A fifth of UK companies report difficulties with their 3PLs

A fifth of UK companies have reported having difficulties with their third-party logistics providers (3PLs), according to the latest data from supply chain and logistics consultancy, SCALA.

SCALA’s research looked at contract start-ups and found that 15% of customer companies have experienced subpar service.

Cost, deliverables and timing issues were noted, with 5% reporting major problems with the service.

Reputable companies in the UK were questioned, as well as 3PLs, in order to find out the satisfaction rates.

John Perry, managing director at SCALA, said: “These findings show that more work needs to be done to ensure 3PL contracts can be a success from the start.

“From reviewing the results, there is a clear tendency for the blame game to start during crucial periods like the start of a new contract.

“Rather than trying to point the finger, both parties need to work on the ‘partnership’ for relationships to succeed. Communication and collaboration need to be high on both sides.

“At our recent Annual Supply Chain Debate, attended by over 150 industry professionals, the main discussion was around how both customer organisations and 3PLs should communicate better from the outset.

“Customers should ensure they pick 3PLs that are a good cultural fit for their organisation so they are aligned to the same values and goals.

“Procurement strategies should also be less prescriptive so 3PLs can deliver more and be truly embedded within the business.”

However, 54% of 3PLs viewed their performance as highly successful. Those surveyed suggested they were on time, to budget, with no service disruption.

Only 35% of customer companies shared the view on its success, showing a discrepancy between the parties.

The survey follows a recent report by Talent in Logistics which revealed that the logistics sector has a significant recruitment problem, which could potentially cause the nation to “grind to a halt”.

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