The demand for freight services is higher than ever. From truck driver shortages to increased driver regulations governing driving hours, current trends in the freight and shipping industry mean there are fewer trucks available to move your freight.
Carriers are in high demand. This is one of the major challenges if freight management, and it means some businesses are having difficulty finding carriers to move their freight. While carriers will mainly choose contracts that provide a wide profit margin, money isn’t the only factor. Shippers are innovating by turning to various strategies to make their freight more attractive to carry. Through carrier-friendly policies and by understanding the market and its unique pressures, shippers are building stronger relationships with carriers.
This blog will look at these strategies, how to implement them, and why being a shipper of choice is increasingly important in a market that is quickly disfavoring businesses that have freight to move.
To be a shipper of choice means your loads, your location, and your business practices match with what carriers find desirable. It means they respect your business because you respect theirs enough to understand their pain points.
Being a shipper of choice means your company can secure a truck at a competitive rate when you need it most. Since carriers can and must pick and choose the jobs they take, it is in their best interest to partner with businesses that align with their goals. While large amounts of freight and steady shipping were once how carriers decided if a shipper was desirable or not, this is no longer the case. Instead, carriers are looking at a shipper’s organization and communication. If a shipper creates issues at the dock, or anytime during a shipment’s lifecycle, a carrier is likely to charge more for their services or leave and service a shipper that approaches shipping with better sensibility.
Business relationships may have economic goals, but they are based on a bedrock of trust. Shippers can build this trust by being in tune with what frustrates carriers and working to alleviate those pain points. While some of these strategies may increase costs, the payoff is easier shipping and preferred status.
Avoid Detention Time
Never hold up drivers. Time is money, and if your loading and unloading procedures are inefficient, carriers take notice. Carriers want predictability and structure, and this begins when shippers look internally to eliminate needless delays and become more streamlined.
Avoid Strict Pick-up and Delivery Windows
You have a schedule too, but when shippers are flexible with appointment times, truckers can maximize their time on the road. This also means expanding appointment hours beyond the normal 8 to 5 to after hours and weekends.
Ease of Access to Your Facilities
You might not be able to change your location, but you can take measures to make your location easier to access and safer for drivers. Eliminate obstacles and provide clear signage to help navigate your driveways and loading docks. Some shippers go as far as providing parking for drivers that hit their hours while at the dock, eliminating the need to find a rest stop after the load/offload. While this seems minor, carriers do evaluate shippers by how they treat drivers, and safe, accessible parking is a definite plus.
Transportation management systems (TMS) do more than optimize shipping; they improve communication with carriers and drivers too. A TMS expedites the shipping process and creates clear and transparent communication with carriers, a crucial component of effective customer service.
Many shippers struggle to make internal changes while maintaining the day-to-day operations of their business. This is why they turn to logistics partners like Sheer to look at their shipping procedures as a carrier would.
Carrier relationships are important, and when your company takes active steps to become a shipper of choice, the reward is a collection of strong alliances with the best carriers in the industry. Sheer Logistics helps you ship smarter. Reach out to us today to find out more about the value we provide.