In general, the relationship between a shipper and the 3PL should be based on a “Win/Win” setup. Achieving this setup will enable each party to capitalize on the offering of the other party.
The 3PL will work with capacity providers to establish consistent equipment availability when and where needed. They will negotiate the optimum rate that meets the shippers’ requirements. The 3PL operates at many different levels of service as indicated by the desires and needs of the shippers.
The shipper will provide the needed information to allow the 3PL to put together the most beneficial program. The shipper will provide information concerning both the ship from location and the ship to location, such as contacts, loading/unloading hours, first come first server or by appointments. This information enables the 3PL to more closely coordinate the pickup and delivery as transit will allow. The shipper will provide any shipment scheduling information they can to further enhance the 3PL’s ability to make the scheduled pickup and delivery.
The shipper will also provide the 3PL direction on what they value most: cheap transportation rates, fast transit, schedule delivery guarantee, transit time required per lane, etc. Knowing more about each of these items will help the 3PL put together the best plan to meet the customers’ needs.
Next time, we will talk about intermodal freight characteristics that you should be looking for to see what makes good intermodal freight. Hint…everything!