6 strategies for selecting a global 3PL

It can be daunting to search for a reliable third-party logistics (3PL company), especially for companies that do business internationally.

Supply chain management is no small feat, as it ensures that your entire work process is going along smoothly. As such, if your firm is looking to begin a search process for a reliable 3PL, then they must get find out everything they can about the company. This article will cover how you and your firm could identify reliable and reputable 3PL services and the five basic strategies to looking for a 3PL.

 

What are 3PLs?

For the uninitiated, 3PLs specialize in shipping freight between customers, buyers, and sellers. This includes transportation services, warehousing, product consolidation, clearing customs and freight delivery.

3PLs also offer you the chance to improve and manage your transit times. If the duration taken by the carrier to actually deliver the goods to your customers or the time taken to bring raw materials to the manufacturing unit is reduced, you will reap huge benefits in the form of better productivity, better turnaround times and better service to customers. These 3PL activities are all managed by 3PL software and, as such, naturally become part of any quality search undertaking.

 

Five strategies to hiring a good 3PL service provider

  1. Identify the entry level of service your company needs while also determining expansion levels if growth is likely. Since 3PL companies offer a wide range of services from elementary to complex, clearly define each service level for transportation, customs clearance, warehousing, delivery, and technology, including third-party logistics software that is scalable for your projected growth. More often than not, the larger the company, the greater number of services that are outsourced and are likely cost-savers.
  2. Generate a list of all 3PL companies of possible logistics providers that are likely to fit your criteria. Then, begin researching each 3PL background. Include things like specializations, geographic locations (include both national and international), and any former projects they may have undertaken.
  3. After basic investigations, begin winnowing your list, reducing it to three or four that have the greatest potential of meeting your company's requirements. Make initial contact with each of them and obtain average rate quotes for common shipment destinations your business makes.
  4. Create a questionnaire that you will send to each 3PL from which you initially requested phone quotes. Ideally, you will want to design the questionnaire with open-ended questions that require descriptions and explanations.
  5. Contact your top two 3PL selections and ask for on-site interviews and tours. Once onsite, ask each of them to walk you through a typical freight forwarding process, review equipment, and organization of the warehouse. Additionally, inquire about their third party logistics software and have them show you some basic inventory management functions in their system.

 

Good examples of questions to ask 3PLs:

  • What kind of third party logistics software does your 3PL use?
  • Is it web-based and accessible from any computer?
  • What is your global capacity?
  • How do you track shipments?
  • Do you use mobile scanners or RF devices in your warehouse?While you are waiting for your questionnaires to come back, try to get some additional background information on each of the three or four 3PL's. Determine who else uses them and contact others for their satisfaction level and overall performance by the 3PL you are discussing. Once the questionnaires come back, evaluate the best answers that will fulfill your company's outsourcing objectives, along with the rate quotes you have already compiled. Then, narrow your selections to a couple providers.

Finally, you'll make the best decision on which 3PL is right for your company based on a well-researched and in-person process. 

Achieveing Sustainable Transportation Savings

The main aim of Sustainable Transportation is to transport goods and services in bulk efficiently. It is related to systems, policies, and technologies that are involved in transportation. One such latest Technology used in transportation is Fleet Management. Fleet Management is a combination of powerful technologies like GPS, two-way wireless communications, an onboard processing, communications uni. This system is helpful for customers to locate vehicles and monitor speed and direction of vehicles especially for organizations, which involve more transportation operations like courier services etc.

Reduces environment pollution: Today it has become mandatory for all businesses to observe the carbon footprint it produces through its transport operations and prepare a proper plan of action to reduce and control it. More fuel consumption leads to an environmental pollution. The vehicles used in fleet must be eco-friendly. They are also known as greener vehicles, which emit fewer carbon gases, save fuel, and create less pollution. Usage of electric vehicles contributes to zero emission of gases. The government encourages greener fleets by providing incentives. Driving behavior in the fleet is green, that is, there is less fuel consumption and fewer carbon oxides emission. Firms need to follow and adhere to the green driving policy. Tracking devices with built-in accelerometer will always monitor driving events and ensure that drivers fulfill the set safety standards.

