For the thousands of distribution centers in the United States, effective management of inbound and outbound logistics is the key to success. As millions of goods are warehoused, sorted and distributed each shipment in or out is crucial in keeping the supply chain moving. For those managing distribution centers, as well as those that ship to and from these centers, a third-party logistics provider (3PL), like Freightquote, offers benefits over going with carriers directly that can help streamline operations.
The best carrier for each lane inbound and outbound
When working with carriers directly, your options in a given lane are often fixed. On the other hand, a 3PL can connect you with multiple options in a given lane. This gives you the flexibility to pick the best price, service level and delivery times to meet the objectives and standards of the distribution center. Additionally, many distribution centers have a preferred or exclusive list of carriers. A 3PL can accommodate a distribution center’s preferred carriers to avoid delays and/or additional fees. If the distribution center’s processes and carriers aren’t utilized it can create delays for vendors to get their products to sale.
Preferred freight mode solution
Working with carriers directly can limit which modes your freight can move in. Depending on what part of the country you’re moving to and from, and the distance your products are traveling, it might make sense to use different modes. A 3PL broker can offer you all your LTL, truckload, partial truckload and intermodal options at once so you can easily make the mode decision that gets your freight to or from the distribution center when you need it.
Operational support team
When it comes to backing you beyond booking your shipment, 3PLs such as Freightquote offer the most support team coverage for your business. If you need assistance in confirming dock hours or scheduling appointments at a distribution center, a full-service 3PL will have dedicated teams in place to help you manage the logistics details. 3PLs have experts available to be a liaison between the carrier and the distribution center. They can set delivery appointments, hire lumpers and update delivery status. Working with carriers directly may not provide the vendor with complete visibility to their load.
Delivery flexibility and options
Some distribution centers, especially retail-based centers, have adopted overnight delivery hours. Working with a 3PL gives you access to all of the carriers for that distribution center that can meet these hours and can advise you of the pitfalls of delivering too early or too late. 3PLs can leverage their knowledge of specific distribution centers to help you meet the requirements specific to that operation. Each distribution center has its own set of regulations and working with a 3PL experience in moving in and out of that center can ensure a seamless freight transfer.
A single invoice
Whether moving freight to or from a distribution center, multiple invoices, contact points and billing centers can interfere with a streamlined workflow. When working with a 3PL, no matter which carriers or modes you have used to keep your supply chain moving, you’ll have just one invoice. When you can see all of your freight spend in one view, you and your department can make the best decision for your bottom line and department objectives.
As you and your freight department are looking to improve your operations to and from distribution centers, look to a 3PL like Freightquote to help you make simple, but important decisions to streamline your supply chain. We know you’re constantly evaluating your network, looking for any efficiency you can find and Freightquote is here to help you make the smartest decisions for your freight.
Freightquote manages logistics for hundreds of customers moving in and out of the nation’s biggest distribution centers. Our expertise comes with a deep understanding of how to make your freight move seamlessly into the center and on to its final destination. Contact your freight broker today at 800.323.5441 to see how we can help with your distribution center logistics and all your other freight needs.