The ultimate goal of having a higher capacity production/manufacturing business is to make money from selling products. But it’s important to remember that a shipping business’s bottom line depends of more than its sales; it also depends on how much it spends on the shipping process. Next to payroll, the cost of the shipping process is the highest cost that most producers/manufacturers incur, which makes choosing the right type of shipping logistics experts a necessity. Some companies have their own logistics department. But those that don’t typically have five options for shipping logistics expertise, the first four of which fall within the realm of third party logistics (3PL): Standard 3PL providers, service developers, customer adapters, customer developers and transportation logistics software. truck freight services
Standard 3PL Providers
At first glance, standard 3PL providers are attractive due to their low cost of service. But there’s a reason for their affordability: 3PL providers don’t practice 3PL as their core competencies, instead focusing on specific freight transportation disciplines, such as pick and pack and warehousing. If you only need to improve a specific aspect of your shipping process, hiring a standard 3PL provider may be the best option. But if you need comprehensive, innovative shipping solutions, standard 3PL is not the answer.
Service developers are similar to standard 3PL providers. While they do practice 3PL as their core competency, they focus on “value-added” shipping solutions, such as tracking and tracing and cross-docking. Like standard 3PL providers, the ability of service developers to offer innovative solutions is compromised by their narrower expertise in specific solutions, making them a poor choice for a shipper that needs to overhaul its shipping process.
Unlike standard 3PL providers and service developers, customer adapters are ready to handle your entire shipping process. But they aren’t in the business of offering innovative solutions. If you have an effective shipping process in place and are tired of overseeing it, a customer adapter will handle the job. But if you need new shipping solutions, a customer adapter isn’t the right choice.
Like customer adapters, customer developers handle the entire logistics process. But they also discover and implement innovative shipping solutions. However, if you don’t have the budget to hire your own logistics experts, then you probably don’t have the budget to hire a customer developer.
Transportation Logistics Software
Logistics software offers a comprehensive, innovative approach to transportation at an affordable price. Available as either a software as a service (SaaS) solution or an onsite software solution, logistics software lets shipping companies become their own logistics providers without possessing expertise in logistics. The software performs the work of a logistics expert, allowing shippers to chose from among recommended shipping options through a user-friendly interface.