Reduces social costs of transportation: As fuel is saved by the use of green vehicles in the fleet, the cost involved in purchasing fuel is also reduced. With the help of GPS tracking system, route efficiency, vehicle diagnostics, and even driver's performance are available to them on a daily basis. Though complete fleet management system is not cheap, it is very effective for long-term savings. Many organizations experience a reduction of fuel bills by 40% per annum even in the situation where prices of oil are hiking up. The concern of fleet managers for environmental issues like pollution can achieve both objectives of cost benefit by saving fuel bill and environmental friendliness. Replacement of petrol running vehicles with LPG fuel system is a good idea, as it reduces the cost of fuel and is eco-friendly.

Reduces economic costs: The economic cost is reduced with the help of FMS as the shortest and less congestion route to the destination can be traced with it. Therefore, it saves time in traffic and ensures fast delivery of goods. The organization can improve its efficiency by delivering more goods in less time.

Improves the vehicles' efficiency: With the help of Fleet Management System, the manager of an organization can prioritize the routes. The shortest route can be selected for the vehicle with GPS trackers. So, the delivery time to the customers is minimized, and efficiency is increased. Many courier and delivery services used vehicle tracking systems for several years and are satisfied with these benefits. Good quality fleet management system provides the information regarding the speed of a vehicle, which helps to limit the speed of a driver when he exceeds the limit, as more speed consumes more fuel. This helps to increase the mileage, prevent the wear and tear of vehicles at early stages, and increase vehicles efficiency. These systems are also helpful in knowing whether a driver is using the vehicle for personal use or business use and can review performance to improve the effectiveness. This system can easily track the stolen vehicles and cars by thieves and can be retrieved without replacing them with new vehicles.

Other benefits of FMS include, advanced customer service, increased productivity, enhanced driver safety, and resource protection. Establishing fleet tracking systems for freight transportation vehicles can effectively reduce unnecessary expenses and helps to manage the fleet more efficiently properly. FMS also aids in tracking of unexpected repairs, problems, and accurately determine the cost effectiveness.

Choosing the right airfreight forwarder

As far as international freight forwarding goes, you may want to look for the right freight forwarder. You are going to choose a partner who will help with your business matters. Given below are eight tips that can help you choose the right freight forwarder. Read on to know more.

 

1. Internal requirements

Before you start looking for a service, you should know your specific needs. In other words, you should know the mode of transport as well as the specific services needed. Aside from this, you should figure out the volume you are going to ship before hiring a forwarder.

 

2. Read up on the industry

You should find out what the service provider can do for you. In other words, you should find out your responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of the service provider. For this, you should read several industry terms, regulations and blogs, just to name a few.

 

3. Shipments

Can your provider handle different types of shipments? You may need to use airfreight to import from China or Vietnam, for instance. The service provider should be experienced enough to handle the shipments in the best way possible.

 

4. Experience

As far as modes of transport are concerned, there is a long list of modes. Aside from this, you have a list of commodities that can be transported, such as hazardous, perishables, chemicals, garments, food, cars, machinery, and garments, just to name a few. What you need to keep in mind is that not all freight forwarders can handle these products. For this reason, you should ask the providers about their experience in handling certain types of shipments.

 

5. Networks or trade associations

Is your provider a member of a freight forwarding network or a trade association? If you want to join a good association like WCA, you have to have the integrity, operational efficiency, and financial strength. Aside from this, you also have to meet other financial requirements.

 

6. Management

How will the service provider manage your shipment or operation? The answer to this question will help you find out whom you will submit documents, coordinate the shipment and take care of other matters. This can be the same person who will be responsible for handling your shipment.

 

7. Agents network

You should ask the service provider if they have an agents network in the destination country. As a matter of fact, this is good for your DDU, DDP, and DAPshipments. Aside from this, if your foreign customers have some unforeseen problems like delays, customer issues or port strikers, the network can help.

 

8. Requirements

You should make a list of requirements, which may include everything from the speed of delivery, packing requirements, commodities to be shipped and terms of sale, just to name a few.

 

So, if you have been looking for a good freight forwarder for your business needs, we suggest that you follow the eight tips given in this article. This way you will rest assured that the right provider would take care of your goods. Always consider choosing the right airfreight and you will enjoy the travel.

