Since the pandemic began, disruptions have altered the logistics landscape. Along with raging inflation, shortages of labor and goods have rocked supply chains, frustrating 3PLs and shippers. Due to these challenges, relationships between shippers and 3PLs have become more important. To alleviate supply chain pressures, shippers often form partnerships with 3PL companies. By outsourcing supply chain activities to 3PLs, shippers can benefit from the specialized resources and expertise that 3PLs possess.
Over time, 3PLs evolved from simple service providers to the backbone of the logistics industry, making sure consumers products are delivered safely and on-time. Today, shippers rely on 3PLs for services ranging from planning and executing freight movements to filling orders and storing inventory. Shippers are fully aware that a good relationship with their 3PL provider is vital to good customer experience and profitability.
Some of the most important services that 3PLs provide to shippers involve logistics and transportation strategy. According to the 2022 3PL Perspectives Report, 78% of 3PLs offer services to help shippers develop effective logistics and transportation strategies. These strategies include determining where shippers should hold their inventories and the most efficient transportation mode in terms of cost and service. Because shippers are faced with higher prices for goods, labor, and transportation, they have begun measuring their relationships with 3PLs based on 3PL cost-cutting ability. Service is still the most essential factor however, as 64% of shippers are happy clients of 3PLs due to the quality, variety, and flexibility of services. For 3PL companies, retaining customers while attracting new clients is vital to their success. By dedicating attention to enhancing customer service, cutting costs to clients, and investing in technology, 3PLs are preserving their relationships with shippers as well as forming new ones. By striving to consistently improve the customer experience, technology, and prices, 3PLs can solidify current shipper relationships and entice others to join them.