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West Coast and California Logistics Blog

The Advantages of Integrated Logistics Providers for Transportation

Tue, Jul 09, 2024 @ 07:30 AM / by Gary Kendle

When you partner with an integrated logistics provider, you're entrusting each leg of your distribution cycle to a single 3PL company. This approach can lead to greater efficiency and improved operational success compared to sourcing services à la carte. In this article, we explore the benefits of partnering with such a provider, with an emphasis on transportation operations.


What is an Integrated Logistics Provider?

integrated-logistics-providersAn integrated logistics provider offers multiple logistics services such as import drayage, warehouse distribution, as well as transportation services such as LTL, FTL, and flatbed. This approach gives you one point of contact, one set of systems integrations, and one billing and invoicing system. Your chosen provider manages different components of your supply chain in harmony, optimizing overall performance.


Transportation Benefits of an Integrated Approach

Here are some key benefits to expect when working with an integrated provider:

Agile Solutions. Many integrated 3PLs fall into the mid-size category, meaning they have the assets and infrastructure to support you but are agile enough to customize solutions. Unlike large national 3PLs, which typically require you to conform to their way of doing things, integrated providers can tailor their services to your specific needs. Smaller 3PLs, on the other hand, may lack the resources to support your logistics operations to the same extent.

Greater Reliability. Integrated providers often focus on concentrated service areas (e.g., Weber Logistics serves the West Coast), enabling better management of their fleets and schedules. This focus results in higher reliability and fewer delays, ensuring a smoother supply chain and consistent service levels for your customers.

Multiple Transportation Modes. Integrated 3PL providers like Weber Logistics can perform all types of transportation services – can perform various transportation services, from drayage and flatbed services to LTL and pool distribution. You only need to deal with one provider for these different modes, simplifying your logistics operations.

Improved Customer Service. With fewer customers to serve than larger national 3PLs, integrated logistics providers offer a higher level of personalized customer service. This can include a dedicated CSR for your operations and direct access to company leadership.

Freight Consolidation. Your integrated provider might be shipping freight from other clients to the same distribution centers you're targeting. This allows for freight consolidation, which combines multiple shipments into truckload shipments, speeding up distribution, and saving money.

Pool Distribution. Instead of making multiple stops through the LTL terminal network, your provider can ship your product directly to the destination region via pool distribution, reducing distribution time by up to four days.

Standing Appointments with Retail DCs. Integrated 3PLs often have established standing appointments and closer relationships with retail distribution centers within their service area, including drop trailer arrangements. This streamlines delivery and improves efficiency.

Improved Visibility. When all transportation services are performed by one provider, you gain visibility into all moves from a single system. This reduces the chances of information gaps or delays in tracking updates, providing more accurate real-time visibility.


Take it to the next level with an integrated services provider

Full Accountability. The primary advantage of using an integrated logistics service provider is that they take ownership and accountability for all logistics operations. You deal with one source for any detail on any aspect of your distribution operation, from execution to performance reporting. This eliminates the time and resources spent managing multiple providers simultaneously.

Flexibility. An asset-based provider can pull equipment from other areas of its operation to support your needs. Some integrated 3PLs also offer a blend of asset-based and non-asset-based transportation, ensuring capacity at all times while retaining control over operations.

Valued Partnership. Entrusting your distribution operations to a single 3PL provider means they understand the importance of your business and will go to great lengths to keep you satisfied. This is especially beneficial for small-to-mid-sized companies, giving you the buying power to be treated like a big fish in your 3PL’s pond.

Speed and Coordination. Integrated 3PLs can perform all needed tasks quickly without delays because they own the entire process. Coordination between different legs of your logistics operations is seamless, with only one source of information throughout.

Simplified Systems Integration. Dealing with one logistics service provider means your systems integration strategy will cover all data sharing and visibility requirements across services. This simplifies management and allows for detailed KPI reporting from a single source.


Turn to Weber Logistics for Integrated Logistics Services

Weber Logistics, a West Coast-based 3PL, seamlessly combines asset-based and non-asset-based transportation services, warehouse distribution, and port services. This creates a true partnership for a large portion of your supply chain. With management and visibility into your full supply chain, Weber can address market challenges in real time. Contact Weber today to learn how they can tailor their services to meet your precise business needs.

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Topics: Transportation Strategies, integrated 3PL services

Written by Gary Kendle

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