Using a 3PL provider to overcome 5 common freight shipping challenges.
June 4, 2015
If you work for a business that relies on shipping goods across the country to loyal customers, chances are you need to focus your time and efforts on a top-notch product and pleasant user experience, not the multifaceted realm of freight shipping. An ideal freight provider would likely bring expertise in LTL and truckload shipping, quality customer service, easy access reporting and overall reliability.
However, sifting through website after website of freight carriers looking for qualities and options to meet your needs can be exhausting and could ultimately negatively impact your bottom line. That's where third-party logistics (3PL) providers could be of some assistance.
Let's take a look at some of the most common freight shipping challenges that businesses face and how a 3PL like Freightquote by C.H. Robinson could be the answer your company has been looking for.
Cutting unnecessary costs is one of the first steps to take when elevating your company's bottom line. Adopting the wrong shipping option could be a very costly mistake.
A reliable 3PL works to optimize the customer's freight shipping, which could unlock unrealized freight savings. 3PLs often begin the cost-saving process by conducting a freight spend analysis, which consists of gathering the customer's past freight invoices, analyzing costs and lanes, and evaluating them against their own network of carriers and pricing.
Once these key elements are gathered, a customized report is generated to outline possible savings.
When loading your goods for a shipment, you should have peace of mind. This includes knowing you are protected even in the unfortunate event that a shipment is lost or damaged.
3PLs work with customers to ensure the assigned carrier meets the shipper's needs. Freight shipments come with limited liability coverage when they are booked, determined by the carrier and based on commodity type. However, the pre-determined liability coverage could potentially cover less than the actual value of the goods being shipped.
With this in mind, 3PLs like Freightquote offer additional insurance to cover the full cost of shipping, which may be redeemable regardless of the type of loss.
Standard proof of delivery documents (PODs) are not always immediately available to shippers. However, it's common for shippers to need this information promptly.
Using a 3PL, shippers can often request a customized process. The provider would then develop a system to meet the shipper's unique needs. The 3PL can make the needed adjustments and incorporate extra efforts to ensure PODs are viewable in the shipper's acceptable time frame.
Documents like the POD, bill of lading, quote summary, original invoice, lumper receipt and weight ticket are all typically accessed from one location when using a 3PL.
While 3PL platforms appear to be fully automated on the surface level, one of their main benefits sits behind the scenes. The user-friendly platforms are backed by employees that are devoted to providing a quality customer experience. These unsung heroes monitor pickups and deliveries to ensure they happen seamlessly, while also handling unpredictable situations like truck breakdowns and other disruptions so the shipper doesn't have to. With a 3PL, you can say goodbye to uncertainty and unanswered questions.
When cutting costs, start by digging into data, it provides a way to identify trends. With these trends in mind, transportation best practices can then be put in place.
Transportation Management Systems (TMS) that some 3PLs utilize can very easily and clearly provide shippers with this critical freight data. Administrative reports can be run that include critical data points like invoicing, freight accounting data and claim status.
Using these automated reports to track key shipping metrics allows you to quickly access freight history and shipment details, opening the door to future savings across the supply chain.
Final thoughts on 3PL freight shipping.
If the proper strategies aren't in place, managing the freight shipping process can be a time-consuming and energy-draining process. Rather than spending that valuable time and effort on shipping and logistics, consider using a 3PL so you can put the focus back on the things that drive your business success.
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