 

Here's a video tips on choosing a freight forwarder.

Why Supply Chain Visibility Is Vital to Company Success

Supply chain visibility is the ultimate ability of certain components or parts of products in transit to be tracked all the way from the manufacturer to their final destination. This involves intensive documentation and infrastructural techniques to ensure the goods on transit are well tracked and managed. The main objective of supply chain management is to improve and strengthen the supply chain by ensuring that all the data is available to all involved stakeholders, customers included. This will go a long way in streamlining all the required supply chains and keep a track record of all goods under movement. It will also safeguard goods and avoid any inconveniences.

Supply chain visibility is very important in every company which needs to succeed and take their company to a higher level. It helps to promote quick response to change by encouraging privileged users to take any possible action and redirect supply or even go ahead to reshape demand. This will enhance a balanced demand and supply which is always the backbone of every company. The company will be able to go ahead with its business without entirely worrying about where to take their goods or services. By so doing, the company will reap greatly and succeed.

In most advanced companies, supply chain visibility is ideal in helping manufacturers to entirely trade related compliance directives to ensure the company is at par with all the legal requirements. It also helps manufacturers to work in line with environmental mandates and track-and-trace laws. Many companies combine supply chain visibility and disaster recovery plans to ensure the two are aligned together and able to produce tangible evidence and results on the market trends.

Supply chain visibility is important the company's success in the essence that it reduces the risk of doing business and the overall supply chain risk. The current business environment has been experiencing demand-driven supply chain where the flow of products to the end customer and from the supplier is coordinated to ensure smooth flow of materials. This will take care of all the misfortunes that may befall a company in case of loss of materials or even delay of materials to reach the required destination. It will also ensure there is continuous productivity which translates to the continuity of business and the ultimate success of the company.

Effective supply chain in a company is key in helping to identify shortage and quality problems along the supply chain. By effectively monitoring and managing all the supply chain provisions, the company will be able to pinpoint danger spots that are slugging down the progression of the company. This will help the company to know where to improve and what to furnish more in order to make the company more productive and succeed.

Supply chain visibility is important in encouraging improved lead times performance in all the business undertakings of every company. It will enable the company to effectively monitor and manage demand signals accurately with possible reasons of minimizing inventory records and to be able to attend to customer's requests faster and accurately and to also smooth the effect of demand variations.

How specialized transportation can improve customer service

Transportation service has been the major aspect of business-to-business and business-to-consumer traders. Since picking up and delivering goods on time makes a huge impact on a company. Third party logistics providers play a vital role in this service; as they are specialized in the core work of warehousing and transportation services, typically the service can be customized based on one's needs of pick up and delivery the materials/products. Transportation service includes the transporting of goods from a merchant/trader to end consumer.

This service may vary from the company. Mostly, what happens is goods are driven from selection point to warehouse where goods are stored and managed, and when a trader receives an order the detailed information of the product from packing to delivery address is being sent to third-party providers. This way the third party logistics providers fulfill transportation service by storing, packing, and delivering the goods.


Another aspect of transportation service can be simply pick-up and drop off. This segment can be understood by the term "Pick and Drop" itself, which simply means third party logistics picks up the product from defined place and delivers to consumers. This segment does not include storing, managing or packing of goods. Many companies offer multi-mode transportation such as Traditional LTL, Partial Truck Moves, Full Truck, Intermodal / Rail, Dedicated Fleet, Overseas Transportation and Clearing and Drayage from US Ports.

Third party logistic professionals also help to build a rapport between consumer and a trader by delivering the product on time. Since on-time delivery customer service retains a customer for the next orders. And if the product is not delivered on time, there is no doubt it can create the wrong impact on customers and may increase odds of losing a customer for a next order, so it becomes important to scrutinize the business by seeing the number of experience a company carries.

Besides hand sanitizers or containers for those varieties of hygiene goods, your business would probably do well to invest in a high-quality mouthwash dispenser. Most restrooms - from dining establishments to gas stations, from corporate offices to health centers - won't have mouthwash dispensers. So already, as a commercial enterprise, you're setting yourself apart from other establishments. Through placing the dental hygiene item to your toilets, you are telling your clients that you recognize their demands. Whenever your customers understand that your small business can help make their lives a lot easier, they are going to frequent your establishment more, subsequently boosting your profits.

