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How to Build a Strong Relationship with Your 3PL

relationship with 3plMore and more companies of all sizes are turning to 3PLs for help with their transportation management. Supply chains are becoming more complex, and securing capacity has become a challenge. 3PLs bring their expertise and solid resources to help shippers improve their logistics operations, while also driving cost savings, and generally make shippers’ day-to-day transportation challenges easier. It is important to set up a strong relationship with 3PL.

Here are some tips on how to build a good relationship with 3PL:

Know what you need

Establish what is important for your company and what you are looking to achieve through this partnership. Make sure to outline your key objectives and requirements to your 3PL before you continue growing your relationship. This will help set the tone and your expectations which will solidify the foundation for a successful partnership.

Measure the performance

It doesn’t end with outlining the objectives which set the general direction you want to go. Once you are clear on the general requirements, it’s time to get to details. Establish a set of KPIs and evaluation metrics which are in line with your general objectives and communicate them to your 3PL. This will help you monitor and evaluate your 3PL’s performance and contribute to achieving bigger objectives.

Know your 3PL team

Any partnership and relationship are solely about people. Get to know your 3PL representatives not only professionally, but personally, too. The better you know each other, the easier it will be to work together and be efficient. At the end of the day, you will be working together every day. Having occasional face-to-face meetings to discuss their performance and review objectives is highly recommended as well.

A 3PL is a powerful tool in managing your supply chain effectively both, time- and money wise. There’s nothing quite like a stable long-term partnership with a 3PL who knows what you need before you even say it.

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The Importance of Carrier Connectivity

Capacity tightening, driver shortages, and other industry challenges are having a big impact on shipper operations. To have an effective transportation management system, you must move freight from origin to destination in a reliable, efficient, and cost-effective manner. This is no manual task.

Carrier connectivity is a priority to some and ignored by others. This will dive into the importance and value added in building a TMS system with carrier connectivity in mind.

Connectivity + TMS

According to a Gartner’s Research Director, Bart De Muynck, “How well you run your transportation network has a direct correlation to revenue.” Maximizing this correlation means considering all parts of a TMS – including carrier connectivity.

Some companies choose to skip this step in the decision-making process, and those that do see a slower ROI.

De Muynck states that the benefits of connection carriers into a TMS are substantial, regardless of how the shippers choose to do so. Visibility is a top supply chain priority for most companies, and automated connections and collaborations will improve access to real-time information.

This real-time data will subsequently result in better visibility over your transportation network. This helps shippers to more effectively manage issues such as driver shortages and capacity crunches.

Missed Opportunities

There can be countless missed opportunities if you are not actively engaging in carrier connectivity.

If your company develops an innovative new technology, and you don’t share that with your partners and carriers – that technology adds no value to your business.

iStock-639198068.jpgImportance of Technology

At PLS, we maintain a proprietary, web-based technology platform that compiles and analyzes data from our large network to serve our shippers and carriers.

Technology is a crucial component in most company’s transportation management services. This ensures accurate, real time data which is a foundation of many businesses.


Collaboration is Key

Increasing efficiency and saving money are two main focuses of companies in today’s landscape.

Carrier connectivity creates an environment for collaboration between shippers and carriers. When these two parties collaborate, money is saved and supply chain visibility is increased (therefore increasing efficiency).

Many TMS systems facilitate this collaboration through electronically exchanging information, such as extra capacity on a truck. This aids in the collaboration process, driving all company’s bottom lines.


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