Tips for Selecting a Third-Party Logistics Provider

by Michael Kotendzhi | Logistics

In business, one thing is for certain: supply chains are crucial. This refers to the process by which raw materials are sent to a manufacturing facility that utilizes a distribution company to ship finished products or goods to retailers, distributors, or directly to consumers. While each part of the supply chain is important, the distribution and warehouse sectors are among the most essential functions, given their constant demand. With that, any company looking to hire a distribution company to handle their products must read below. These tips for selecting a third-party logistics provider will help you understand the importance of a strong relationship between you and the 3PL provider.

​Do Your Research

The first step to selecting a good 3PL is to research your options. Look for a company with excellent reviews so that you’re confident in your selection. These should account for communication, service, speed, precision, accuracy, handling, distribution, warehousing, and all other necessary components and services. The company should be able to integrate with your systems to create an optimal business relationship centered on production, accountability, and growth.

Set Clear Objectives

The next step is to set clear objectives. Once you have 3PL service providers in mind, communicate your objectives for future development. This relates to an established partnership. While you’ll have to partake in data sharing and clear communication, you’ll see that, with a trusted 3PL provider, your corporate values come first. Granted, each 3PL provider should understand the supply chain necessities to stabilize distribution and warehousing capabilities. More so, these come at a cost of open-field transparency between them and you.

Customize Your Capabilities

With that, one tip for selecting a third-party logistics provider is to find one with customizable capabilities. Experienced 3PL services should help you leverage your inventory and ensure quality feedback from their services. They will optimize and build up your current systems to allow for better production standards and reduce inventory carrying costs. Part of this capability stems from continuous improvement. 3PLs that offer exceptional service in their duties along with careful attention to detail assure you the best distribution strategies available.

Maintain Strong Communication

Lastly, find a 3PL that maintains strong communication throughout the process. It helps if they have omnichannel expertise, meaning they’re experienced not only in their business but in yours as well. This way, the 3PL provider understands proper performance, business, and customer service with both industries. Additionally, if you feel something’s off at any point, reach out and field your complaints. A communicative third-party logistics service listens to your grievances with open ears and adjusts their strategy accordingly.

On that note, for the best third-party warehousing and distribution in Vancouver, check us out at 18 Wheels Logistics. We utilize several facilities across the Vancouver area and Pacific Northwest to supply our customers with the best logistics services around. Whether it’s warehouse storage, cross-dock transportation, or special packaged delivery, we know all the proper procedures for fast, transparent supply chain optimization.

Michael Kotendzhi is President of Operations & Transportation and a partner at 18 Wheels. Michael has over 15 years of experience and is equipped with a degree in Logistics from the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business. As well as a background in logistics from XPO Logistics (formally Kelron Logistics), North America's largest contract warehousing provider.

Michael's experience includes supply chain management, reverse logistics, & domestic transportation. He has developed 18 Wheels' trucking solutions, effectively utilizing the sister company's vehicle fleet and building a transportation supply-chain network across North America.