Whatsoever sort of circumstance your clients are in, the unexpected addition of a wall-mounted, tamper-proof mouthwash dispensers will assist them resolve hygiene factors and lend your business a reliability no other establishment could offer. Whether you own a cafe or restaurant or manage a corporate office, provide your customer service that personal touch. Improve your bathrooms with personal hygiene systems like mouthwash dispensers.

Apart from all this, once the product is in the process of delivering third party logistics also communicates about the order status with customer and trader. These facilities help B2B and B2C trader save a lot of time and expedite freight services plus helps lowering postage cost.

Learning the Tricks of the Trades

If an opportunity comes your way giving you the power to own a business without ever having to report to work and dress formally, for sure you'll grab the chance right away. It's great to think that you can just sit back and relax while you watch your company achieve huge returns and consequently collect the dividend checks as your business continuously progress. This situation can happen by learning the stock market investment basics.


You may have no idea on how you can own stocks and manage them appropriately, but when you familiarize yourself with these investment vehicles, unquestionably, you can build your wealth in no time. These are the cornerstone, if not one of the most significant components of all investment portfolios. So, if you want to establish your financial status the right way, you need to educate yourself about stocks and how you should trade them on the stock market.


Stocks as investments or assets have become one of the most utilized tools for people to achieve financial freedom. But notwithstanding their popularity among people in business and investors, most people do not completely understand stocks. This is because most people just learn from discussions with other people who also don't have sufficient knowledge on what they are converse about.


First and foremost, you must understand that stock trading is not a get-rich-quick scheme, wherein you can be well-off after you blink an eye without putting some time and effort. Like any other opportunities, stocks in real fact can generate huge income; it's important to note though that these opportunities always come with risks. The only instrument that can help you achieve success is by educating yourself about the stock market investment basics.


The primary tool in securing your hard-earned money in the stock market is to gain knowledge on where you should place and invest your funds. You will lose your money immediately if you fail to understand every facet of assets and investments, stock trading, stock options, shares, company, debentures, dividend, and types of shares, mutual funds, exchanges, SEBI, indices, securities, futures and options and even IPO. You should also learn about the trading jargon like booking profit and loss, limit order, call, put, or short and long.


Stocks are being traded on exchanges. These are the places or platforms where sellers and buyers of stocks meet and accordingly settle on stock prices. A trading floor is an example of a physical stock trading location. Another form of exchanges is carried out in a virtual place. This trading type is consists of a network of computers where the trading is performed electronically.


The chief purpose of a stock market is to provide a podium where the exchange of securities among the sellers and buyers can happen, lessening the risks and difficulty of investing. The primary market is where the IPO create securities while in the secondary market, investors like you trade formerly-issued securities without the participation of the issuing companies. You should keep in mind that buying and selling stocks do not require the involvement of the company that owns the stock.

Why relationships matter in the supply chain and logistics industry



The relationship in supply chain and logistics industry are very critical as it carries with it more benefits that are invaluable. Links help in collaborative relationships, information sharing and improving the supply chain and logistics department in he organization.

Collaboration

In building an effective collaborative relationship with your supply chain partner the one thing that will help you the most to improve communication is your ability to understand the value your supply chain partner needs to receive from the relationship. As an example, your procurement department might believe that your supply partner should cut their price so low that they no longer make a profit. This is simply crazy.

If you make an effort to understand the total value your supply partner needs and help them to receive that total value package, they will perceive you as a great partner and communication will become easier. Only put your energies into activities, services, and so forth that deliver the value to your supply partner that they want.

Of course, all trading partners must share common goals. In other words, if one partner in the chain does not fully cooperate with the overall vision, difficulties will almost certainly develop. Utilizing an outside consultant to mediate issues may work to lessen differences. In some cases, systemic designs may need adjustment to ensure that all parties understand the win-win goals of the relationships. Once the parties grasp the potential for increased corporate value, the true potential for the collaborative efforts can be realized. The resulting relationships, even when moderated by outside consultants, can truly result in improved profits for all participants in supply chain collaboration.

