Logistics Companies

Selecting a logistics company to meet your needs is a challenging proposition given the increasing complexity of supply chains in organizations and the many different variations of logistics service providers available in the marketplace.

Certainly the most important first question to ask yourself is what do you mean when you say you are looking for a logistics company?

At its highest level a business focusing on logistics specializes in helping its client ensure it always has “the right item in the right quantity at the right time at the right place for the right price in the right condition.” But as you know there are many different ways of achieving this goal whether you manage everything in-house, use a combination of outsourced and in-house resources, or using one or multiple different specialized logistics companies to oversee your entire logistics function.

Additionally when people say they are looking to work with a logistics company they are at times talking about different things.  Sometimes you are actually primarily looking for a trucking company, or sometimes a warehousing company. At times what you are really looking for is a logistics technology company or a consulting firm. It also is likely that you are looking for an integrated logistics provider that can support you in all of these.

Depending on the manufacturing process of your goods and the frequency with which your inventory turns over you may also be looking for import/export support, more advanced order fulfillment services and/or additional services such as labeling, kitting & assembly, pick and pack services, crossdocking, or pool delivery to name a few.

Things to think about when looking for a logistics company

 What type of product do you plan on storing?:

  • Is is perishable
  • How many pallets will you be storing
  • How often is it turning (how often do anticipate orders going in and out)
  • Does it need to be refrigerated
  • Is it a hazardous material
  • Are they pharmaceuticals?
  • Is extra high security needed
  • Is it dry storage or does it require temperature control?
  • Does it have a strong scent?
  • Will it come palletized?
  • Do you need any value added services like kitting and assembly or pick and pack services?

Transportation Services

How are you going to handle your transportation? Do you need to use rail services? If so you are only going to want to work with a warehousing company that has a rail dock. If you are shipping by rail in high volumes than you also need to be thinking about how many dock doors you have because if there are just a few than you are going to have a lot of congestion.

Do you use trucking services? If so do you have pre-existing carrier relationships or would you like to use the vendor’s transportation services? Do you only want to work with a logistics company that has a warehouse and a private trucking fleet or do you not mind if the company uses preferred carriers (this very common)

  • What size container will be required?
  • Hope often are your shipments
  • Where is the product originating from
  • Do you need transloading services
  • Would a pool delivery or cross dock program make sense

Software

What are your expectations in terms of logistics software. The amount of sophistication greatly varies from company to company. Some companies will provide you some of the best logistics service in the world, but their software is a little outdated. Some companies have best in class software but they are going to be a lot more expensive and in some cases they might not even be as good. As Ecommerce continues to become more and more important a logistics company with a proficiency in the use of cloud based web solutions will be critical to your success.

Final Thoughts

Talk through these different aspects with you and your business stakeholders. This is a critical step to having a successful first contact with prospective third party logistics companies. While you do not need to know all of these these things, having a clear understanding of your potential logistics requirements will allow you to find the right partner to meet your needs.

Logistics Companies Listings

Get Competitive Logistics Quotes

Get competitive warehousing quotes from leading third party logistics providers and warehousing companies nationwide.

Nexus Third Party Logistics

Provides warehousing and logistics services in Chicago, IL; Allentown, PA and Lawrenceville, GA

WOW Logistics

A Wisconsin based third party logistics provider offering flexible dry and refrigerated warehousing space with more than 15 locations.

ODW Logistics, Inc

Offers integrated logistics and warehousing services out of Columbus, Ohio with 2 million square feet of public warehouse space

Ceva Global Logistics

A leading provider of integrated logistics management, end-to-end supply chain solutions and international freight transportation.

Unigroup Worldwide Logistics

Offers professional logistics and supply chain services customized to your requirements.

DB Schenker Logistics

A supply chain management and transportation solutions company offering multi-modal logistics management for business-to-business shippers through a global network of nearly 500 offices in 133 countries.

4 Way Logistics, Inc.

Offers professional logistics and supply chain services customized to your requirements.

Menlo Worldwide

A leading world wide logistics and supply chain management provider. Menlo specialized in integration of all functions across the supply chain.

Meador Third Party Logistics

Operates over 500,000 square feet of public warehouse space in Mobile, Alabama including a 45,000 sq. ft. facility specializing in Hazardous materials storage.