Partnering with a reliable logistics coordinator is wildly important to your clients’ experience, and having a product that is sensitive to temperature can make finding one even more complicated. Good news is that we have a short list of considerations for you to help narrow down the best provider for your business:
Strategic Warehouse Locations
Just like with real estate, logistics are all about location. These days, it’s important to have access to the vast majority of your customer base within two days drive of your warehouse, and this is even more important with temperature-sensitive products like foodstuffs and medication. We’re believers that warehousing in the Midwest is a great option to reach the most metro areas in that timeframe. However, you should be considering how easily accessed the location is by air, train, truckload, and cargo ship as well. Reliability means having more than one means of transit if and when things go wrong and your shipment needs quick action to make the promised delivery window.
Thorough Contingency Planning
Speaking of when things go wrong, temperature-sensitive products require an extra layer of planning in case of emergency. Make sure the 3PL partners you’re working with have duplicate cooling systems, high-grade insulation, state-change packing solutions like dry ice or ice packs, and cold temperature tape to ensure your packages stay sealed until arrival.
These are solutions specific to cold chain contingency planning, but doing your due diligence to check for standard contingency plans apply as well. Ensure you have relationships with multiple carriers in your area of service as well as a quick escalation procedure when necessary. Reliability means having solutions readily available should the worst come to pass because someday it will.
Quality Control Capabilities
If you want to deliver a reliable product to your clients, one of the best ways to ensure it is through continual quality control monitoring. This can be especially important in a cold chain because products that require precise temperature management are often in direct contact with customers and can lead to health concerns if unnoticed or unreported. At MWCold, we believe quality begins at manufacturing and is vital throughout a product’s lifetime as it is stored, packed and distributed.
Well Trained and Compensated Staff
In the past few years, most industries have encountered how important human capital to produce quality, reliable results for their customers. For warehouses, this means that prioritizing reliability means also needing to prioritize worker training, safety, experience, benefits, growth and compensation. Work with 3PL providers who speak on the importance of building warehouse careers and openly share their competitive starting salary over those who offer low-cost solutions and gig-style employment opportunities.
A Longstanding History of Performance
Perhaps one of the most dependable indicators of reliability in a logistics provider is their past performance. It’s likely you will find that all 3PLs have some disgruntled past customers and mistakes that were made. But whether the team was capable of making changes, staying flexible, and continuing to provide services with longstanding partnerships is emblematic of its ability to do so again in the future. With more than 70 years of experience, MWCold takes pride in its history in the multi-temperature sector of the logistics industry.
Finding a reliable logistics provider is especially important when you’re looking to distribute a temperature-sensitive product, but the good news is that most of the indicators of reliability will look the same as with any other business you partner with. One bonus we would suggest before signing onto a multi-temperature warehouse is to visit it yourself to see these considerations implemented in person. Not all cooling systems are built the same. Nor are their backups. If that’s something you’d like to do, we’d be more than happy to show you around! Just reach out to our team to schedule a time that’s best for you.