10 Characteristics of the Right 3PL for Import Freight Management

Posted by Port City Logistics on Jun 16, 2022 12:07:45 PM

The supply chain and freight management industry, in general, have experienced unprecedented levels of change and upheaval over the past few years for those specializing in import management and logistics. In times like these, with ongoing market instability and volatility in nearly every niche, the importance of 3PLs cannot be overstated. Freight management services remain in high demand, even as growth and recovery from supply chain failures and disruptions continue. Navigating the complicated waters of shipping in 2022 requires industry partnerships and expert guidance.

According to an April 2022 article from SupplyChainBrain, “In 2021, domestic shipping rates for road and rail transportation were up 23% from the year prior and are continuing to creep upward in the first half of 2022. High prices and even higher demand since the onset of the pandemic have also led to an increase in service failures.

The right third-party partner can help keep the supply chain moving and improve import freight management and logistics from start to finish. A trustworthy logistics partner can supply management and team members with the tools to boost customer service, improve import services, control operational costs, maximize dual transactions, and increase end-to-end efficiency. Finding the best logistics partners is essential to ensure your brand and services are backed with the best 3PL logistics services and options. 

Working with an expert in freight management that knows the current import freight terms and trends is vital to achieving ongoing success with supply chain visibility, logistics, and management. It’s your distinct pathway to a competitive advantage.

Finding the Best 3PL Is Easier When the Focus Is on These Characteristics

Access to a dedicated and expert 3PL can make import freight management and freight management services much easier and more efficient. Expanding access to reliable data and insights, innovative tools and tech, and superior tracking and monitoring services are some of the reasons that more and more importers are looking to boost current control towers and supply chain silos. A 2021 industry review by Logistics Management showed that “39% of industry leaders implemented a control tower approach in order to increase end-to-end supply-chain transparency. Control towers have been around for a while, but we’re now seeing a new generation that are much more robust than older control towers.” Improving freight management and keeping products moving smoothly by finding the right 3PL service partner is easier when you find someone that offers the following:

1. Access to Asset-Owned Providers and Carriers

The best freight management services can be customized to fit specific needs and goals such as avoiding rolled cargo. A reliable 3PL provides access to carriers and shippers with greater ease and flexibility. Managing capacity and keeping drivers on the road and cargo moving gets easier—the more tailored the services, the better the results. 

2. Specific Services and Strategic Region Operations

Customers today want reliable services that are also fast and affordable. When dealing with imports and freight management, the more specialized the services and the more focused the options, the better the outcome. A 3PL offers access to strategic regions and services that would otherwise be inaccessible for the first mile and last mile without their assistance and input. 

3. Offerings of Personalized Freight Consolidation

A large part of 3PL logistics is tied up in freight movement, consolidation, and transportation. The ability to tap into carrier capacity, and transportation modes and find pre-vetted experts to partner with makes the entire process easier from start to finish. Personalized options and services make freight logistics and container management more effective overall.

4. Ability to Offer Actionable Insights and Data

Even the best plans for import freight management are only as good as the data they are based on and built from. Working with third-party experts offers new insights and data access that shed light on many of the current trends and fluctuations in the market today. Actionable insights and real-time data make it easier for import managers to coordinate and plan. 

5. Focused on Sustainability in the Supply Chain

A significant push among consumers today is towards more sustainable and eco-friendly freight management and services. Consumers want to work with environmentally conscious companies that are working to protect the environment. Partnering with quality technology-rich 3PLs can help companies that could not take steps toward going green on their own. 

6. Wide Selection of Value Added Services

 For importers, freight management services often involve tailoring services and ensuring they get the most bang for their buck. Ensuring that ROI is high and keeping frivolous expenses low is vital for importing and exporting. Finding the right balance and providing the best value-added services is a significant benefit to 3PL partnerships in today’s market. 

7. Builds Retailer and Shipper Relationships

The balance between retailers and shippers is delicate as both parties must juggle complicated importing processes, keep up with import freight terms and agreements, understand freight shipping terminology,  and manage front and back-end logistics. The right 3PL partner can make these relationships easier to build, maintain, and grow into mutually-beneficial arrangements for everyone.

8. Offers Insights Into Carrier Compliance

One key aspect of import freight management and logistics is keeping up with carrier compliance and ratings. Knowing which carriers are performing well and which ones may be costing the company money is a vital insight that a tech-first 3PL can easily offer. With this insight, companies can tailor carrier pools and maintain the highest quality standard.

9. Pre-Vetted Services For Carrier Review

It takes time, money, energy, and resources to find suitable carriers and match them with current freight loads and other transportation needs. Streamlining freight management is more accessible with access to pre-vetted service providers and localize warehousing and shipping. A 3PL partner can bring a whole new pool of talent and expertise to draw upon.

10. Access to Real-Time Data and Communications 

The final benefit that a 3PL logistics provider offers is reliable access to industry data and the ability to improve communications throughout the entire network. An expert 3PL team can boost overall productivity and profitability and keep things moving efficiently from internal communications and data sharing to improving remote and digital share platforms.

What Are the Benefits of Improved Import Freight Management With the Right 3PL Partner?

Many reasons exist to outsource logistics, supply chain monitoring, and freight management  instead of handling it in-house, whether the company in question is a mega-corporation or a small e-commerce business. Quality freight management services are worth the initial investment and more than pay for themselves, as they are vital to keeping supply chain processes running smoothly and efficiently. And as noted by Redwood Logistics, “nearly all of the Fortune 100 companies use 3PL services, and 86% of all Fortune 500 companies do as well.”  The number of 3PLs available to choose from is nearly endless, so finding the one that suits specific needs and requirements for fulfillment strategies can seem daunting. Taking the time, though, can yield many benefits, including: 

  • Drive Cost Savings and Profits Higher
  • Keeps Expenses Lower and More Manageable 
  • Improve Relationships Through 3PL Logistics
  • Access to Industry Experts, Tools, and Services
  • Gain Flexibility, Adaptability, and Scalability
  • Better Understanding of Import Freight Terms
  • Enable Business Growth and Expansion
  • Enable Faster Response to Market Trends
  • Improve Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

Many more custom and personalized benefits also away importers who find the right 3PL partner to help with day-to-day freight management processes and top trends management.

Find the Right 3PL For Your Freight Management Needs With Port City Logistics 

Several common headaches for importers have to be dealt with regularly to keep the supply chain moving effectively. The supply chain and import management industry has faced unprecedented upheaval and undergone radical changes over the past decade, but none as impactful and unexpected as the previous few years. COVID-19, national and global shutdowns, supply chain disruption, import and export bottlenecks, freight management concerns, local port congestion, and supply chain upheaval have forever changed the way businesses and consumers operate. 

Many third-party logistics providers emerged on the market in response to this boom and the increasing opportunities in a global marketplace. It is important to remember that not every provider offers the same services and approach to  3PL logistics, so finding one that fits your unique wants, needs, and goals is critical to continued growth and success. Contact Port City Logistics today to learn more and to find the 3PL that has the freight management services you need.

Topics: freight management