, air shipping, or international shipping? Do you need assistance with warehousing your goods? Know what you need assistance with as far as the storage and transportation of your goods go so that you can partner with a 3PL that offers those services.
3. Find a Service That Can Scale
Your business is not going to be the same size forever. If your business is successful, then your shipping and logistic needs are going to grow. You want to work with a 3PL that is not already pushed to capacity at what they can do for you when you start your relationship. You want a 3PL that has the ability to grow with you as your business grows. You don't want to have to switch 3PL providers when your business grows.
4. Consider Technology
Finally, when choosing a 3PL provider, you will want to consider what type of technology the 3PL uses. You are going to want to look for a provider that uses modern technology. For example, you want to work with a provider that uses a GPS tracking system for your orders so that you can always see exactly what is happening. You want to find 3PL providers that can streamline the communication and information process.
When looking for a 3PL provider for your business, you will want to find one who has systems that will easily integrate with your existing systems. You want to work with a 3PL provider that offers you the services you need and can scale with your needs.