Becoming a “shipper of choice” is a decision. It doesn’t just happen, points out the editorial team of online freight market publication, FreightWaves.
In an article titled, Top 5 Ways to Be a Shipper Of Choice, the website offers carriers some tips to share with customs about improving efficiencies cutting down on wasted time, and ultimately secure capacity and keep freight shipping costs in check while staying more profitable.
1. Pay fast and pay accurate
Carriers use the money they get from shippers to pay their immediate needs, like their drivers and fuel costs. The best way to achieve this is either to have an above-average TMS system or invest in a data-analytics company that is dedicated to clean data, and communication between carrier and shipper.
Many companies want to pay their carrier within their contract terms such as Net 30 or Net 45, or whatever the contract may stipulate. Unfortunately, industry-standard is more like 90 days. Companies who struggle tend to have a large, paper-based effort to ensure that they’re being billed accurately.
2. Keep drivers out of detention
Detention is never cool. Detention is the second fastest way to get your drivers steaming angry. And what are drivers stuck in detention going to do with all that “free time”? They’re getting on all the relevant social media platforms and letting the community know what a bad shipper you are to work for. Less detention also means more retention. Driver retention—and retention of your customer base—is good.
Time is literally money. The less time you hold drivers up the more savings that is going to come back to you in the long run.
3. Remember the Golden Rule
Treat others like you want to be treated. For all the technology improvements taking the industry by storm, logistics is still a relationship business. Not only should shippers treat drivers well, they should treat their carriers well too. Developing relationships with your “carriers of choice,” and giving them first crack at various lanes—even if an agreement isn’t reached—keeps loyalty high.
4. Be better with your flexibility
Flexibility is about more than being able to touch your toes. Flexibility means being available on off-peak hours and weekends to ship. When it comes to freight transportation, service is more than simply moving freight from point A to point B. Often the “service” is overlooked in competitive whirlwind of price and transactional management.
Providing overnight parking is another solution. “Nothing gets me more upset than when they have a ton of space and say ‘beat it’. I don’t expect anyone to pave a new lot, but this shows how they feel about the people helping them to keep their business supplied,” writes owner-operator William Snyder on the Rate Per Mile Facebook group page.
5. Visibility, visibility, visibility
In real estate it’s about location. In freight, it’s all about the visibility. Visibility involves upfront planning. By communicating with carriers, shippers create higher levels of predictability within their supply chain. This enhances efficiency, which ultimately reduces risk and controls costs.
A key step in reaching shipper of choice status is faster payment to carriers, and there’s no way to get there without visibility from multiple target points. Visibility leads to everyone being able to act in “real time.”
Read the full article here.