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7 Advantages of a Non-Asset-Based 3PL Provider

non asset based 3pl provider

Outsourcing logistics processes can be an effective means of managing the needs of your organization. However, when you decide to take the jump to outsourcing, you will have to choose between an asset-based and non-asset-based third-party logistics provider (3PL). Both types of 3PLs have advantages and disadvantages. But, a non-asset-based 3PL provider may offer much more than you realize, including these seven key benefits.

1. Access to Other Experience and Knowledge, Not Limited Hardware.

The first advantage of a non-asset-based 3PL provider is knowledge and experience. Asset-based providers have their own resources, materials and fleets, giving rise to the idea that they are superior choices. However, you must consider how a problem in that provider could evolve. In other words, an injunction or financial penalty assessed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) could jeopardize your entire operation. But, in a non-asset 3PL, additional resources can be diverted and accessed to keep you in operation, reports Aabaco Small Business.

2. Flexible Solutions for Growing Companies.

Scalability is essential to the future success of your business. Market trends will change, and your business will need to adapt to sudden, unpredicted changes in your market forecasts. While analytics tools can help you create an accurate forecast, sometimes they are wrong. As a result, you need a flexible solution, and non-asset 3PLs can meet that demand, asserts 3PL Info. In fact, flexibility is considered the most important benefit a non-asset-based 3PL provider can give you.

3. No Hidden Costs, and Strong Visibility.

It seems like every business comes with hidden costs these days. In asset-based 3PLs, you have no way of knowing what the actual operating costs of accessing their assets are. What are the fuel charges, and how do those charges compare to the rates you are currently being charged?

Non-asset providers have a bested interest in maintaining visibility, promoting greater use of their services. In addition, the goal is to provide the lowest service costs possible, even if it means outsourcing additional processes to asset-based providers. This can be confusing, but you must ultimately understand that the non-asset providers have the wherewithal to ensure their costs are kept down and passed along to you, their partner.

4. Non-Assets Have Paid to Be Recognized by the DOT, Proving Compliance-Driven Resolve.

Before 2013, any organization could claim to be a non-asset-based 3PL provider. The reporting requirements were nonexistent, and some true asset-based enterprises took advantage of this to claim non-asset-based operations. That changed when the DOT mandated a $75,000 freight broker surety bond for all non-asset-based providers in 2013, explains PLS Logistics. Consequently, the true non-asset providers were the ones that could reasonably pay the bond amount without disrupting existing operations. Ultimately, this payment shows potential shippers that non-asset providers have already taken the steps to ensure the safety of their partners.

5. Optimization of Your Existing Supply Chain Network.

The definition of logistics services is all of the processes that go into manufacturing, distribution, sales and returns of products. Since an asset-based provider owns their own supply chain assets in the network, they would not be likely to improve your own network processes. Consequently, you would get the benefit, but if you were to abandon ship, you would lose the optimization. In a non-asset relationship, your own network becomes part of the whole network, creating lasting optimization that would enhance your workflow even if you were to take a different direction in the future.

This also includes equipment and hardware upgrades. For example, the use of a dedicated transportation management system, created by a non-asset-based partner, could help you identify the best carriers to use for future shipments. Meanwhile, an asset -based partner may limit your options to their resources, increasing costs unless fleets expand, explains Industry Week.

6. Monitoring of Your Transactions, Preventing Double-Billing and Other Errors.

An asset-based provider is comparable to a for-profit enterprise, and a non-asset-based provider is comparable to a nonprofit. Asset-based providers are vested in your payments, not your honesty. As a result, you may be on your own with performing audits and preventing errors, such as double-billing, in your transactions. Since non-asset-based providers do not benefit from these actions, it is in their best interests to monitor your transactions for accuracy and catch errors as they occur.

Ultimately, this can prove to increase your profit margins, and within the contract of a non-asset-based 3PL provider, you may pay a portion of reclaimed payments to the provider. Ultimately, the lack of assets means the non-asset provider should work to reduce inefficiencies in your operation by identifying problems and errors to take advantage of a small profit for your larger reclamation.

7. A Non-Asset-Based 3PL Provider Benefit When Your Organization Benefits, Not the Other Way Around.

When your organization benefits, the 3PL should benefit as well. In the case of non-asset-based partnerships, this concept is true. However, asset-based partnerships are built on your use of that company’s specific resources. As a result, you cannot be certain other cheaper rates are available. In non-asset 3PLs, you can access more resources to get a better rate. Since this type of company is built on working with more people to get smaller profits from each person, they can access more resources. Ultimately, a small profit among many people adds up to a greater profit than large profits off a few people.

Which One Is Right for You?

No one can tell you what type of 3PL to use. That is your right as the owner of your organization. However, if you know the advantages and disadvantages of using a non-asset-based provider, you can be better-prepared to make a decision that will benefit your company in the long run.

Adam Robinson
Adam Robinson oversees the overall marketing strategy for Cerasis including website development, social media and content marketing, trade show marketing, email campaigns, and webinar marketing. Mr. Robinson works with the business development department to create messaging that attracts the right decision makers, gaining inbound leads and increasing brand awareness all while shortening sales cycles, the time it takes to gain sales appointments and set proper sales and execution expectations.
Adam Robinson
Adam Robinson
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