When it comes to moving freight, many shippers face a similar staffing challenge: there may be too much market uncertainty to justify bringing on new team members. If this sounds like your current situation, take a seat and read on while we examine transportation management solutions that a third-party logistics (3PL) freight broker can provide for your company.
3PL transportation management solutions
Whatever your products may be, chances are your transportation operation experiences shipping volume fluctuations. When sales are going gangbusters, your operation will struggle to keep up. When orders are slow, you may feel that you are spending more money than you can afford on staffing.
Added to this mix in 2020, of course, is the great upheaval caused by the pandemic. Not only has the pandemic added uncertainty to your sales volumes, but it also made freight transportation services harder to secure reliably.
If hiring new employees is not an option because of this uncertainty, how can you possibly keep up when volumes start rising again? Enter managed transportation from a 3PL freight broker.
With managed transportation services, your 3PL freight broker can act as the transportation arm of your company – for all your shipments or just some of them (e.g., bulk freight). Armed with knowledge of your product and its requirements, as well as your shipping lanes, a freight broker can source capacity for your shipments, vet carriers (e.g., insurance and certifications), negotiate pricing, book and track your shipments.
While it is true that freight brokers have no trucks or equipment of their own, what they do have is relationships with their tried and true network of carriers. Freight brokers lean on these network partners to source your shipments out to the most qualified carrier at the right price, keeping you 100% legally compliant in the process.
Advantages of freight broker managed transportation services
You don’t have to hire full-time traffic employees. When you outsource operations to a 3PL freight broker, you are saving money on salary, benefits and training costs of new employees – and avoiding the risk of overpaying staff when volumes are low.
3PL freight brokers have experience shipping your product. A 3PL that’s right for your company will have knowledge of your product. For instance, at Bulk Connection, we have over 30 years of moving bulk liquid and dry freight as well as dry van shipments. So, when it comes to chemicals and other types of freight, if you produce it, chances are we’ve shipped it and know exactly how to move it safely and efficiently.
3PL freight brokers have industry knowledge. As freight brokers, transportation is our industry. It is incumbent on us to stay up to date on industry trends, technology and opportunities that can optimize your operations. If transportation is not your company’s specialty, you can benefit from entrusting it to a true logistics expert.
3PL freight brokers can augment your existing operations. If you have an in-house transportation team and don’t want to hire additional staff members, you can lean on a 3PL freight broker to handle overflow work over short-, medium-, or long-term arrangements.
3PL freight brokers are flexible. As your freight broker can truly act as an extension of your team, you can choose just how much of a team member your 3PL becomes. For example, Bulk Connection has had managed transportation arrangements in the past where one of our transportation experts worked onsite at the customer’s facility and essentially operated as a member of that team – while being paid by Bulk Connection.
What type of company is the best fit for 3PL transportation management solutions?
If any of the above outsourcing advantages seem desirable to your operations, then a managed transportation arrangement could make sense. In our experience, the companies that benefit most from such an arrangement are mid-size companies that are reluctant to expand their transportation departments and seek to guard against market uncertainty while keeping expenses manageable. Generally, companies that ship at least 30-50 loads a month are likely good managed transportation candidates.
Turn to Bulk Connection for managed transport
Bulk Connection has the knowledge, experience, and carrier relationships to handle your transportation operations from start to finish. Whether you want to hand all your shipping off to an expert or are looking to outsource a specific mode or lane – short- or long-term – Bulk Connection has got you covered. To learn how we can put over 30 years of transportation expertise to work for you, contact us today.