How to Choose a 3PL


Third Party Logistics (3PL) companies started to spring up in the 1980s as a viable method of outsourcing logistics needs. 3PLs make it easy for large companies to get rid of various functions and assets. This is made in order to focus more heavily on their core business objectives. A 3PL can save your company millions of dollars and time, allowing you to dedicate more resources to your essential initiatives.

There are a few variations of 3PLs:

  1. Asset-based firms use their own trucks, warehouse, and personnel to operate their business.
  2. Non-Asset-based firms do not own their own trucks or warehouse space. They provide outsourced logistics solutions and freight brokerage services and have a large network of freight carriers that they partner with.
  3. Warehouse/Distribution-based firms have a warehouse and/or distribution experience.
  4. Financial-based firms provide freight payment and auditing, cost accounting and control, tools for monitoring, booking, tracking and tracing and manage inventory.

PLS Logistics Services, a non-asset based firm, is able to adapt to all clients’ needs because of our unique approach to the business that allows us access to thousands of transportation solutions across the country.

When it comes to selecting the right 3PL there are many factors to consider:

  1.      Do you have your own assets?
  2.      Can the 3PL meet your service requirements?
  3.      What is the 3PL’s track record? How do they rank nationally?
  4.      Does the 3PL work within your region?
  5.      How flexible are they? Do you require any special services they can’t supply?
  6.      Does their culture blend well with your company’s culture?
  7.      Do they have any reputable references? Have other branches of your company worked with them in the past?

You ultimately trust this company to represent you. You want to make sure they not only meet your required needs but that they are a good fit for your company as well. We recommend you take the time to research a few different 3PLs. That way, you can pick one that best suits your overall needs and goals, and not just best suits your budget. You want to find a 3PL that you can work with repeatedly and build a relationship with.

Learn more about our Outsourced Transportation Management services!

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