The Importance of Having a Marketing Plan for a Logistics and Transportation Company

Historically, logistics and transportation firms have been operationally oriented and focused on how to make the revenue plan.  Marketing for Logistics and Transportation companies was an afterthought, a support service for sales or a group that worked with an ad agency to develop collateral for trade publications or coordinated activities for conferences.

It seems that everyone is getting into Logistics.   Shippers that run their own transportation departments are venturing into providing logistics services to other shippers. The use of sophisticated cloud based software has enabled shippers to broaden their footprint  and provide  managed transportation services . Traditional trucking company’s are becoming logistics providers offering transportation related services and venturing into logistics brokerage services.  This is a logical extension of services for trucking companies.

More the reason to have a comprehensive marketing plan coupled with an operational plan on how to grow your logistics business whether you are a shipper, logistics or transportation company.

It is key to determine what products and services  the logistics company is going to offer and how to market those services. Is the company going to offer contract transportation services or transactional transportation services? What modes of transportation is the firm going to offer truckload, multi-stop truckload, LTL, parcel, intermodal, expedited, cross docking and warehousing services?

Another area to consider is what vertical market’s is the logistics firm going to market to?  Successful logistics companies crave out a niche and focus on building the niche market.  Ryder and ROLS (Roadway Logistics Systems) made their marks in the logistics industry 20 years by managing inbound JIT programs for the automotive industry.  UPS Supply Chain Solutions craved out a nice business in the late 90’s in the high-tech and service parts business.

Great service and understanding your customers business will allow the logistics company to grow the business through organic growth.  Organic growth is critical for logistics companies.  If the customer is extremely satisfied with the logistics provider, many times the customer will not put the additional business out for bid.  The additional business maybe another plant or another line of business or a separate division within the company. The customer will ask the logistics provider to provide a price and proposal for the additional services.  The logistics provider avoids the formal bidding process with other third party logistics providers.

If you are a transportation or logistics company, let Logistics Trends Inc.  put you in touch with some of our strategy experts.