Finding the appropriate logistics agent is a blessing for all those companies that need to ship merchandise. The logistics agent, more commonly known as a logistics operator, will carry out the liaison work between your merchandise and your customers. He is therefore part of your image before them. So it is necessary to have the resources that allow you to get it right when choosing yours.
What you need to know to find the right logistics agent
Know your needs
As obvious as it may seem, the first step is to know what your needs are in order to find the logistics agent that can best cover them. Companies are not always clear about their real needs, beyond generic concepts such as good service or speed.
This situation becomes more pressing in small companies, which perhaps do not have a person exclusively dedicated to their logistical needs. These people find it more complex to know what their own customers need (if they value speed more, or alternative delivery possibilities -depalletization, weekend deliveries, etc.-), to be able to make deliveries within a specific time slot…
you understand the offer
None of us like to read the fine print in contracts, but it is highly recommended to do so. Especially in important matters such as the logistics of your company. And it is not that we have to go to the most modest clauses, but in transport, clients are often not familiar with the fundamental features of the offers.
Among the issues that tend to cause the most headaches, especially for smaller companies and perhaps less familiar with logistics, are issues such as limits on compensation for breakage based on the weight of the shipment, the possibility of contracting all-risk insurance , the volume ratio of the merchandise according to its volume, etc.
You understand the differences between the different services of your logistics agent
In most cases, it is easy and intuitive to distinguish between the different services. Unfortunately, at other times it is necessary to have a greater knowledge of transport to avoid problems. For example, a trailer usually loads 33 European pallets, and in most cases it has to be unloaded at the dock as it does not have a tail lift.
Despite this, it is common for customers to request trailer services without knowing if it can be delivered through the dock or not. Normally the logistics agent will make sure that the loading and unloading can be done. But it is useful to know this type of thing and to be able to anticipate if in cases with accesses not enabled for a trailer it will be necessary to hire a smaller vehicle at the destination that can make the deliveries.
Asking is one of the most useful things. The good professionals of logistics agents will give you a general explanation of the services, but an exhaustive explanation of each one of them would normally be heavy and not very useful in everything that is not relevant to our case.
That is why it is important to know what things we need and ask them. Do you need to be able to deliver to malls? Do you ship with same day delivery? Do you store merchandise to place orders? How are those orders in quantity and in type of order? Are your pallets standard sizes?
The more you know, the better you can choose your logistics agent.