The Value of a Trucking Company Offering 3PL Services
On-time delivery has remained a singular focus for shippers, supply chain engineers and freight handlers for decades. Only now, they have more options available to alleviate delivery disruptions and expedited costs.
A multi-modal strategy — combining truck assets with 3PL carriers — gives shippers more capacity choices and consistency that can be the difference between making or missing a shipment deadline. And it gives trucking companies more options to improve productivity, on-time delivery and cost.
More options, capacity and consistency
Trucking companies spend years, or even decades, building fleets. They understand drivers, as well as the mechanics and capabilities of assets. And they know when they’re unable to meet ever-growing capacity demands. That’s why many are complementing trucking assets with 3PL services.
With a multi-modal strategy, there’s still only one source of freight service. One contact. One rate. One contract. Everything largely remains the same, except for who owns and operates the truck asset.
Shippers can expect significant advantages when using a trucking company that also offers 3PL services, including:
1. Faster deliveries. It’s easier to make deadlines when there’s more available capacity. The trucking company can use its own assets or opt for a 3PL carrier that can better meet the shipper’s unique requirements. Regardless of the delivery option, every truckload follows the same seamless internal processes and workflows. For example, shippers won’t notice anything different with invoicing or billing.
2. Competitive pricing. When not worrying about freight arrival times, shippers worry about cost. A multi-modal strategy enables companies to keep expenses in check by finding the most accessible assets, drivers and other resources. Remember, pricing has already been established. There are no sudden rate hikes, expedited fees or additional charges. This approach offers a lower total cost of logistics (TCOL) with more flexibility to deliver freight on time and meet contractual demands.
3. Larger capacity network. Most trucking companies try to expand operations throughout a specific region. Partnering with reputable 3PLs let them scale quickly to effectively serve an even larger area. They can select from a larger pool of fresh, ready-to-go drivers with more hours to log when their own drivers have reached their quotas or have other loads already scheduled. For shippers, they can enter new markets and regions seamlessly.
4. Proven partners. With its reputation (and your account) at stake, a trucking + 3PL company is going to vet its carrier network thoroughly. They may partner with owner/operators with smaller fleets (2 – 5 trucks) instead of larger carriers, because both parties will be invested in impressing the shipper. They’re also more likely to build loyalty with proven carriers, using them again and again based on past successes.
5. Better visibility and productivity. Shippers expect to know where freight is at all times. And, the trucking company wants to ensure it’s on schedule. With the adoption of GPS-based apps and other real-time technologies, shippers can communicate with drivers and dispatchers at any time from pickup to delivery — whether a trucking company is using its own assets or another carrier.
6. More knowledge and insight. Trucking companies have learned a lot from having assets on the road, day after day and year after year. They’ve experienced the unpredictable nature of the open road — and how to overcome challenges to deliver freight on time. That collective knowledge can drive new ideas and innovation and be a competitive advantage.
Powerful capacity strategy for the modern market
A multi-modal strategy offers more delivery options for faster deliveries with better pricing, even for the most challenging timelines and budgets. Talk to your freight partner to see if they can balance their own trucking assets and reputation with carefully vetted 3PL carriers to ensure optimal service for every delivery.