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Questions You Need To Ask Before Selecting A Logistics Partner

Questions You Need To Ask Before Selecting A Logistics Partner

As you are in need of a logistics partner and a long-term partnership with them, it’s essential to have in-depth knowledge of your logistics partner. It is much easier to form a partnership and get your decisions right the first time when a logistics company is executing a substantial part of your supply chain.

It is much more efficient to spend some additional time obtaining information at the beginning by a potential 3PL partners as opposed to changing providers every year or two because the fit is not entirely correct.


You will undoubtedly read a lot of marketing materials during the decision-making process, watch impressive presentations, and learn a lot about prospective logistics providers ‘ previous achievements.

The actual problem arises is when the push comes to shove i.e when the time comes to ask  your own questions

Some of the most important/recommended questions that you can ask your logistics service provider are;

How long have you been in business?

Although the age or the time spent in a particular field is not the only sign of maturity, the knowledge that a logistics provider is having along with proven infrastructure and has established connections in the industry is always good.

What is your company recommending for customs services?

As customization discussions tend to reveal what can and can not be done in greater detail. Doing this will also help you to understand any restrictions that the logistics provider might have on the service. Perhaps the most important part of your logistics partnership is to be sure that your provider understands the needs of your company. It is a good sign that they are going to be a valuable partner if they can make appropriate recommendations on the ways to best serve their customers or clients through improvements in their supply chain.

Area of expertise?

You should know that it’s not necessary that every logistic company is an expert in every industry. You’ll find that most logistics service providers have a specialty in a certain area of logistics, a specific region, or transport mode.

Before choosing a provider, identify the specifics of what you need. Understand your company’s strengths and weaknesses and find a logistics partner who can complement them. Do you need reefers or does your cargo require refrigeration? What about quick turnaround projects to remote warehouse locations? Once you’ve determined your specific needs, you will be able to find the 3PL who shines in those areas.

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Currently available infrastructure what service provider is having?

You want an efficient order fulfillment system to be in operation already, preferably with minimal adjustments to accommodate your business. Although it may be important for you to be able to receive customized services, the majority of the operation should be standardized to reduce the potential for disruptions.

Who are their trusted suppliers of your business?

Just as your logistics provider will be an extension of your own business operations, they are an extension of theirs to the companies to which they contract their services. While you are not necessarily going to have direct contact with these deeper organizations, Who does your competition trusts also says a lot about their business preferences or choices.

What sort of operational bottlenecks do they expect?

This query will demand the supplier to think about it and anticipate any challenging issue or problem that may arise from your supply chain requirement. It’s even better when they’re raised by the 3PL service provider, but even if you have to wheedle them on your own, their solution will help you to choose whether they will make a good business partner for you or not.

What are their professional associations or accreditations?

Almost all of your faith will come from the testimonies received from the previous questions, but it can also be useful to get them verified from trusted business associations. Some of them might even provide you with some information regarding the service provider in question.

Can they give you the references from their clients who handle similar business like yours?

You should be able to list any concerns you have about a potential logistics provider by this point, so take this opportunity to ask these satisfied customers if they have any similar concerns or not. Although you might not receive all the answers you were looking for, but feedback from someone on your side of the fence can do a lot to shape your decision.

The reputation of the service provider:

Before selecting a service provider, investigate whether the provider is likely to respond with integrity and honor. Time will reveal whether the firm has a good, bad or ugly reputation with customers, freight forwarders, suppliers, and employees.

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