Your 3PL provider is one of the most important partnerships you’ll have. Choosing the best 3PL provider is crucial to your business’s success, especially now more than ever. Everything is on the line for you here – your customer service reputation, customer brand loyalty and most importantly, the basic logistics you need to run smoothly so your daily operations can run as effectively as possible.
Learn our top 15 questions to ask when you’re looking for the best Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider. Your business literally depends on it.
TOP QUESTIONS TO ASK A 3PL PROVIDER:
- How long have you been in business?
*2+ years of successful operation and stability is optimal
- What are your hours?
*Be sure to ask about weekends, holidays and high-volume time periods
- Do you have a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?
*And is it enforced?
- Where are your warehouses located?
*Do high-volume areas and locations match up?
- Can we have customer recommendations/referrals?
- How many warehouses do you operate?
- What are the costs listed in your quotes?
*Typical costs can include: account setup fees; monthly minimums; picking/packing fees; receiving costs; shipping costs; transportation costs; warehousing fees
- Does your standalone platform integrate via FTP file transfers or is it integrated through an EDI?
- What is the ease of use for your standalone platform?
- Do you specialize in any top industries?
*If so, what are they? Do you have experience in my industry?
- What is your procedure for next-day orders?
- Can you do custom packing slips?
- Can you do custom reporting, 24×7 data access?
- What is your compensation for unexpected delays?
- Can you accommodate sharp upticks in volume?
*If so, how? What is your plan? How do you manage unexpected spikes?