Comparing 3PL Companies: Which Suits My Business

12/21/2021

Comparing 3PL Companies: Which Suits My Business

You’ve finally decided it’s time to get some help with your logistics. You’ve heard about third-party logistics (3PL) companies and the services they offer having many benefits to those who use them. According to a report by Ibisworld, there are over 20,000 3PL companies in the U.S. alone. 

When looking to choose the right 3PL for your company, it all comes down to what you’re looking for. Whether you’re looking for one with advanced technology, great customer service, an extensive carrier relationship network, or perhaps an expert in your commodity, there’s sure to be one that makes sense for your business. 

Choosing the right 3PL is essential to ensure your company gets exactly what it needs for its logistics. With so many different 3PL companies out there, we wanted to offer you some information so you can choose the right one for your needs. In this blog, we take some of our competitors and compare them, as well as ourselves, so you can see how they differ. 

First Steps

First things first, to find the right 3PL for your company, here are some steps you can follow to ensure you choose the right partner:

  • Research the different companies around.
  • Begin establishing a relationship with these companies.
  • Ask about the rates they offer.
  • Look for any customizable capabilities the company offers. Is the technology customizable to your company’s needs?
  • Keep an eye out for a provider that commits and strives for continuous improvement. Look for a 3PL that has networks of people and locations. 

Logistics Companies Comparison

We chose some well-known 3PL’s to analyze for our comparison, including C.H. Robinson, XPO Logistics, Redwood Logistics, and ourselves. We’ll compare the different companies’ backgrounds, technology, and company culture to help you start your search for a 3PL provider. 

Background Information

One thing you should look into when researching 3PLs is their background. It’s important to find out some basic information about your potential provider, such as how long they have been in business, the number of locations they have, and their company’s mission.

C.H. Robinson 

  • Founded in 1905 in Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • A multi-billion-dollar company in the logistics field
  • Headquarters are in Eden Prairie, Minnesota
  • Has 297 office locations in 51 different countries
  • Has no assets
  • Mission Statement: “Our people, processes, and technology improve the world’s transportation and supply chain, delivering exceptional value to our customers and suppliers.”

XPO Logistics

  • Founded in 1989
  • Headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut
  • Has over 42,000 employees with 756 locations worldwide
  • A billion-dollar company
  • Has their own assets
  • Mission Statement: “People, technology, assets, and expertise that work together around the globe to help our customers succeed.”

Redwood Logistics

  • Founded in 2001
  • Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois
  • A multi-million-dollar company
  • Has 225 employees with 15 locations nationwide
  • Has no assets
  • Mission Statement: “To bring energy and innovation to logistics and help businesses prosper in a high-demand world.”

Trinity Logistics

  • Founded in 1979 in Cambridge, Maryland
  • Headquartered in Seaford, Delaware, with eight office locations nationwide and over 120 agent offices in North America
  • A Burris Logistics Company
  • Is a multi-million-dollar company
  • Has no assets of their own, but makes use of their parent company assets, Burris Logistics
  • Mission Statement: “To deliver creative logistics solutions through a mix of human ingenuity and innovative technology, enriching the lives of those we serve.

Technology

Technology is a key aspect in the success of your logistics companies. Many 3PL companies provide different technology perks to help simplify your logistics processes. Let’s look at what these companies offer.

C.H. Robinson

C.H. Robinson offers technology applications for transportation management through their Global Transportation Management System (TMS), freight visibility, pricing, and analytics through Navisphere, planning through PO Management, and procurement through Procure IQ. They also offer carriers technology through their Navisphere Driver App. 

XPO Logistics

XPO logistics offers a digital transportation platform designed to increase efficiency for their customer, called XPO Connect. This platform gives visibility into shipment status and helps streamline tasks through automation and digital sourcing of capacity. 

Redwood Logistics

Redwood offers their digital logistics platform called LPaaS. This stands for Logistics Platform as a Service and XPO makes this the center piece of the company. This “open platform for digital solutions” highlights that LPaaS is the connection between logistics and technology to create a network that is efficient, cost-effective, and personalized for your logistics solutions.

Trinity Logistics

Trinity offers best-in-class technology for both shippers and carriers. Shippers can take advantage of Trinity’s Customer Portal or find their own customized transportation management solution, whether that be Integrated Outsourced, Managed, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or their own specific TMS solution. For less-than-truckload (LTL) shippers, there’s Banyan LTL. 

Carriers have just as many technology options as shipper customers through the Carrier Portal, TriumphPay for quick and easy payments, and load booking features through DAT BookNow. 

Carriers and shippers can both take advantage of easy tracking technology options such as MacroPoint, Trucker Tools, and FourKites. 

Company Culture

One final aspect that you should learn about your potential 3PL company is their culture. You want to find a 3PL provider who aligns with your mission, as well as treats their employees right. We all know a happy employee equals great customer service!

C.H. Robinson

C.H. Robinson embraces their value through their E.D.G.E program; evolve constantly, deliver excellence, grow together, and embrace integrity. 

XPO Logistics

XPO’s values are inclusivity, safety, being entrepreneurial, being respectful, and being innovative.

Redwood Logistics

Redwood believes in environmental stewardship, social and workplace culture, and corporate governance. 

Trinity Logistics

At Trinity, culture revolves around a set of Guiding Values. Those are:

Teamwork: We listen. We collaborate. We solve. 

Integrity: We do the right thing!

Legacy: Our journey has purpose.

Fun: Fun lives here!

Continuous Improvement: We aspire to reach our {untapped, full, greatest} potential.

Excellence: We challenge the status quo. 

Determination: We are persistent and unshakable in overcoming obstacles.

Leaders: We are all leaders committed to serving and empowering others.

Find What Works Best for YOU

Whether large or small, having many years of experience or few, or having multiple platforms of technology or just one, the best 3PL for your company is your decision alone. While we at Trinity would love to work with you, we know that the best relationships are built upon respect, equality, trust, and communication.

We hope this logistics company comparison helped you begin your research into your future 3PL provider. Make sure you find the right provider that aligns with your goals and will help you succeed. And if that provider happens to be us, we’re ready to provide you with our People-Centric Trinity Experience.

By: Turner Lee