How to spot an unprofessional 3PL

With the market growing exponentially and the globalization movement, the world has seen many changes. This also becomes visible in how the shipping process changes and doing business takes on a new face. Companies aren’t always equipped to handle new customers and spikes in sales. When it becomes too much for a single company to handle it, the best solution is to outsource a part of the process to a third party. In other words, this is what 3PL (third-party logistics) companies are all about.

The national shipping company of Saudi Arabia is a good example how to do this expertly. On the other hand, there are many companies who don’t do their job up to par. So, when choosing a 3PL, there is a list of things you should be cautious of. Keep reading to find out how to spot an unprofessional 3PL company.

Why it is important to know how to spot an unprofessional 3PL

In any kind of process that consists of various stages it is cardinal for all of the stages to coordinate well with each other. To clarify, if there is a problem in one of the stages, it will affect the whole supply chain. In short, when choosing to outsource, it is vital to be able to rely on the company that offers logistics services. Otherwise, if you fail to choose a reliable company, the consequences of your choice will affect your company greatly. Numerous up-and-coming businesses have failed because they didn’t notice the warning signs at the beginning. And when they do in the end, the damage is already done, and sometimes too much to handle and bounce back from. Reading this article will provide you with the knowledge you need to avoid making rookie mistakes.

shipping boxes - spot an unprofessional 3PL
The well-being of your business relies on your ability to spot an unprofessional 3PL

Delays in shipments

This is definitely one of the most important and also most obvious signs to be vary of. Nowadays, with the internet and technology advancements, everybody expects very fast deliveries. What is more, short delivery time is a must if a company wants to compete in today’s market. Research shows that 63% of all customers expect three-day shipping. In the shipping business, many things can cause the delay of a shipment. However, a good 3PL will know how to manage most of the obstacles and deliver on time.

So, if you notice that the delays are something that happens regularly and not just a solitary situation, it could indicate bigger problems in the company. Some of these problems might be:

  • understaffing
  • inefficient processes
  • a company that expanded too quickly.

The sensible thing to do when choosing a 3PL is to specify in the service-level agreement a required time of delivery. That way, if anything goes wrong, you can always come back to this document that ensures the service be fulfilled in a given time. This will help protect your company from any possible problems.

Bad customer service

How a company handles customers is of huge importance. When choosing a potential 3PL. pay attention to how they treat you from the start. You are bringing business and income to this company, and you should be treated accordingly. They should be ready to go out of their way to accommodate you. This includes listening to your needs and providing you with all the information when choosing one of the services they offer. If this isn’t the case, you should definitely reconsider hiring this particular company. How they treat you, as a customer, could also be an indicator of how they treat business as a whole. If you receive poor treatment, you can’t expect anything different when it comes to the process of shipping.

a man sitting at a computer
You want to stay away from companies that display bad customer service

Lack of communication is how you spot an unprofessional 3PL

Efficient and up-to-date communication is the basis of any good partnership. Moreover, people want to know where their package is at any given time. Your 3PL should be able to provide both you and your customers with these information. Furthermore, if you make any inquiries, it is important that the 3PL gets back to you quickly. If you happen to have any questions about shipping terms, the company should be able to provide you with the answers shortly. If they fail to meet these simple standards, it would be better to opt for a different company.

Poor technology and packing choices

Fulfilling successful shipments depends largely on the technology a company uses. As previously mentioned, you will want to keep track of your shipments and inventory at all times. If a company uses a software for this that is too complicated or one that does not function properly, this would be a sign to keep looking for a right match. Likewise, you want to make sure your product is packed in a proper way and it doesn’t get damaged in the shipping. This is extremely important when it comes to clinical trial logistics as the freight is very fragile and requires special conditions. Unless your 3PL can meet the requirements, don’t bother starting a business project with them.

Avoid companies that don’t use efficient technology

Online reputation

Since we have the world wide web at our our disposal freely, we should take full advantage of it. Simply look up reviews and experiences others have had with the 3PL company you are looking into. Look out if a company has a perfect score and a lack of reviews. You want to be able to read on how the company does business and reviews from credible sources are the only way to obtain this information. So, if a company doesn’t have any reviews, your best bet is to stir clear from them. It is fascinating what you can uncover just from a simple Google search.

Knowing how to spot an unprofessional 3PL

Knowing your way around the logistics field will save you a lot of trouble. As much as a good 3PL company can make your business easier to handle, a bad one can harm it just as much, if not more. So don’t hesitate to get informed to spot an unprofessional 3PL and save your peace of mind.

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