Entrepreneurs looking for a flexible business model within the thriving logistics industry may find they are weighing the pros and cons of becoming a logistics agent versus a 3PL franchise owner. Unishippers Global Logistics – one of the nation’s first and largest shipping resellers – is simplifying the decision-making process for entrepreneurs with a detailed comparison chart that illustrates why the 3PL franchise model is a solid long-term investment.
In the last decade, logistics agent models have grown quickly by promising the freedom to choose your own hours and unlimited earning potential with low initial upfront costs. Entrepreneurs weighing the initial upfront cost of the franchise model against the agent model may opt for the latter without getting a complete picture. Only by digging a little deeper into the franchise opportunity will entrepreneurs see the advantage of joining a concept with long term growth potential, equity creation, and robust systems and support that are already in place.
“By providing this comparison chart to entrepreneurs who are perhaps familiar with our industry but not these two business models, they can make an informed decision about which path will better set them up for future success,” said Kevin Lathrop, president of Unishippers. “In addition to building a business with long-term equity creation, franchisees have the deep support of the franchisor which includes access to our internal systems, marketing collateral and training that agents often don’t receive.”
The company has identified eight keys areas of comparison between being an agent and franchisee, and provides a thorough overview of each step in the process of owning your own business. These areas of scrutiny include initial investment, customer interaction, immediate income & growth potential, long term income & growth potential, rules & regulations, support, corporate company interaction, training, carrier network & relationships, and exit options.
Unishippers franchisee, Rick Cornwell, transitioned from logistics agent to franchisee in 2014 and is confident he made the right decision. “This comparison chart will be very useful for entrepreneurs in our industry. There is so much conflicting information available these days about what it’s really like to be a logistics agent. Once you dig in to the details, the long term benefits of franchising really become crystal clear.”
Unishippers’ nationwide system of franchises and affiliate outlets are small- and mid-size business advocates who are committed to providing customers with reduced shipping rates through top national, regional and local carriers. The company delivers platinum service that includes a dedicated account team for service, technology built for SMB customers and flexible credit, insurance and invoicing options—all traditionally reserved for Fortune 500 customers. Leveraging the combined volume of its 50,000 customers, Unishippers secures stable discounts from carrier partners that are then passed on to customers.
“It’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur in the logistics industry and, with the help of our comparison chart, our company hopes the process can become a little clearer,” said Lathrop.
Founded in 1987, Unishippers has grown to the largest reseller of shipping services in the nation, with more than 290 franchise locations and affiliate outlets. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, the Unishippers concept is simple – work with major carriers including UPS®, Saia®, Estes®, YRC Freight and UPS Freight® to handle the pick-up, transport and delivery of customers’ shipments. All the while, local franchisees work to provide customers with service and support. By leveraging the combined shipping volume of all its customers, Unishippers gets deeply discounted rates from its carriers, resulting in lower shipping costs. Unishippers serves more than 50,000 small to mid-sized businesses, and has been recognized as a top freight broker by Transport Topics and a top franchise by Entrepreneur, Franchise Times and the Inc. 5000.
Contact Unishippers for information on franchise opportunities.