5 red flags you are working with a subpar 3PL

Posted by Harriet Mills on Nov 11, 2016 12:48:23 PM

shutterstock_197248340.jpgLooking for a 3PL? Understanding what you don't want is just as important as knowing what you do. To find a quality company, avoid these five red flags that can put your freight at risk. 

No dedicated account manager

The first time you leave a message with Joe, Jan calls you back, and then you are transferred to Tim. You never know whom to ask for, and worse, you don't know who can solve any issues that may arise. 

Always ask about access to a dedicated account manager. It will streamline the entire process and give you a point person you can rely on. With Choptank, you always have one account manager who spearheads your account, with an accompanying team of four or more logistics coordinators who all know the status of each customer's freight at any given time.

Lack of shipping options

The prices are too good to resist, so you decide to gamble with a new 3PL. Only after the contract is signed do you learn they have limited truck availability and shipping specialty goods is going to be virtually impossible. 

Before signing a contract, make sure the 3PL has access to a variety of transportation modes. Truckload options, for example, are ideal for f loads. Reefer is a must for climate-controlled goods. From LTL to intermodel, Choptank has transportation options to meet your needs and deadlines.

High employee turnover

The transportation industry is complex and ever evolving, and working with it requires expert knowledge and a knack for handling the unknown. It becomes easily apparent that a 3PL doesn't invest in its people when they do not have the necessary insight to manage transportation concerns, and that leads to a rocky experience for clients.

Look for low employee turnover and high worker satisfaction to discover a quality 3PL. For example, Choptank has been named a top workplace for three straight years. What's more, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the awards the company has received. 

Lack of experience

A new 3PL may have good prices and an ambitious spirit, but without the right experience, you're more likely to get lip service than actual service. Experience is absolutely necessary to navigate the complex transportation process, and a fly-by-night freight company is likely to give you subpar results. 

Always ask about how long a company has been in business before contracting. Choptank has been in business since 2000. The company employs over 230 people, including more than 164 logistics experts. This experience and team approach to servicing clients will help ensure freight gets delivered on time, every time.

False promises 

You ship on Monday with expected delivery Wednesday evening. Thursday morning arrives and you'll be lucky if the truck arrives by end of day. Ultimately the delivery arrives early Friday. 

As a 3PL provider, countless problems can delay shipments. However, this should happen rarely. If your current 3PL provider seems plagued with late-shipment syndrome, find a remedy. Choptank has both large and small customers who require a 95 percent on-time pick up and delivery success rate, which the company easily meets and usually exceeds.

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