Selecting a logistics service provider is critical for every business. This job is more critical when full container loads are not an option and the business has to ship LCL (loads of less than a container). Historically, customers on the LCL side have been in a weaker position than those on the FCL side, because dealing in FCL provided the strength to bargain. This is not the situation anymore, as so many of the logistics service providers are operating around the globe, are seeking new business, and are willing and able to customize their services. Here are a few tips for selecting your logistics service provider:
First, evaluate your transportation plan completely, focusing on creating an overall competitive advantage for your operation.
Instead of requesting a proposal from logistics service providers, detail your needs on freight mode, lead time, territory, carriers, frequency, order volume, seasons, and payment terms.
Try to use a single carrier when possible.
Analyze the coverage and customization options offered by the logistics service provider.
Assess the logistics service provider’s operational edges, their disaster plan, and their advanced preparedness for rush periods.
Clearly communicate your shipping requirements upfront.
Stick to standardized industry contract terms.
Review the financial health of the logistics service providers you are considering
Require the ability to monitor your freight online. Most logistics service providers offer such automated online systems.
Ask your suppliers for references on logistics service providers.
These are a few basic hints for how to select a logistics service provider. You want to use a logistics service provider you can trust: Your logistics service provider is a lifeline of your business.