Information Sharing

I sometimes difficult challenge to overcome in collaborating with suppliers and customers involves sharing information. You also have the challenge of integrating inter-company processes. To improve resource utilization among all supply-chain partners and to increase end-consumer satisfaction across the various enterprises a new openness will be necessary for all the cooperating players involved. The challenge to overcome can be intellectual and emotional as few organizational leaders want to divulge their "profit" secrets.

To come-up with a new era of cooperation, a new era of openness and sharing is mandatory for the morphing processes and effective utilization of resources to become successful. There are challenges in information sharing from many perspectives. A frequent perspective is when partners leave the collective, they take with them the collective's best practices. Utilizing this knowledge outside the collective can be a huge lever against the old collective. There truly is the risk.

Supply Chain Improvements

1. Solving conflict- this is mainly present while dealing with retailers and wholesalers.good relationship helps to have a harmonious channel of distribution.

2. On-time product delivery- communication with the various retailers and customers ensures a smooth delivery of goods when they are needed by the customers without fail or conflict.


In the current era of supply chain management, organizations are more and more realizing the strategic value of overall coordination as the main value creation driver. To achieve coordination, organizational leaders across the board should embrace proper relationship to solve the different issues in the department.

Why Latin America needs a new approach to trade

One great way to expand your business into new markets is to do business with Latin America. The reasons include a steady population growth, stable governments, constant growth rate, increasing investments and a stronger role in the global economy. In this article, you will discover how your company can take advantage of the opportunities and begin to make money with business Latin America.

One great way to expand your business to new markets is trading Latin America. This very dynamic region represents a population of over 550 million people and strong investments. In this article, you will learn about the benefits of trade Latin America.

Before thinking of trade Latin America, you must understand the region better. It is divided into four blocs: North America, Central America, Southern Cone and the Andean States-Latin America is constituted

The population is over 550 million people therefore possibly creating very lucrative opportunities. With the increase in investments and job creation, this is a excellent time to trade Latin America.

Warm weather all year long, low cost of living, low property prices and availability of infrastructures have contributed to an influx of foreigners moving to the region. This immigration has prompted more foreign investment toward the development of the region, therefore, favoring trade Latin America.

Apart from some countries that have adopted leftist government, Latin America has seen stable democracies. Its stars include Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Panama. These are first countries to start your quest to trade Latin America.

Latin America is becoming a major player on the global scene. This was proven when Brazil was given the honor to host the soccer world cup of 2014 and the Olympic Games of 2016. Please note that this is the first time the Olympic Games are given to a Latin American country.

To do business in Latin America is very similar to other places as it will depend on your contacts. You will need to get out and start networking. A good way to do this is by joining a chamber of commerce which are networks of business people coming together to help each other out. Chances are, you will find a group of people interested in doing business Latin America.

Register to B2B marketplaces and post your selling and buying offers. This is a great option to advertise what you are selling quickly and with low cost. For best results, try to buy premium memberships as you have access to more features that will allow you to stand out from free members. Potentials clients will also take you more seriously. Try to find B2B marketplaces and portals that focus on business Latin America

As you can see, it is quite easy to start planning to do business Latin America. The first few stages can be a little time consuming, but the efforts will be worth it as Latin America has a lot of opportunities for any business looking to expand their operations.

As you can see, there are various advantages to trading Latin America. Even if the region is still adapting to the global world economy, it still represents untapped resources for international companies searching for ways to increase their distribution channels.

Logistic Security

There is a wide range of security services at your disposal these days. Gone are the days when you only had untrained security guards and stewards at your disposal. Now you can hire the trained manpower you need to cater for all of your wants and needs, including logistical security  considerations. Logistical security is an entirely different area of the security industry that you may not hear a lot about but is vital to the success of various events nevertheless.


Logistical security is effectively the secure management of an event to ensure that it goes off without a hitch. The key word is logistical meaning the flow of goods, resources, people, and information. Logistical security effectively draws on the concept of a steady but efficient flow of information, good and people to ensure hat exhibitions are organized and secure, thus ensuring that a good time is had by all in the optimum conditions for health and safety possible!


