5 Tips for Choosing an Apparel Third Party Logistics Provider

In any industry, there’s a ton of competition, and third party logistics for apparel is no exception. When you have a good 3PL, a ton of stress is off your shoulders.

With that in mind, here are a few tips for choosing a good third party logistics provider:

1. Know your own objectives first – Make sure you know what you want to get out of a 3PL provider. Are you looking to increase order accuracy? Do you want to reduce your own in-house logistics assets? Would you rather increase your own order fill rate? Identify your own objectives, communicate them to the 3PL provider, and regularly review the progress you make as a way of measuring the value of your relationship.

2. Demonstrated expertise in your particular sector – Every industry has its ins and outs. Don’t assume that just because the logistics company you are considering has a good overall reputation that they can handle apparel logistics too.

3. An ability to meet retailer distribution compliance requirements
– Many retailers have very specific routing, shipping, and labeling requirements. Minor details, such as where the labels are placed, are an integral part of the shipping process. Financial penalties come back to you if you fail to comply with their standards. Make sure your third party logistics company has a solid track record of complying with such requirements.

4. Interview their representatives and compare – See how honest and accommodating the representatives from various companies appear to be. If they’re throwing up red flags, such as unnecessary complication of prices and services, it’s probably a good idea to move on to another 3PL provider. Working with another company should always be straightforward.

5. Take the time to conduct a thoughtful analysis
– Once you’ve received a quote from each company, it’s important to make sure you’re comparing each quote according to the same standards. It can take 3-4 months to complete a full analysis. Additionally, factor in your best estimate of the quality of customer service. A company that charges more but which provides great service causes less hassles and costs less over the long run.

Failing to be Careful Can be Very Costly

Imagine all the disruptions that can occur if you choose the wrong logistics company. High amounts of stress, reduced profitability, irritable customers, and additional costs for changing providers are just some of the results.

Follow these tips, however, and you’ll maximize the value you receive from the next apparel 3PL logistics provider you work with.

Posted: 8/13/2013 4:23:21 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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