Finally, your business is up and running.
After much blood, sweat, and tears—and many sleepless nights—you’ve crafted a finished product that’s ready to go to market. Now it’s just a matter of getting it there.
Choosing the right logistics services for your business can be a daunting task. You might be a total newbie—you might even be wondering what is “logistics” in the first place (it’s all about getting goods and matériel from point A to point B).
Don’t let all the terminology and logistical intricacies get you confused. We’ve got you covered with these 5 key qualities of any logistics provider worth its salt:
1. Long and Proven Track Record
It’s important to do your homework before entering into any serious relationship with a logistics provider. Ask a few simple questions:
- How long has the company been around?
- Is the company properly insured, and able to compensate you for any damages?
- Does the company have a verifiable record of consistent performance?
- What kind of reputation has the company acquired?
The point is, you want to find out if the company is on the up-and-up; the last thing you need is to enter into a relationship with some fly-by-night operation that’s only been around for a few weeks, and doesn’t know the difference between LTL and FTL.
2. Safety, Safety, Safety
Obviously, this one can’t be stressed enough.
Logistics providers operate in an environment that can be potentially very dangerous. All the more so, if they are involved in the transport and shipping of hazardous materials.
So it’s a pretty safe (pun intended) bet that logistics service providers that maintain a clean safety record, by adhering to proper safety procedures and CSA standards, will be a good choice for your business. It’s just common sense: a good safety record is a proxy for an efficient, professional logistics outfit that will almost certainly be a good fit for your needs.
3. Customer Service
Well, this one almost goes without saying.
Of course you want to do business with a freight company that will put you on a pedestal and go out of its way to keep you satisfied.
Nearly every logistics provider will claim they prioritize their customers’ needs, but how many really do? You need to do some research: read reviews of the company, ask for references, and ask other customers about their experiences.
Again, like safety, customer service is a proxy for the overall performance of the logistics service. A responsive company, with open communications and a streamlined system of addressing customers’ concerns, is one that has its act together and will get the job done.
4. Technological Know-How
Look, you’re probably not going to get the service you want from a cheap Charlie freighting firm that uses horse-drawn carriages and garbage scows with put-put steam engines to haul your products, right?
So the technology matters, especially in this day and age. Look for providers who use the technological state of the art, including a well-maintained fleet of shipping vehicles, web-based tracking systems, and efficient warehousing.
5. The Right Network
Choosing the right freight company means finding one with an extensive and established distribution network.
Depending on your needs, you want a primary or third-party logistics (3PL) service with a widespread regional, national, or even global network. This ensures hassle-free delivery of goods straight to the destination, without having to scramble to find another logistics service to complete the shipment.
Keep your future business needs in mind as well. Even though at the moment, you might only require a regional carrier, your distribution might expand nationally or even internationally in a year’s time—so pick a logistics provider with an extensive network from the get-go, so you don’t have to switch to a new and less proven company later on.
Find the Best Logistics Services With These Tips
Look, we know it can be a difficult process to choose the right logistics services for your business. So just look for these five important qualities, found in all the best logistics firms, to help you make the best choice.
And for more business tips and advice, be sure to mosey on over to the “Business” section of this website.