R2 Logistics

How to Find a Reliable 3PL in 2021

How to Find a Reliable 3PL in 2021

Order fulfillment is a large part of many businesses in 2021 but proper logistics management and execution can be difficult. There are a variety of factors to consider when you’re tasked with getting a package from Point A to Point B. For this reason, many businesses, both big and small, choose to use third-party logistics (3PL). 

Yet with so many 3PL options, it can be hard to know which company will be the most dependable and appropriate for your needs. So how can you do it? Use these tips to find out what your business should look for to find a reliable 3PL in 2021. 

3PL:  A Brief Explanation 

Third-party logistics (3PL) allows businesses to outsource their logistics needs. Businesses will typically do this to optimize order fulfillment and customer satisfaction. 

Primarily, 3PL companies assist with warehousing, packaging, and shipping. But they can also assist with managing inventory, storing, packing, and delivering when necessary. 3PL companies are experts in these categories, which make them a valuable resource for many companies who use e-commerce. 


What to Look for in a Reliable 3PL

Not every 3PL will work for your business needs. However, there are several, significant factors you should consider when searching for a reliable 3PL company.

#1 Technology

One of the easiest ways to determine whether a 3PL is reliable is to see if they keep up with the latest logistics technologies. Better and newer technologies help 3PL companies do their jobs well and streamline their operations. This ultimately helps your business and your customers operate more efficiently and effectively.    

#2 Financial Stability

As a potential partner, you will want to ensure that any 3PL you work with is financially stable. Some signs of financial stability from a 3PL are a consistent cash flow, acceptable profit and loss data for the past few years, and investments in resources to protect and optimize your operations. A stable partner makes for a stable working relationship.

#3 Flexibility and Scalability

Flexibility and scalability are also key to a long-term relationship with a 3PL. You want a 3PL company to be able to handle your current logistics needs, as well as your projected needs as your business grows. A reliable 3PL should be able to accommodate the growth of your business and help you to expand into new markets. 

#4 Reputation

While researching 3PL companies, you should consider how many long-term clients they have, what those clients’ opinions of the company are, and how long they have worked with their clients. 

A good reputation goes a long way in establishing a 3PL as a reliable business partner.  

#5 Communication

The last factor in reliability is communication. It is perhaps the ultimate factor in a relationship between a business and a 3PL. They are your partner, and as your partner, they need to communicate with you regularly. 

A reliable 3PL should be able to provide insight, metrics, and reports on the logistics of your business to ensure your operations are running smoothly. 

The Right 3PL Makes a Difference 

Using a 3PL allows businesses to extend the reach of their services, improve their risk management, have greater flexibility, and increase their access to the latest logistics technology. 

A reliable 3PL should have great resources, financial stability, flexibility and scalability, a good reputation, and the best communication around. A 3PL is your partner, and you want to make sure you have the best partner for your business. 

To learn more about 3PL options for your business, contact the team at R2 Logistics today!