The benefits of using a 3PL shipping platform for LTL shipments

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The Benefits of Using a Shipping Platform

Utilizing a 3PL to manage your LTL freight shipping is advantageous in a number of ways. LTL shipping can be a huge cost saver, but it can be a complicated process to navigate. Rather than waste time managing shipping in-house, shippers can save themselves time and money by going through a third-party logistics firm familiar with LTL logistics management that can provide experience and expertise to streamline supply chains and maximize shipping efficiency. Here are some of the advantages of using a 3PL for your shipping needs.

Pricing

Shipping rates are often driven by volume, so using a 3PL provider that deals in high volumes of freight can give you the leverage to access better pricing with carriers. 3PLs eliminate the lengthy and costly process of calling multiple carriers, comparing pricing, and negotiating rates. Shippers can rely on a 3PL to find the best blanket rates offered by a range of carriers without the hassle of contacting each carrier individually. 

Expertise

Another benefit to using a 3PL for your LTL shipping needs is the expertise that an experienced 3PL can provide. This expertise can identify inefficiencies, solve problems, navigate the shipping process from origin to destination, and streamline supply chains. High volume and consistent shipping lead to 3PLs cultivating relationships with carriers that can directly benefit the shipper, helping to secure better rates and preferred modes of shipping.

Visibility

Knowing what is going on with your shipment is critical to retaining supply chain efficiency. A 3PL with an online platform and shipping dashboard can provide detailed updates on your cargo every step of the way, eliminating the need to call carrier customer service centers or transit hubs to find out the status of your LTL shipment. Enhanced communication means you never miss out on what’s happening with your cargo.

Document Management

Paperwork can be extensive and confusing in the shipping world. Bills of lading, proof of delivery, and other shipping invoices can stack up, especially in LTL shipping, where a shipment may move through multiple transit hubs via long-haul and local trucks before reaching its destination. A 3PL can facilitate the creation and aggregation of these documents, providing the carrier with what they need and compiling the shipper’s documents into an online space that can be organized and accessed easily.

Special Requirements

If a shipper requires special requirements or accessorials such as liftgates, inside deliveries, hazardous materials, or restricted access pickups, 3PLs can arrange for accommodations on their behalf. Depending on the volume being shipped, the 3PL may be able to negotiate with the carrier to waive some of the fees associated with these special arrangements.

Customer Service

Utilizing a 3PL for your LTL shipping needs puts a team of industry professionals at your disposal that can provide a personalized experience for your business, providing shipping options and cost savings specifically tailored to your needs. As a liaison between your business and the LTL carrier transporting your shipment, a 3PL can negotiate on your behalf, with your particular needs in mind, to get the best shipping rates available. A 3PL can also provide a more direct line of communication with the carrier’s customer service representatives, keeping the channels of communication open and allowing you to focus resources on business operations while the 3PL navigates logistics and solves any shipping problems that may arise.

As shipping volume in the market increases, it is critical for shippers to have a firm grasp on their logistics and supply chain management, especially in the complex world of LTL shipping. Working with an experienced 3PL can ensure that a team of knowledgeable shipping experts utilizing the latest technology is keeping an eye on your shipments and making sure they get where they need to go.


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