Choosing the right transportation service can make a big difference for any supply chain management company. This will require a bit of research work on your behalf and to help out there are ample resources available online. Making an informed decision will be beneficial in the following ways:
- Get greener miles.
- Save on the cost of warehousing.
- Use the transporters facility as a fulfillment center.
Most Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies like to outsource most of their operations to a 3PL provider. Many transporters own warehouses where your shipments can be driven and stored. At the warehouse, there will be a dedicated staff that will help you save on the cost of labor. The modern facilities of the 3PL companies are fully geared up to meet the needs of their clients. They are both flexible and also adapt to the changing market scenario. Transporters who have been in business for long now have their own warehouses that work like fulfillment centers for supply chain management companies.
Here are simple steps to follow while choosing a right transporter:
1. To find the right company you will have to first make a list of the companies located in your city. The Internet has a treasure trove of information that you can go through.
2. Interview each company over the phone and learn all about the types of services they provide. Go through their websites and talk to the sales people to get the information you need. Ask them if they offer full truck load (FTL), less than truck load (LTL) and drayage services.
3. After you have spoken to all the companies on your list, you now have an idea about fleet and expertise. The companies that have been in business for long and have a large fleet of trucks need to be shortlisted. Get the rates per mile and discuss the type of freight you have. Many companies now specialize in specific types of freight, so you will have to find one most suitable for you. If you are going to haul perishables make sure they have refrigerated trucks, your shipment will rot before it reaches its destination. This wastage means financial losses that o always want to avoid.
4. Check the licensing and certification of the shortlisted candidates. Check to see if they have a warehouse where your goods can stay overnight or if they have a container freight station that will help you out. Many companies have the C-TPAT certifications and they are more reliable than other transporters.
5. Now that you have all the answers to your questions you are ready to choose the right transporter for your freight. Ask the company if it offers yearly contracts and if it is willing to give you discounted rates. Check to see their warehousing space and if they will give you dedicated staff to work on your orders. A transporter that has modern software will make your task easier. You can easily track the shipment and add to your inventory if it is below par.
6. Check the Better Business Bureau website to see their rating and if they have any bad reviews from clients. You want to hire a company that provides timely service in a reliable manner. Their drivers have to be well trained and efficient. They will be the ones dealing with the shipment documents and therefore need to be experienced.
By following these simple steps you will be in a better position to select the right transporter for your shipments. So, take your time to research and prepare a list of questions for the candidates.
Ryan Brandon has been associated with the logistics and transport industries in Michigan for a number of years now. He is considered by many to be a supply chain guru who is in his own element around trucks and 18 wheelers.