5 tips how to find logistics partner in Poland

5 TIPS how to find a reliable 3PL logistics partner in Poland.

Here are some hints to be considered. It is not a must, but may give more confidence.

Ask for his track record.

Experience is essential, but in 3pl logistics it is a must. Make sure you partner has both wholesale (B2B) and e-commerce logistics experience. Even if you do not have e-shop at the moment, it will come, sooner then you expect. 

Ask for recommendations from existing customers of your potential partner

Best is if you get direct the contact and ask yourself. In fact, it is a must. Using a 3pl service partner is a long term solution, moving your stock to a new partner is always a big, time consuming, expensive and troublesome issue. Make sure that the candidate for a 3pl partner has long, at least 1 year long history of co-operation with several companies and is eager to contact you with. Do not believe what you see. Even best infrastructure or location do not help, when the partner is not reliable. The best, and in fact the only way to learn it in advance, is to ask yourselves. If the partner does not allow direct contact, it is already suspicious. Such recommendations should be more than one, best 2-3 at least. 

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Ask for his infrastructure list.

Do not leave it to the 3pl partner, even if you do not feel like an expert. First of all ask for the size of the warehouse. 

  1. Small warehouses are less flexible. The good flexibility and ability to cushion sales peaks should be more than 5.000 m2. 
  2. What also counts is the type of racks, weight capacity, pallet nest sizes. Best is when traditional, multilevel metal racks are available on place, but accompanied by specialized e-commerce carton racks with narrow aisles. Those have small, but numerous picking places in 6 levels, what is best for e-commerce. 
  3. Loading docks are also important, including so called “0” dock. Such a dock gives the possibility to unload not standardized trucks from floor level. Together with racks and docks comes number of fork lift and reach trucks. 
  4. The ramp (empty space next to docks) size is also important. It should be not less than 10-15% of total space. Smaller ramp means more time needed to unload, especially when comes to containers. 
  5. Ask for all this, do not leave it to the partner, by the very end you will pay for all inefficiencies of your service warehouse.

Ask for free capacity.

In service businesses it is very common that service providers take too many customers, to make sure their infrastructure is fully (over) occupied. Typical warehouse should have approximately 20% of free space. If such a space is not available, you can still operate such a facility, but efficiency goes down.

Ask for IT integration.

There are many ways to integrate your and 3pl partner systems, but integration is a must. You can hardly imagine communicating via e-mail. But there are different solutions, ask for possibilities. Some service warehouses offer just one or two options. Best is real-time on-line connection, with access to all basic information, like in-deliveries, goods status, parcels sent and returned, etc.

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