When it comes to shipping and transportation, having the right logistics partner on your side can make a world of difference. A good company will make the entire process smoother, faster and quite possibly cheaper too. The wrong company, on the other hand, could end up costing you unnecessary time, energy and money that could be spent elsewhere.
But whilst you already know that having a good logistics partner is key, knowing how to spot one is altogether a different matter. So to help you differentiate the best transportation and logistics companies from the terrible, here are some key questions you need to ask yourself during the selection process.
What services do they specialise in?
The transport and logistics industry covers a vast amount of services and every company is different. Some specialise solely in warehousing & distribution whilst others focus on customs brokerage. The company you choose will, of course, depend on your requirements as a business, but there are companies out there who specialise in a number of areas within the logistics industry. So if you need an international freight forwarder who can also assist with warehousing & distribution, cargo management and port transport, there are some companies available who can assist with end to end logistics.
What kind of location network do they have?
The systems and procedures vary from port to port and country to country. So if you’re looking to move goods internationally, you need to find a company with a proven track record in the relevant ports and borders. Using a company who knows exactly how to navigate these systems and has a network of personnel to assist them will ensure that your goods are transported successfully and efficiently.
How well do they communicate with you?
When it comes to transport and logistics, efficient communication is absolutely key. Whether it’s troubleshooting last-minute issues or tracking progress and locations in real-time, you need to feel assured that they have things under control. One great way to test their communication skills is by assessing how well they communicate with you. For example: Do they respond to your queries in a timely manner? This will give you an idea of how organised they are and how well they communicate with their staff in general.
How soon they process your requests/orders?
The shorter the time it takes, the more efficient the service would be. Efficiency means the time it takes to pick the order, pack the order, and ship it to the destinations for the logistics company. For a logistics company, both the transportation routes and modes play a key role when it involves the order delivery.
Communication also affects efficiency. You’ll need to check the communication channels of the logistics provider. The more it offers, you will have more options to remain in instant communication with it for a much better solution.
Are they up to date with industry technology?
Modern technology is constantly evolving, and the best transportation and logistics companies should not only be able to keep up with these changes but also use them to streamline their operations. So before you commit to a logistics partner, make sure you know what systems and technologies they use. This will give you a good indication of how slick and efficient their operation is.
Finding the right logistics partner can make a world of difference to your business. So before you commit to any one company, make sure you do your research, ask for testimonials and make sure they have a sufficient network and experience in all the relevant areas. Remember, you don’t have to commit to one long-term logistics partner. If you’re unsure, why not utilise their services on one project as a trial run? Then, if you’re happy with their operation, you can establish a long-term working relationship moving forward.
Ultimately, it all comes down to trust, experience and communication. So if you look for someone with good customer service and a track record in the field, you’ll be on the right track.