There is a great need for logistical security because hosting events and exhibitions, which are where the service is commonly used, play host to thousands of people and any disruption to the level of security could put every single one of them in danger. The service is also used in warehouses and other large establishments to ensure that efficiency and security go hand in hand.


Logistical security teams are trained to handle a variety of situations. Everything from emergency procedures and evacuation to health and safety planning is covered in the extensive training their receive because, more often than not, they are employed in situations that could warrant the use of such training.


These companies offer insurance against the goods they are handling. It is their responsibility to ensure that the goods remain intact and undamaged from the time they are loaded in the vehicle till the time of unloading them at the destination. In the case of any damage which might occur during transit, it would be their responsibility to ensure that their clients are being compensated for.


Having your drivers properly trained for security purposes will enable them to sense 'hot spots' or areas that could make their trucks and themselves vulnerable. They should also be able to maintain the presence of mind when moving loads: every little thing they do can lessen or increase the security risk. Nothing's worse than a truck driver who is clueless about the importance of security in their line of work.


Much logistical security firm does offer consulting services as well as the actual security, meaning that all aspects of security can be fully covered months in advance of the actual event. Emergency evacuation, procedure management, and security operations are all critical and can be fully assessed in advance, as can bomb threat and explosive substance procedures and security site surveys. These are all essential aspects of an event that need careful consideration so that the appropriate training can be carried out and the security staff is fully briefed before the event occurs. Alternatively, if this is for the operation of a work site, everyone knows their role to protect and maintain the safety of staff.

Transportation and Logistics Security Solutions

Logistics and transportation security is key in enhancing safety and wellness of cargo while in transit. It is also important as it ensures the staff and the vehicles used in transportation are safe at any given time. Whether transporting high-value goods like electronics, medical supplies and others, to transporting less value goods like timber, plastic e.t.c., security of the cargo should be given a priority.

Cargo theft may be disastrous and may cost the company a fortune or even cause it to collapse. Security of cargo will also extend to personnel because when the goods on transit are secure, the personnel involved in the transportation are also secure. This will save you a lot of cost in medical, insurance and damages caused in case cargo gets stolen or damaged while in transit. In order to avoid this, it is advisable to consider setting up and implementing transportation and logistics security solutions and strategies. These strategies include:

Put Tracking Devices to Trucks and Load and Monitor Them Closely

The best way to ensure security of your cargo while in transit is to fit it with tracking devices. This will assist you in monitoring their movement and you will know any unnecessary stops if it happens. When you notice any irregular activity you will get a chance to alert the police and other authorities in time to look if the cargo is in danger or not.

Put Unique Seals to Containers and Cargo

It is important to seal all containers and cargo on transit with a unique tamper proof seals to keep away looters and burglars. By leveling your cargo with a unique seal, it will be hard for any fraudster to claim it as the seal will be unique to the company. This will help to safeguard goods on transit.

Install Fire Fighting Equipments to Transportation Trucks and Vehicles

In some instances fire may break out in the process of transporting cargo and cause extensive damage. Installing fire fighting equipments will substantially reduce the risk of losing all your cargo in case a fire broke out. With the equipments, the fire can be put out immediately and less will be destroyed.

Assign a Security Escort to the Cargo

In case of high-value cargo, it is important to assign security personnel to keep the cargo safe while on transit. This may include police officers or security companies to ensure the cargo arrives safe and sound at its destination.

Thoroughly Inspect Cargo During Exit and During Entry

By inspecting cargo during entry and exit, you will be eliminating any foul play by employees siding with burglars. Routine inspection and monitoring will help to safeguard the cargo and ensure it reaches its destination safe.

Encourage Proper Cargo Documentation

Proper cargo documentation is key in ensuring that you have the right cargo and that you will be releasing the right luggage for transport. This will make accountability easier, thus safeguarding the cargo on transit.

Keep Effective Communication to Staff Undertaking Transportation

Proper and direct communication with staff engaged in transportation will give you a piece of mind knowing that the goods are safe. In case of any misfortune, the staff will communicate immediately and urgent action will be taken to secure or retrieve the cargo.