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Finding the Right Logistics Partner: Three Tips for Small Shippers

Finding the Right Logistics Partner: Three Tips for Small Shippers

When it comes to running a small business, you must maximize your time in ways that best align the business for continued success. That means some processes must be outsourced, leaning into the expertise of another so that you can focus your efforts on growing your business.

For most small shippers, partnering with a logistics service provider is the right choice because understanding and navigating the complexities of the ever-evolving supply chain is time consuming. Finding the right logistics partner can lead to increased efficiencies and in some cases cost-savings – which translates to a better experience for your end-customer.

Here are 3 key areas to consider when leveraging a logistics partner to grow your business.

1. Start Planning Early.

It’s never too early to start the process of soliciting a transportation partner. “Too often companies wait until their product is ready to hit the market to plan their transportation routes,” said Masotti. “In fact, involving transportation partners from the beginning provides more advantages than disadvantages.”

An effective transportation strategy supports your bottom line – from sourcing materials to delivering the end product to the right customers at the right time. Working with an experienced logistics service provider can help you develop the right solution for your freight. Decisions like domestic trucking versus intermodal or full truckload versus less-than-truckload. Involving your transportation stakeholders early in the planning process will be crucial to your success as you plan your supply chain.

2. Build Relationships.

Finding a partner to support the growth of your business is about building a relationship – you want a partner who is as invested in your success as you are. “Developing a relationship with your service providers allows for the necessary transparency and trust needed to succeed,” said Vaughn. “At Trailer Bridge, we’re in the people business – we just use logistics as the tool to help. It’s our job to provide the best solution for their freight needs and to do that, we lead with a high level of customer service and communication – its key.”

Think of your new partner as an extension of your in-house team. Look for a transportation resource with a broad knowledge of the industry who can advise on equipment capacity, long and short-haul lanes, and industry trends that would impact your supply chain.

Another area to consider is the role technology will play in creating visibility into your supply chain. Does your partner have the tech to drive efficiencies for your freight or provide clarity around the movement of your shipment?

“We’re in the process of switching our transportation management system to Mastery,” said Masotti. “This technology puts crucial information right at the fingertips of our employees and customers, providing a clear line of sight into every mile of a shipment’s domestic or international journey. It’s about tailoring solutions to customer’s specific needs.”

3. Be Flexible.

In an ever-changing environment, it’s important to understand your logistics plan can change at a moment’s notice. Remaining flexible to market changes will keep you well-positioned to respond and pivot as needed.

Collaborate with your transportation partner to understand the challenges and get creative to develop an innovative solution. “We’ve seen this occur with shippers large and small over the past two years with supply chain disruptions, increased consumer spending and the continued evolution of ecommerce,” Vaughn said. “We’re working with shippers to find innovative ways to expedite their goods to market. Through collaboration, we can eliminate inefficiencies in their supply chain, contribute to a positive bottom line and support overall customer satisfaction.”

Logistics plays an important role in the success of your business – no matter the size. Whether you are looking for guidance for your in-house team, sourcing for your domestic trucking needs or a service provider to completely outsource your supply chain – Trailer Bridge stands ready to ‘Make it Happen’ for your freight needs.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can assist in your shipments, please visit our contact page.

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