December 21 2018 0Comment
SLA forklift driver moving boxes

What To Look For In A 3PL Provider

Okay, so you’ve narrowed down your search for a 3PL provider and now you need to make a choice. So what should you look for? What criteria should your 3PL provider have?

The thing to remember before reaching a decision is that as a 3PL provider, the company you ultimately choose will be acting as an extension of your company, and this partnership can only be a success if they are as passionate and customer-focused as you are. So here are some major points to consider:

Experience in your industry

To avoid a time-consuming search, it’s best to choose a company which already specialises in your particular industry.

A company that is on the same wavelength

A 3PL provider with a cultural fit is crucial for clear concise communication, implementation of various processes, and ongoing operations.

A good reputation

It makes sense to outsource to a company with a solid reputation. Check out their references and search for feedback from others in the industry, associations and trade magazines. It’s also a good idea to carry out your homework to ensure that any prospective candidate is financially secure and in profit.

Experience in your industry

To avoid a time-consuming search, it’s best to choose a company which already specialises in your particular industry.

Attentive service

It’s vital that your prospective candidate understands the importance of fulfilling orders on time and of preserving your reputation. They should also be contactable 24/7 to meet your needs, and you should feel you can trust them to get the job done without having to check up on them.

Up-to-date technology

Your ideal outsourcing candidate should already have up-to-date IT systems installed and be using these to deliver real-time reports, manage inventory, evaluate data and customise reports.

Maximising efficiency

Your prospective logistics company should constantly be looking at ways in which to be more efficient and to lower costs, whether this be through the creation of more efficient driver routes, or reducing waste.

Adaptable and quick thinking

The best 3PL providers should be sufficiently flexible to take on rush orders, quickly respond to change, and be able to think on their feet to solve problems. They should also be versatile and accommodating, willing to take on large and small jobs, and able to handle any level of complexity.

Location, location

Ideally you’re looking for a company having the shortest distance between themselves and your customers, both to save fuel and offer a competitive delivery speed to have the edge over your competitors.


Logistics is a very competitive business so by all means negotiate a deal. However, what’s even more important is having a proven provider that you can trust and who won’t let you down especially if problems crop up. The cheapest rate is irrelevant if your products are damaged or not delivered on time.

Can they grow with you?

Finally, take a close look to determine if your proposed 3PL provider can meet meet your logistics needs now and in the future. Do they have sufficient warehouse storage space, the right equipment, and compatible technology. Could they expand if need be?

If you’re looking for an experienced and reputable logistics company, SLA (Specialised Logistics Australia) have been in the industry since 1993 and offer a comprehensive range of warehousing and distribution solutions. Call us today on 07 3879 3500 to discuss your requirements and see how we can help. We look forward to hearing from you.

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