You and Your 3PL Provider

This post is written by our Marketing Analyst Intern, James Kane.  James is a senior at the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics.

Truck drivers are in short supply.  This has had, and will continue to have an impact the logistics and supply chain industry.  Here’s how to leverage this challenging time.

The 24th Annual State of Logistics Report reported that there is currently a truck driver shortage of 30,000.  With the new HOS regulations, this number will increase.  The Report predicts the shortage to increase to 115,000 by 2016.  The driver shortage has resulted in an increase in truckload prices and a decrease in the percentage of on time deliveries.  3PL providers are taxed – they are working around the clock to meet the needs of their clients.  The question is – can you and your 3PL provider ride out the storm together?  Or is it time to move on?

First, it is important for your company to acknowledge the driver shortage and its impact.  Next, open the lines of communication with you 3PL provider.  Let them know you want to determine how you can best work together.  Once you have opened the lines of communication – keep them open. Make sure that you establish a transparent 24/7 tracing system – a system through which both you and your 3PL provider know what is going on and where everything is.

Communication and transparency will enable your 3PL provider to better serve your company.  Additionally, it enables both you and the 3PL provider to identify issues and address – quickly.

If you and your 3PL are able to work together through the implementation of the HOS regulations and driver shortages – great.  If you find that issues are continually cropping up and/or are not being addressed quickly enough, it may be time to find a new 3PL provider.