The world of freight transportation is extremely flexible.  New technologies, years of experience, and dozens of moving parts allows shippers the luxury of choosing from a litany of providers. But this freedom of choice can be daunting when researching potential Transportation Service Providers (TSP).  When trying to get freight from one door to another, industry jargon and different types of companies with different levels of service can muddy the waters.

One of the benefits of choosing an asset-based 3PL is fewer points of contact.  Having fewer companies involved in the handling of freight means constant visibility. Through ownership of many pieces of the Supply Chain, an asset-based 3PL can bring easy and affordable solutions to companies in any industry.

Here is how an asset-based 3PL rapidly moves your freight from one place to another:


Request a quote via website, through email, or direct call

By providing accurate details of your product your asset-based 3PL can provide expedient and competitive quotes for your moves.  Knowing the commodity, shipping dimensions, weight, pick-up and delivery locations, and how the product is packaged will help begin the process of transporting your product to its destination.



Acceptance of price, terms & conditions

Once all parties have agreed to the quoted price estimate, and have reviewed the terms & conditions, the quote will be converted to a shipment booking. All relevant parties should be named and provided for notifications throughout the transportation process.



When product is ready, initiate movement

Using the same communication methods as your quote request, reach out to your 3PL partner and request for a pickup to be scheduled. If you do not have your own Bill of Lading (BOL), this document may be provided to you by your 3PL partner.

*Note – IF your quote was based on dock-drop this step is removed.  Using your own trucks or transportation you can drop your product off at your asset-based 3PL’s terminal. In most cases, including Approved, an appointment is not required.  Make sure to check with your 3PL partner to learn of any requirements for drop-off.



Product is entered & processed

When product arrives at a 3PL’s facility, all product information, and document backup will be immediately uploaded into their EDI system.  Bar codes will be applied to all shipments, and an arrival notification should be sent to all shippers, consignees, and partners — as designated at set up.



Product is moved by container, over ocean, road or rail

Your shipments will be loaded safely and securely into containers rated for the ocean, road and railways. No matter your final destination your asset-based 3PL partner should be able to utilize their own equipment to move your product in the easiest way possible.  Depending on the mode of transportation the transit times for your goods can vary greatly.  Be sure to ask for an estimate on when your product will arrive.



Product moved from port or rail yard, brought to facility

Your asset-based 3PL will send its own drivers and employees to out-gate containers.  Once the container holding your goods has been discharged from its vessel, the 3PL drivers will perform drayage to its strategically located terminal.



Product is unloaded and inspected at terminal

Goods are taken from the original container, separated, and prepped for final delivery.  If you have arranged for will-call, all relevant parties will be notified of its arrival at the 3PL’s terminal, and when it is ready for pick-up.



Arrangements made, to bring product to final destination

To ensure successful delivery of your product, your 3PL will schedule a time to bring your freight to its destination.  Through its EDI system and with Online Tracking tools you should have access to notifications throughout the product’s journey. No matter where you are in relation to your product, you should know — in real-time — its location and status.



Your 3PL brings your product to its final location

Utilizing hand-held devices and mobile apps your asset-based 3PL will scan the Proof of Delivery (POD) at the moment your product has changed hands.  So even if your company is not the consignee of the freight, you will know exactly when your product has arrived safely.


Asset-Based 3PLs are an excellent solution for your supply chain.

Choosing a 3PL which owns part of the supply chain is only the beginning.  Knowing you will have consistent access to information and service is now fundamental in making your decision.

Technology has changed the face of the transportation industry.  Immediate access to status updates and documents is a must, and Approved has fully embraced these digital advancements.


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