What separates fact from fiction isn’t always clear, and the line is often blurry at best. While there might a little bit of truth within every piece of fiction, that doesn’t mean the two are one and the same. No matter what, you should never take anything at face value—especially when it comes to something as integral as supply chain management and logistics. To help clear the air, we put ourselves under the microscope as we attempt to bust some of the more popular 3PL myths.
Myth #1: 3PL Companies Are Expensive
On the surface, doing everything in-house might sound like a great idea—but you actually end up spending more than you save. Historically speaking, intermediaries have a bad reputation, which is probably where this myth gets its footing. We’re not at all surprised by this; a lot of intermediaries see themselves as exactly that—nothing more, nothing less. At DTS, we don’t see ourselves as something outside or beyond your business equation (despite being in the middle). We see ourselves as an integral part of the whole. What affects you, in turn, affects us, and vice versa. While shipping rates do vary, which can lead to higher costs between each option, we work to make sure you get the best rate possible.
Myth #2: 3PL Companies Don’t Understand Your Company Culture
Just like you might not want to work with a company or hire someone who doesn’t fit the mold of your company’s culture, experienced 3PL companies are of like mind. The relationship you have with your 3PL company is a partnership that’s built on trust and mutual understanding. If both parties share similar ideals and goals, both parties will flourish and see the results and deliverables they want. So, when you’re deciding which 3PL company to partner with, consider conducing a brief but thorough interview. The better your grasp on their company culture, the better your grasp on how the two of you will work together. Plus, more often than not, if you understand their culture, they’ll understand yours—and that’s a match made in heaven.
Myth #3: When You Work With A 3PL Company, You Relinquish All Control
As much as everyone wishes they could, no one can control everything. But, however contrary it may sound, relinquishing control over to an experienced 3PL company actually gives you more control. Many who choose to in-house supply chain management are often inexperienced and lack the necessary tools to effectively manage every detail and minute intricacy of supply chain management. A lack of control is a scary thing, no doubt, but when you’re in over your head, you’ve even less control—and things can quickly go from bad to worse. But experienced 3PL companies know how to handle everything. Plus, the very best ones feature a user-friendly transportation management system (TMS), which gives you control over your shipments.
At DTS, for example, we feature a state-of-the-art TMS that helps you track all of your shipments in one place, streamlining the process so you don’t have to worry about a thing. This way, nothing gets lost in the shuffle, including invoices, documents, and more. We have also formed domestic and international partnerships in order to give you more shipping options so that you can get the most out of your shipping spend. If more control is what you’re after, then DTS is the way to go.
Myth #4: 3PL Companies Don’t Understand Your Specific Business or Needs
Speaking plainly, it’s more likely that your 3PL provider understands your company better than most of your employees. If we understand your business philosophy, we understand what makes you tick and what’s most important to you and your customers. This helps us do our jobs better. While most 3PL companies understand your business because they have to, DTS understands your business because we want to.
Myth #5: 3PL Companies Are Insured, So Your Freight Is Always Protected, Even If You Ship Internationally
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Rather than diving head first into the complicated mess of international law, know that different countries are governed by their own distinct laws and, as such, operate within those guidelines. Although treaties and regulations do exist to make the processes easier, the fine print doesn’t always work in your favor. Sometimes, the products you’re shipping can’t be insured overseas.
International shipping can be a bit confusing, especially when it comes to liability. But that’s where we come in.
Myth #6: 3PL Intermodal Shipping Will Save You Money
Yes… but also no. Don’t be fooled by 3PL companies that seemingly only ship intermodally. While it’s indeed true that intermodal shipping can save you money, it isn’t always true that it’s going to save you the most money. Intermodal freight can often be very expensive. The overall cost ultimately depends on which modes of transportation are used and how often the freight exchanges hands.
Myth #7: 3PL Is A Customer Service Nightmare
The truth is, any misstep can to be a nightmare. Inexperience creates more opportunity for error, and moreover, that inexperience makes problem-solving and conflict resolution more difficult—often making a bad situation worse. An experienced 3PL company, such as DTS, knows what it takes to ensure every shipment arrives safe and on time. If your customers are happy, you’re happy—and if you’re happy, we’re happy. Should something terrible ever arise, we know the necessary steps to take because we’ve been there before.
No two logistic companies are the same. While we can’t necessarily speak on behalf of others, here at DTS, the above 3PL myths are nothing more than mere fiction. When you choose us, you never have to worry about logistics again. We pride ourselves on our transparency, and we are proud that when it comes to fact or fiction, our results speak for themselves. Now that’s the truth.
Whether you're a company looking to improve one facet of your supply chain, your entire supply chain, or simply looking for a transportation and logistics consultation, we can help.