As you search for the right transport logistics company to contract with it’s important to evaluate your options based on how confident you feel that they will be able to architect and implement your local or national distribution project flawlessly.
Here are a list of four fundamental criteria any serious contender should meet before you make your decision of who to partner with.
A full spectrum of services
There’s no sense partnering with a company that doesn’t offer the entire suite of services you’ll require. Doing so will force you to waste time having to secure the services of other companies and then spend time putting your contacts from each company in touch with one another so they can coordinate efforts. And this of course leaves the door wide open for mishaps, missed deadlines, and miscommunications. Below is a list of the solutions, and services you’ll probably want to ask after when calling on transport logistics companies:
- EDI set up
- web-based inventory management
- pick and pack services
- importing products from the port
- providing warehousing services
- processing a high-volume of consumer orders
- setting up automated communication between carriers and multiple trading partners
- tracking shipment events
- providing online visibility to end consumers
- invoicing client for services
- white glove home delivery and installation to destinations throughout 48 states
- building web portals capable of linking with backend systems to track each shipment from a status of “order processed” through each step to final customer delivery
- guaranteeing of a single price point for all services
In addition to these fundamental services that exceptional transport logistics companies will be able to offer, you’ll want to be sure the company you choose meets the following criteria as well:
A proven track record working with suppliers of big box retailers.
While experience has to start somewhere, you don’t want your company to be one of the first customers for a new transportation logistics company. Let them get the experience they need to smooth out any operational wrinkles BEFORE you agree to work them. You’ll want to partner with an organization that has an impressive portfolio and history of working with customers who manufacture goods offshore and understand how to navigate the complexity of the port while still meeting shipping deadlines for the big box retailers like Costco, Wal-Mart, Target and Macy’s.
An ability to develop high-tech programs.
Look for a provider that specializes in transportation, logistics, and warehousing services in a state-of-the-art, 21st century way. The best transport logistics companies are the ones that can skillfully construct an IT infrastructure, logistics network, and service model that meet pricing and service management goals at the operations level, all while successfully supplying product through an eCommerce environment.
Ability to implement a complex project in a timely fashion.
Since you aren’t looking for a “cookie cutter” company that handles and manages all of its clients exactly the same way, you’ll need to connect with a transport logistics company that can design and implement a custom solution for your particular needs within a reasonable timeline.
For example, we had the logistics challenge of orchestrating and managing every facet of importing, warehousing, delivering, and installing Daewoo home appliances for Costco eCommerce customers in 3,600 homes with zip codes across the mainland 48 states.
The planning and implementation of GlobeCon’s project for Costco ran over a 14-week period, including strategy, design, EDI mapping, programming, and deployment, but the EDI mapping, configuration, and compliance testing with the trading partner, although rather intricate, lasted just 35 business days.
Partnering with a company that can meet all of your transportation, logistics, and warehousing needs saves time, frustration, and money while ensuring the attainment of your fundamental goal - consistently providing exceptional service to your customers.
For detailed information, maps and contact information for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, be sure to download a free copy of our Comprehensive Port Service Guide.