How to choose a logistics company? What should one pay attention to? Some are guided by the recommendations of colleagues, others look for information with search engines, and some look for references in the media.
The AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG international transport and logistics company team offers some pointers on the issue.
What are the first steps to take when looking for a transport and logistics provider?
During negotiations and in meetings with a potential partner, pay attention to the size of the company as well as the number and location of its offices. Develop a set of evaluation metrics like revenue, solvency, service profitability, and judicial record. Don’t forget to consider how convenient it is to order services and how accessible their team is,” says Natalya Bulko, Contract Lawyer at AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG.
According to Nikolaj Epikhov, International Road Transport Consultant at AsstrA, the decisive factor when choosing a logistics provider is industry experience.
“The transport company should have a track record of stable, smooth operations. Check which associations or trade unions the logistics company is a member of. Membership in professional organizations typically indicates a good reputation and market position,” adds Nikolaj Epikhov.
What information sources should be trusted in the assessment process?
“Start with the company’s website to form a first impression. It will take 15-20 seconds to understand whether the company presents basic information in an acceptable way. If the site is easy to navigate, the company cares about its image and strives to be customer-oriented,” says Natalya Bulko.
Nikolaj Epikhov advises looking for affiliations with professional logistics associations. These speak to the company's standing in the logistics community and overall credibility.
“Check if the company is covered in the trade press. Make sure that the company’s experts are respected by other professionals in the logistics field,” says Robert Vashkevich, Head of the Eastern Europe Division at AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG.
What criteria should be used when choosing a logistics provider?
Today, according to Robert Vashkevich, consumer reviews are becoming a decisive indicator when choosing a company.
“First of all, pay attention to the company’s reputation. Recommendations from customers in your industry will help you judge this reputation. In addition, make sure the company provides what you need and where you need it, i.e. which services it provides and in which countries it does so. Often, this information is presented on the site, the quality and usability of which can also help guide your choice,” explains Robert Vashkevich.
“Once you have decided on a logistics provider, request to see their standard package of registration documents, as well as their liability insurance policy and certificates confirming compliance with international logistics service quality standards like ISO, SQAS, AEO, and GDP. Gather information on financial reimbursements for damages. At AsstrA, the maximum amount of compensation is 3,000,000.00 euros / case and 6,200,000.00 euros / year. Coverage from a reputable insurance provider is a solid guarantee of compensation for damages,” summarizes Natalya Bulko.