Recent surveys of the third-party logistics (3PLs) industry are uncovering similar findings when it comes to how 3PLs are repositioning themselves in the market. In short, many 3PLs are seeking to avoid commoditization by offering value-added services to customers while strengthening the relationship between the two parties. Many 3PLs are seeking to avoid commoditization by offering value-added services to customers while strengthening the relationship between the two parties, according to an article in the October Food Logistics. Food Logistics asked a handful of 3PLs with a significant presence in the food/beverage sector their thoughts about how customers can “get more” from them while maintaining a mutually beneficial arrangement.
“With capacity levels at an all-time high and little relief in sight, building relationships with your core transportation service providers has never been more important,” states Steve Covey, executive vice president, Choptank Transport. “Shopping by price alone, and not service and reliability, will leave many shippers with big problems when seasonal surges occur and there is tightened capacity. Maintaining a strong supply chain will help ensure operations continue to run smoothly, without interruption due to lack of capacity.”
Indeed, the capacity crunch is only getting worse. The American Trucking Association estimates the industry is short by roughly 30,000 truckers nationwide while the improving economy is straining an already extremely tight market. It’s no wonder that more shippers have come to appreciate the value of building a relationship with their 3PLs in the current environment.
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