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Choosing The Best Freight Carrier for Your Business

9Dec, 2014

There are thousands of freight carriers worldwide, and scores of them in Australia alone. If you’re a small business and haven’t outsourced your shipping to a 3PL company, chances are you’ve already settled on one of them. Your company may even have a long history of doing business with your current carrier. But is your freight company of choice actually the best bet? You’re probably well aware that you should always be looking for the best value for your money. There’s always a chance that switching carriers, or even outsourcing to a third party logistics company, could turn out to be more a more cost-effective option.

Should You Consider Switching Carriers?

If you’re having doubts about your current carrier, or are just curious about looking elsewhere, it may not be unwise to shop around. These are four signs that indicate that it might be a good idea to abandon your current choice of carrier.

  • Your carrier company is having financial problems. It’s smart to keep tabs on their financial health. How have they been doing the last few quarters? A consistent pattern of poor financial performance could indicate that the company might go under in the near future. If this is the case, you might want to get a head start on finding a replacement.
  • Their rates aren’t competitive. It might be less of a hassle to stick with the provider you’ve been using; after all, you’ve done business with them before, and you know what to expect. Maybe they even have a solid history of providing good service. However, you should still consider whether their rates are competitive relative to the current market. You might be able to save some money by going elsewhere.
  • They don’t provide a service or services that your company needs. For the most part, carriers tend to offer similar or identical services. However, if you’ve found that their service hasn’t met your expectations or cannot accommodate your current needs, you might want to change companies.
  • They haven’t kept up with technology. Technological advancements have drastically changed the supply chain landscape. Old standbys like paper spreadsheets have largely become a thing of the past. However, there will always be a few companies that fail to keep up with the pace of technology, which could affect their ability to meet your business’s shipping and freight needs. If they don’t have the right I.T. tools, they might not be the best choice for you.

The 3PL Option: Outsourcing Your Company’s Shipping and Freight Management

If switching carriers sounds like a headache, you could also consider outsourcing these functions to a third party logistics company. By hiring experts to handle this aspect of your supply chain, you’re freeing up resources and capital that can be diverted toward your areas of core competency. A good third party logistics company will work with your business to save money wherever possible, keeping everything as efficient and cost effective as possible. You won’t have to worry about finding the best rates for shipping and freight; a 3PL company will handle that for you. Their staff will be intimately familiar with the current market, and will be able to find you the best value for your money. Especially for smaller e-commerce companies, 3PL outsourcing is often the most economical option.

Even if your company has been using the same carrier for years, it’s never a bad idea to be aware of all of your options. Are you really satisfied with that carrying company, or are you sticking with them out of convenience? You may want to assess whether you’d save money by either switching carriers or outsourcing your shipping and freight management to a 3PL company. For many companies, 3PL is actually the best choice. It frees up capital and personnel that could be better used elsewhere in your business, as well as putting you in the hands of experts.

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