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U.S. Gypsum has maintained a long-standing relationship with Transplace. One key to longevity, says McGuigan, is the 3PL's continuous search for ways to improve the shippers' transportation operations.
Boroughf cites two major themes that emerge in the relationship between shipper and 3PL: continuous improvement and acquisitions. “We continue the partnership and we’re finding new and innovative ways to tackle emerging problems,” he says. “And growth through acquisition brings value to us.”
Surveys show that shippers generally have a high degree of satisfaction in their relations with 3PLs, McGuigan says. At the same time, shippers are looking to reduce the number of their logistics partners, and increase business with the remaining players. “They’re becoming increasingly reliant on fewer 3PLs,” he says.
The partners also work closely to improve their perspective on the marketplace. “We don’t want to be constantly upsold,” says Boroughf. “We’re looking for thoughtful questions that represent our business’ needs, and bringing better value to us. That is at the heart of keeping things fresh.”
In the 3PL/shipper relationship, both parties need to avoid the tendency to spend all of their energy and excitement on the early stages of an implementation. “In the supply chain business,” says Boroughf, “yesterday’s problems are old news.”
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