It is now easier than ever for your products to reach customers in other parts of the country.
But most of those customers are going to expect your products to ship quickly—and cheaply.
Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping has shifted customers’ expectations. If you don’t meet those expectations, they may look elsewhere.
That’s a problem for many small companies. They have neither the warehouse space nor the workforce to compete.
Luckily, 3PL or Third-Party Logistics companies stand in the gap, helping carry your deliveries for you.
But with so many Florida logistics companies vying for their piece of the pie, how do you choose the best one? After all, each provider has its own unique capabilities that may or may not work for your company.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what you need to consider when looking for a 3PL company!
The reason so many businesses are turning to third-party logistics companies instead of taking on deliveries themselves is that they simply don’t have the capabilities to make those deliveries themselves.
Their warehouse is too small to hold all of the stock they hope to ship. They can’t afford to hire enough full-time drivers or purchase a fleet of delivery trucks. They don’t have anyone in-house who can spend all of their time managing deliveries.
So when you’re looking for a 3PL company, you need to make sure that they do have the infrastructure to support those shipments.
If a 3PL’s infrastructure is barely enough to support their current operations, they won’t be able to support your company as you grow. Similarly, many Florida logistics companies have unique opportunities that may give them a leg up. For instance, Florida’s plentiful coastline gives logistics companies more access to seaports than landlocked states.
As the old saying goes, “no man is an island,” and the same is true in businesses. Even the largest logistics companies have partnerships with other entities to help them provide the best service possible.
For example, even though FedEx has their own trucks and their own airplanes, they have partnerships with airports around the country. Additionally, they even have a partnership to provide air transport for the US Postal Service.
Many 3PLs will not carry your shipments all the way to the customer. They utilize existing partnerships to make the shipment more efficient and streamlined—and less expensive.
There’s a statistic that’s passed around business owners like a scary story at a campfire: 70% of businesses will close within ten years of opening.
When you start working with a logistics company, you’re starting a long-term partnership. Your company’s wellness will be intrinsically tied to theirs.
As exciting as it might be to work with a hot upstart that’s ready to take the logistics game by storm, it might just be a flash in the pan. And once that flash fades away, you’re suddenly without a logistics company.
Look for a 3PL that has a proven track record.
When a customer purchases your product online, they expect that they will receive it unharmed and intact. But when you work with a third-party logistics company, you have no way of directly ensuring that.
The second you hand off your logistics to another company, you trust that they will care for your products as carefully as you would yourself.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely avoid accidents. However, certain companies are a bit more accident-prone than others.
When those accidents happen to your shipments though, your customers are the ones that suffer. Your 3PL may have an insurance policy in place to protect your goods, but it’s much simpler to avoid accidents in the first place.
Even beyond accidents, it’s important that the company carefully follows safety regulations. If drivers are on the road longer than they should or if their warehouse isn’t up to safety protocol, it can drastically increase the chance of accidents.
Before entering into a long partnership with a logistics company, ask about their safety protocols and rates of accidents. Look into customer reviews to identify any problems that might arise.
We’re all familiar with the cold irony of a prerecorded, “your call is very important to us” punctuating the smooth jazz hold music for the fifth time in forty minutes.
This might be unavoidable with cable companies or government agencies, but you shouldn’t have to deal with it with your 3PL company.
Your logistics company literally carries your business in their hands. Therefore, it’s absolutely paramount that you are able to contact them when you need to.
Communication should be fast and reliable. With orders coming in and going out around the world at all hours of the day, 24/7 availability is non-negotiable.
If a problem arises, you need to be able to reach your logistics partner immediately and trust that they will do everything in their power to help you.
Looking For the Best of Florida Logistics Companies?
Business is moving faster than ever these days, and if you’re still trying to fulfill orders yourself, you’ll get left behind.
A 3PL is necessary to keep up with the rapid pace of the Amazon Prime-set marketplace and keep your customers satisfied.
If you’re trying to sort through the best Florida logistics companies, you’re in the right place. With three warehouses across the Southeast, East Coast, and Midwest, we’re here to help fulfill your orders and make your customers happier than ever.
Contact us today to see how we can work for you!