Across many living room walls, banners, and wall decor are the two words, “Better Together.” While this phrase can reflect the status or hope of a personal relationship, it can also be the foundation for ideal professional partnerships. In an April 2022 press release on the growing worldwide 3PL logistics market, ReportLinker shared, “A growing number of enterprises are showing higher reliance towards outsourcing various logistics functions including transportation, warehousing, and distribution, thus fueling growth in the 3PL market.” When searching for the right fit amongst a crowded field of 3PL partners, craft beer manufacturers and alcohol shippers benefit from considering these seven tips.

1. Integrate Your Systems Under a Single Platform

While incorporating a 3PL in logistics management is intended to aid distribution operations, it can also become a burden. Shippers and manufacturers must only consider 3PL partners that utilize modern technology to streamline all systems through a single platform. This central tenant minimizes the growing pains of incorporating new partnerships, such as additional carriers or a 3PL logistics team.

2. Share Alerts and Shipping Updates With Network Partners in Real-Time

A top-of-the-line 3PL company will provide an automated alert system that enables all network partners to get the same updates as they occur. Craft beer professionals understand how beneficial this is for a cold chain. When all network partners have the 3PL logistics-provided data they need to adapt to a transportation delay or a distribution disruption, shippers can stop worrying about the integrity of their commodity in transport.

3. Provide Context Regarding Shipment Status Exceptions (Late, On-Time) in Contextual Messaging

3PL partners who share alerts are just beginning a communication environment that allows collaborations and customer experience to thrive. Breweries and other beverage distributors must consider a 3PL in logistics management that prioritizes context in communication. A receiving team can prepare when notified that a “local traffic accident caused a two-hour delay” instead of a generic “late” message that can contribute to failed deliveries.

4. Forecast Demand With Advanced Analytics

The craft beer industry has many unique characteristics, such as special releases coordinating with events and seasons. A specialized 3PL in logistics can provide beverage manufacturers and distributor decision-makers with the analytical data to prepare for production and distribution. Analytic-savvy 3PL partners can even offer actionable insight to adjust plans when product demand may be low, yet transport capacity demand is high.

5. Track the Performance of Your Network Partners to Know Who’s Performing and Who Isn’t

As a crowdsource carrier model is gaining traction in some sections of the transportation industry, it can be difficult for shippers and manufacturers to track partner performance. 3PL partners who offer managed services take a holistic approach to the shipper and customer’s needs. The right 3PL company can guide food and beverage distributors toward network partners who won’t let them down in a season and industry where time is money.

6. Choose Carriers That Maintain All Appropriate Endorsements 

Seasoned beverage shippers and craft breweries understand that transporting alcohol comes with regulations. A beverage-specialized 3PL in logistics can guide the transport of alcohol in and out of the 19 states that require the carrier to maintain an alcohol transportation permit. In addition, shippers and manufacturers can leverage 3PL logistics software to set reminders to confirm that carriers are renewing their permits when and where applicable.

7. Know When to Use Dry Van Versus Reefer

Supply chain professionals must look for operational cost-saving opportunities as inflation and fuel costs rise. This effort can even include the transportation of beer, wine, and spirits. The best 3PL partners understand the importance of keeping perishable commodities at a safe resting temperature and can provide correct carrier recommendations via their 3PL logistics platform.

8. Apply Data to Solve Crises-Turvo+Trimac+Zen Section

Part of the value of working with any 3PL partner comes from leveraging that partner’s external expertise and technology, such as having a technological mechanism to capture data to measure what’s happening within a business. Then, the 3PL transforms raw data into insights and assists shippers with turning those insights into meaningful improvements.

For instance, by leveraging analytics, Zengistics can help shippers identify which DCs are over-or under-performing, figure out where to relocate existing inventory, and engage multiple carriers to ensure the moves do not go stale. Further, applying data yields better results by creating more positive customer experiences, resulting in more orders for the shipper and better throughput overall.

Do It All by Working With Professionals Zengistics From the Start

Craft beer connoisseurs understand the pleasure found in the correct meal and drink pairing. While one ale might be best with bratwurst, another is “better together” with a robust and spicy curry. Finding a 3PL logistics expert who truly understands the ins and outs of craft beer and alcoholic beverage transportation can be a similarly pleasant experience. As a Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America sponsor, Zengistics enlightens its partners throughout the U.S. and Canada with the data they need to build a better distributor network. Look no further for your next 3PL logistics expert, and contact Zengistics for a quote today!