Healthy 3PL Relationships: 6 Powerful Steps to Establishing It

Partnering with a 3PL that can take your brand to the next level is an essential concept. You want a 3PL partner that will propel you to the next level. So, regardless of logistical involvement, building healthy relationships is necessary. Read on to learn about six decisive steps to establish healthy 3PL relationships.

healthy 3PL relationships

How Building Trust Can Establish Healthy 3PL Relationships

You can’t expect to build a good relationship with your 3PL if you don’t trust them. Trust is the foundation of any good relationship. So, involved parties must recognize this fact before they begin working together.

You may think, “But how do I know if I can trust them?” Here are some ways to build trust:

  • Be honest with each other about the costs and benefits of your partnership. Open communication is critical in building trust, especially regarding fees, rates, and payments.
  • Open yourself up to new ideas; don’t stick with what has worked in the past! Try something new! You never know what might come from it unless you try something new!
  • Communicate effectively with one another, so there aren’t any misunderstandings – make sure that everyone knows what’s happening at all times!!!
  • Respect each other’s time limits (don’t schedule meetings too close together). This shows respect for their time and yours. So, it is crucial when creating lasting relationships!

Defining Goals and Projections 

Before establishing a 3PL relationship, you and your shipper must clarify things. Ensure you define goals and projections. This way, you and your shipper will understand the services involved.

Establishing goals and projections before the relationship is formed is crucial. This is because it helps ensure that everyone involved has realistic expectations. Defining these terms provide everyone knows the necessary actions to meet those expectations.

Goals should be defined using measurable metrics: “I want to reduce our costs by 15% over the next year.” This gives both sides something concrete against which they can judge their relationships.

Quick read:5 Top Questions Every 3PL Should Ask Their WMS Provider

How Communicating Can Establish Healthy 3PL Relationships

Communication is key to any relationship. It is especially critical in the 3PL partnership. It would help if you communicated with your 3PL regularly. Besides, ensure that you are conveying your expectations. It would be best if you also made your needs and goals known. This way, the third-party logistics partner can provide solutions for you.

You may think that email is the best way to communicate. This is because it’s easy and fast, but there are several reasons why email alone won’t work as well as it could:

  • If several people are involved, it can be unclear who owns which message thread. 
  • Email lacks tone or emotion—which can be important when discussing business matters.
  • Email doesn’t record the conversation happening together in real-time. You don’t know exactly what was said or agreed upon. 

Prioritizing Quality Assurance to Establish Healthy 3PL Relationships

There are many ways to measure the success of a 3PL relationship in the logistics industry. It is difficult to know whether you’re working with a reputable business. But by prioritizing quality assurance, you can establish healthy relationships with your 3PLs.

The first step to ensuring a good working relationship is to set clear expectations. Ensure that both parties are on the same page about what needs to be done and how long it will take. This will help you avoid any misunderstandings later on down the line.

You should make sure that your 3PL understands your business goals and objectives. This is to ensure that they know what’s most vital for them to work toward achieving together. This will help them become more engaged in their work and feel more invested in your success!

Both parties need to agree on what forms of “good” communication. —what does that look like? When should something be communicated verbally versus via email? What do they expect from each other when scheduling meetings? 

How Maintaining Legal Documents Can Establish Healthy 3PL Relationships

Maintaining a legal framework is an integral part of establishing healthy 3PL relationships. The more you do, the less likely you will end up in a dispute.

As with all legal documents and procedures, starting them off right as soon as possible is best. This will help establish a precedent for the future. Besides, it will help prevent any problems from arising in the first place.

Maintaining legal documents is vital when it comes to 3PLs and their clients. It can help establish healthy relationships that keep everyone happy.

You want to protect your business when working with a third-party logistics company. You also want to ensure that the 3PL is treated and paid on time. This is where legal documents come in.

These agreements spell out how your business will work with a 3PL company. And it includes how much they’ll be paid for their services. It also helps both parties understand what they have agreed to do.

If you don’t have specific agreements, it could be difficult to enforce any problems later. Suppose no documentation states what each party handles. In that case, there won’t be anything legally binding on either one of them.

Establish the Process for Resolving Conflicts

Establish the process for resolving conflict. If there’s a conflict, you need to be able to fix it reasonably. This is critical because you don’t want any hard feelings between your company and the 3PL.

There are a few things that you need to ensure when establishing this process:

  • Make sure everyone understands what they should do if there is a dispute between them. This can be done through email or written documentation. This could b inform an invoice or contract terms of service (ToS).
  • Ensure that the process is straightforward for both parties involved in resolving conflict. The last thing you want is for people on either side not to know how to handle disputes effectively. This is because they don’t understand how their side should proceed during disagreements.
  • Make sure that whatever system you use allows both parties equal opportunity to be heard. Hence, all parties involved feel listened to even though they may disagree.
healthy 3PL relationships


For a relationship to be strong, it’s essential to communicate openly. This is true in any relationship, personal or business, whether personal or business. You must establish an open dialogue in the world of 3PLs and eCommerce. Otherwise, you may be overwhelmed with poor customer service and delivery issues. For more details, contact sales support.

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