Why Third-Party Logistics?
Technology, outsourcing help businesses get better deals and service from freight operators
There is a reason third-party logistics is the fastest-growing segment of the $600 billion a year transportation industry:
The average customer has a difficult time getting the exact freight shipping service they need. Freight and logistics can be dizzyingly complex; unless you’ve spent a career in the industry, you might not know who to talk to or which carrier to hire for your company’s specific goals. The average customer to whom BlueGrace Logistics franchisees pitch services might have someone who handles logistics. This person will typically have a short list of carriers they get quotes from and regularly get five or six quotes when there’s a shipment to move.
Sounds great, right?
Wrong. A company that does that will typically hire the wrong carrier, pay too much and get mediocre customer service from the carrier they select. If they happen to have a good experience on one shipment, they will keep using the same carrier even if it isn’t the right choice for the next shipment.
A third-party logistics company researches the market, builds relationships, and uses technology to create custom logistics solutions for a customer. In the example above, a BlueGrace Logistics franchisee might be able to introduce carriers that offer new services and may not be on the radar screen of the company’s logistics manager. We might be able to reduce price, significantly shorten shipping time, integrate tracking with a CRM system, or provide carrier advocacy so the customer doesn’t have to deal with warehouse staff.
As big carriers have gotten more specialized and reduced their regional sales forces, it has become much more difficult for end customers to get the best prices and custom solutions for shipping needs. 3PL companies like BlueGrace Logistics offer a much-needed and valuable service.
Companies do well when they can successfully leverage a technology platform to provide a convenient service that customers want. Much like Uber and Expedia leveraged technology to connect customers with service providers, BlueGrace has created a niche business that can thrive in many markets.
As a third-party logistics franchise, BlueGrace cuts costs for its clients. We attract a number of carriers to the bargaining table, and we leverage those relationships to find the most affordable shipping options and the best service for our clients. This keeps our clients from having to navigate those searches themselves, and it nearly always guarantees a better price because carriers appreciate the business we bring them.
Our clients don’t need warehousing infrastructure or trucks, even though some may have some. We put them in touch with the right carriers and distribution centers so they can focus on their work and, most importantly, avoid having to shell out a lot of money for transportation equipment.
3PLs help alleviate clients’ shipping worries because have more expertise than the clients have in-house. Without that knowledge and experience in logistics, the process of securing bids from trucking companies and identifying the most cost-effective shipping options can be laborious, time-consuming and fruitless. Savings opportunities and labor hours are lost. Hiring a 3PL like BlueGrace gives clients peace of mind that their shipping is being handled properly — especially when there are multiple shipments that must arrive on time.
Want to know where your shipment is at all times? If you track a package with FedEx or UPS, that’s easy. In the world of freight shipping, it’s a lot harder to get that kind of transparency and to know who handled your packages each step along the way, which is critical for preventing loss and making damage claims. BlueGrace’s technology platform makes it easy for clients to track shipments and — if the need arises — to file claims for damaged goods.
With BlueShip, our customized transportation management software system, not only do our clients track shipments, but they also make reservations for their freight. Clients may choose a carrier with the best route available, whether it be from its manufacturing facility in Houston to a distribution center in Denver, or from a warehouse in Nashville to a retail center in Birmingham.