Executive Briefings

Factors Driving Change for 3PL Providers

As a growing 3PL, ProTrans is taking a proactive approach to finding mid-sized, regional carriers that are a good match for its network. Shawn Masters, COO, discusses the company's carrier program and its proprietary carrier-matching software application.

From its beginnings as a less-than-truckload consolidator, ProTrans has grown into a full-service third-party logistics company, says Masters. Recently, the company launched a program to proactively strengthen its carrier network and partnerships by placing dedicated managers across the country to find and develop carrier partners.

“Instead of relying on carriers to come to us to grow capacity, we are going to them. We are finding and meeting them in their environment, learning about their customer base, taking them to lunch and approaching them just as our sales organization does when talking to customers,” says Masters. “We want to understand their business to see if our two companies are a good fit and if there are potential synergies.”

ProTrans focuses on carriers in the lower third of the rate range that also can bring a high level of service. “We mostly work with carriers that have 100 or fewer trucks,” says Masters. “That size carrier generally allows us to have good personal relationships and receive good service at a rate point that meets our needs.”

To support this effort, ProTrans developed an application called Lane Matchmaker. “This captures all the information our carrier development managers are collecting throughout North America. The application allows us to analyze carriers based on the lanes in which they operate and where they have additional capacity. As customers ask us to bid on specific lanes, this tool allows us to find lane-specific carrier rate and capacity information that we can use to respond,” he says.

To view the video in its entirety, click here

From its beginnings as a less-than-truckload consolidator, ProTrans has grown into a full-service third-party logistics company, says Masters. Recently, the company launched a program to proactively strengthen its carrier network and partnerships by placing dedicated managers across the country to find and develop carrier partners.

“Instead of relying on carriers to come to us to grow capacity, we are going to them. We are finding and meeting them in their environment, learning about their customer base, taking them to lunch and approaching them just as our sales organization does when talking to customers,” says Masters. “We want to understand their business to see if our two companies are a good fit and if there are potential synergies.”

ProTrans focuses on carriers in the lower third of the rate range that also can bring a high level of service. “We mostly work with carriers that have 100 or fewer trucks,” says Masters. “That size carrier generally allows us to have good personal relationships and receive good service at a rate point that meets our needs.”

To support this effort, ProTrans developed an application called Lane Matchmaker. “This captures all the information our carrier development managers are collecting throughout North America. The application allows us to analyze carriers based on the lanes in which they operate and where they have additional capacity. As customers ask us to bid on specific lanes, this tool allows us to find lane-specific carrier rate and capacity information that we can use to respond,” he says.

To view the video in its entirety, click here