SMB Success: What’s 3PL Shipping Got to Do With It?

Learn how your company’s growth, profitability and efficiency as a whole can improve with a 3PL
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Over the past quarter of a century, shipping has moved from a siloed function in most companies (or in some cases even an afterthought) to a more prominent and strategic role. Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are realizing the crucial impact that a strong logistics strategy can have on overall business success – especially with the help of a third-party logistics (3PL) provider.

In 2020, as a pandemic continues to disrupt normal business operations, shipping has played a vital role in most companies’ ability to successfully adapt, rethink and respond to rapidly changing circumstances and increased demand from customers. In fact, this past year has only highlighted the many ways shipping can directly impact other areas of your business. Whether it’s adopting innovative e-commerce solutions to distinguish yourself from competitors or adapting new freight shipping protocols to align with corporate green initiatives, shipping is now often one of the first strategic considerations, rather than the last.

Could your business benefit from optimizing your shipping processes? Just take a look at some of the ways shipping can impact your business goals and objectives:

Customer loyalty
In most industries, it costs 5-10 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one – so keeping customers satisfied is critical to your company’s bottom line. In fact, studies show that up to 55% of customers who have just one bad shipping experience won’t give you a second chance. Proactive customer service is critical, but so is providing options, being transparent about pricing and timing and using reliable partners.

From unexpected charges and delayed or damaged shipments to packaging issues and claims hassles, being able to manage customer expectations and offer quick solutions is crucial in today’s competitive marketplace. The flip side, of course, is that providing customers with the seamless, efficient and reliable shipping and delivery experiences they expect will help build long-term loyalty and more growth to your bottom line.

For many SMBs, having the right resources and tools to keep customers loyal can be a challenge. An experienced 3PL such as Unishippers can help by offering more options, more expertise and more support so you can meet or exceed your customers’ shipping and delivery expectations.

Supply chain effectiveness
Shipping is a critical component in the supply chain that keeps our global economy pumping. But an effective supply chain strategy requires more than just low shipping rates. It means prioritizing shipping solutions that allow for flexibility, reliability, speed, quality, cost containment, access and capacity.

An effective supply chain can provide your company with vital visibility and understanding – which is especially important when a crisis such as a world-wide pandemic strikes. Shutdowns and delays require quick pivots to ensure continuity and avoid catastrophic disruptions. That’s why the more uncertain the times or situations, the more value a reliable 3PL such as Unishippers can add to your shipping services. If keeping your supply chain moving is paramount to your success, a 3PL partner you can trust is a necessity you shouldn’t do without.

Cost containment and ROI
Shipping costs increase most years, but going for the lowest cost solution is seldom the best bet. Instead, being able to compare options and select the most efficient mode of transportation while balancing speed and reliability along with rates is a strategy that works for most companies.

One common way to help manage shipping costs is to work with a 3PL who partners with top carriers and leverages group buying power to negotiate better rates and more choices for all. Many 3PLs have also invested in the latest technology, so their customers have access to a Transportation Management System (TMS) that can streamline the planning, selection and management of shipping solutions from start to finish. Today’s tools ensure you have oversight into the entire transportation process and can help eliminate errors and miscalculations, reduce the likelihood of costly mistakes or unanticipated charges and enable complete transparency on pricing and invoicing.

Learn more about how shipping impacts your business – and how Unishippers can be the 3PL that keeps you on the right track. Contact us today to get started.

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