New Articles
  April 3rd, 2023 | Written by

How to Build Stronger Logistics Relationships for Successful Export Operations

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="13106399"]

To help your export operations thrive, you must have strong partnerships to help you along the way. Companies that fail to build strong logistics relationships may struggle to send and receive their shipments on time. 

Not having a correct logistical operations process can have a ripple effect on a company. To ensure the success of your company, there are a few steps that you should take to build and maintain strong relationships for your logistics practices.

Identify Key Logistics Partners

The success of your logistical operations will be based on your successful relationships with your logistical partners. It is critically important that you can identify and work with reliable and reputable partners. You will need to select partners that can provide the services you need to get your products out to customers in good condition and at a good time. When making your selection of logistic partners, keep the following points in mind: 

  • Experience: Ensure your potential partner has experience shipping the products you want to export. Ask for references from other companies they have worked with.
  • Capacity: Can they handle the volume of shipments you need? Do they have the resources (staff, vehicles, storage space, etc.) to meet your needs?
  • Flexibility: Your shipping needs may change over time. Make sure your partner can adapt their services to meet your changing needs.
  • Reputation: You want to ensure you’re working with a company with a good reputation for quality service. Check online reviews and talk to other companies in your industry to get their thoughts on potential partners.

Having the right team in your corner can make a big difference in crafting successful export operations.

Understand the Needs of Key Logistics Partners

You must understand the needs of your logistics providers. Your goal should be to work together to meet those needs to create a smooth, successful export operation. While working to build a stronger relationship with your logistic providers, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, you must thoroughly understand their business model and how they operate. Identify key strengths and weaknesses. This will help you better understand what they are capable of and what limitations may impact your export operations. This knowledge can also help you determine the practices you have to offer that will help to ensure seamless functionality in your partnership. 

You must also communicate your needs and expectations with your partners. You will want to provide them with all the information needed to service your export account properly.

Remain reliable and keep your promises to your partners. Trust between you and your partners will ensure you can rely on each other and provide trusted services in the long run. If you say you will do something, you should do it. This, in itself, will go a long way in establishing a relationship that is built on trust.

Be open to feedback and eager to make any necessary changes. It is crucial to understand that no one is perfect. Things will change over time. Both partners must be able to keep up with changing times. If your logistics provider offers suggestions on improving your operation, be open to hearing them and making changes if needed.

Finally, show appreciation for a job well done. Acknowledging can go a long way to maintaining a strong relationship with your logistics provider.

Offer Incentives

To incentivize your logistics providers to go above and beyond in supporting your export operations, you should develop a system of rewards. This could include financial incentives for meeting or exceeding agreed-upon metrics, such as bonuses or commission payments. 

You could also offer non-financial rewards, such as glass awards that offer public recognition. Whatever form the rewards take, they should be meaningful to the logistics providers and encourage them to continue providing high levels of support.

Attend Industry Events

If you want to build stronger relationships with logistics partners, one way to do so is by attending industry events. You can attend many events, from trade shows and conferences to networking events and educational seminars.

No matter what event you attend, you must research ahead of time to know who will be in attendance. Researching can also help you better understand the event and what you and others in attendance can bring to further your export operations. This will help you make the most of your time at the event and ensure that you meet people and potential partners.

You should use industry events to network with as many potential partners as possible. Bring business cards with you that you can exchange and be sure to follow up with new contacts after the event. If you make a good first impression, you will be more likely to build strong relationships with potential logistics partners that can help bolster your company’s mission and improve your processes.

Leverage Technology

Utilizing technology in your export operations can be extremely beneficial, especially when maintaining strong relationships with others. By leveraging technology, you can improve communication and collaboration with your logistics providers and ultimately improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your export operations.

Technology can be used in several ways to improve communication and collaboration with logistics providers. For example, online tools can track shipments, share information, and coordinate schedules. In addition, technology can be used to automate repetitive tasks and processes, freeing up time for more important tasks.

Companies can successfully manage their export operations by understanding the importance of logistics relationships and taking proactive steps to build them. Exporters must ensure that their logistics partners are reliable and capable of meeting their needs. This makes it essential for exporters to strive to develop long-term partnerships with a diverse range of freight providers to meet the demands of today’s global market.

Mike Szczesny is the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products, branded merchandise, and athletic and glass awards. Szczesny takes pride in EDCO’s ability to help companies go the extra mile in expressing gratitude and appreciation to their employees. He resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.