Refrigerated 3PL and Brokerage Challenge!

Publish on 2010-09-29 by Alexandre Giroux
Refrigerated 3PL and Brokerage Challenge!

As a member of the Montreal logistics industry, RM Logistic is among other brokers striving for its share of the temperature controlled transportation market. This includes frozen transportation, fresh produce transportation and all other types of temperature specific specialized logistics.

There are some elements that a transport broker in the temperature controlled 3PL industry must take into consideration. These specifics include :

  • Equipment availability. The name of the game is developing a solid pool of reliable carriers with streamlined communication between key contacts, ensuring that all parties stay involved.

  • The spectrum of market prices. Peak season management is part of the 3PL brokers communication to his customer. Refrigerated transportation buyers should be made aware of the migration of trucks toward those ‘’on demand’’ destinations throughout the year. The 3PL broker needs to understand his buyers price targets to get the job done profitably. 

  • Appointment windows and processes. This is really where it can go wrong, by not ensuring that temperature controlled warehouse shippers have all the goods picked, packed and ready to be transported. In addition the receivers need to be made aware and the details of the delivery need to be mapped out to avoid any offloading delays.

  • A good understanding that a challenge of your communication skills will likely occur at one point during the operation.

Having a great network

Unprepared, temperature controlled transportation in Montreal can be a particularaly stressful and tough game to play if you don’t know the rules. 
The small demography of Montreal creates a competition in the process of acquiring equipment. Most of the time, it’s not how much you’re willing to pay, it’s how much freight you controll throughout the year and how accomplice you are to your reefer truckers success. This is why having a great network among all the people involved is so important.

For a company that imports a lot of food from many different locations it is always a must to work with brokers that have an established network of carriers, especially in niche lanes. It could be risky to give all your business to one large company. In our experience, it is impossible for an asset-based carrier to have enough equipment to cover all the produce regions and forzen warehouse locations at good market prices all the time. Varying your portfolio of truck suppliers including brokers ensures you to always get a fair price and increase your refrigerated van capacity in your target regions. However, sometimes your group of brokers could be fighting over the same reefer truck, which inflates the price. This will be a topic for another day!

My following blog will elaborate on the concept of market prices. Paying particular attention to what prices you should be offering!

See you in two weeks!

Questions or comments

In the meantime, if you’d like to ask any questions feel free to ask at:
alex@rmlogistic.com