Choosing the right Logistics Partner to meet your needs can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider when searching for the best partner.
First, geography. Not every shipping company has the capability to ship to or from anywhere in the world so it’s important to make sure that the company you choose can at least meet your basic needs. Look at your most recent shipments, where did you pick up from and deliver to? Do you ship to the same location(s) or a new destination every time? Look at your expansion plans. Where do you plan to develop new business? Can your new Logistics Partner meet these requirements?
Second, services offered. The range of services offered by your Logistics Partner should allow you to completely customize your shipping experience. Not every shipment will be a standard ground, dock to dock shipment as much as we wish it could be so offering a wide variety of additional services is key to providing a great experience. Some offerings should include liftgate trucks, inside pickups and deliveries, multi-modal transport (including air, ground, ocean, rail, less-than truckload, full-truckload), palletizing and wrapping, and various other shipping accessories (including bars, straps, blankets, and pallet jacks). Being able to accommodate any type of request is what separates a partner from a vendor.
Third, flexibility. Continuing the conversation from our last point, your next Logistics Partner should be quite flexible. Being able to accommodate requests as they come up regardless of when they come up can make or break any shipment. Whether it’s the day before a pickup, while in transit, or day of delivery, being able to make your request a reality shouldn’t be an issue.
Fourth (and probably the most obvious), pricing. It’s true when they say “you get what you pay for” even when looking for your next Logistics Partner. A shipping company will send you a bill for the services rendered regardless of whether or not you needed or wanted them. A Logistics Partner will work with you to determine exactly what you need and how to go about it. And, when issues arise, they can help you avoid unexpected costs that could result in shipping delays.
Last, but not least, customer service and communication. While this needs no explanation, it’s still important to highlight. Look for a Logistics Partner that has the same philosophy on customer service and communication as you do. Your Logistics Partner should be an extension of your team, not a separate department.
Your business is your business, so your Logistics Partner is there to support your goals, not hinder them. Finding the right Logistics Partner can be challenging and time-consuming but will always be worth it in the long run.