Willing to help you improve your success by using our services, we wanted to shared with all of our readers these (important) 5 facts that will let you become a “perfect customer for carriers”. But not everything is what it seems: a perfect customer has less stress and makes better choices when using carrying services it´s the topic.
This is now the era of the carrier’s market. For the first time in many years, drivers and carriers find themselves in a position to choose which shippers they most want to work with, giving rise to the so-called shipper of choice environment. Shippers who provide better experiences for carriers could reap long-term benefits in the form of higher service levels, fewer claims, and better rates.
The following are 5 ideas (or tips) you could employ immediately to help transform your company into a shipper of choice:
Don’t Waste the Carrier’s Time
Time is money, and in today’s reality of fewer drivers, ELDs and tighter HOS rules, if a truck isn’t moving, it’s not making money.
Consider these guidelines
- Don’t require appointments to pick up or drop off freight. Instead, adopt a first-come, first-serve policy, or if appointments are required, make sure to honor the time slot the carrier is given.
- Expand your hours of dock operations. Instead of 8 am-12 noon, allow access from 7 am – 6 pm, for instance.
- Manage your dock and yard so a driver’s wait time never exceeds 15 minutes. You’ll keep them happier and avoid detention fees/fines.
- Provide ample parking for the carrier’s assets. It’s frustrating for drivers to operate tractors and trailers within crowded and cramped areas because it wastes time.
Be Courteous and Accommodating to Drivers
Ensure that your facility’s employees are treating drivers and carrier employees with respect. If a driver only has room for one more pickup at the end of the day but has two options to choose from, they will likely choose a shipper who is easier to do business with.
Another way of showing your respect for drivers is providing them with break areas at your facilities where they can wait comfortably, get a snack or coffee, and use the restroom while their truck is being loaded.
Package Shipments Properly
Proper packaging is critical to preventing cargo damage and making your freight stowable within a carrier’s network. Consider packing shipments with foam peanuts, using wooden crates, adding corners to pallets and wrapping pallets in plastic to better protect freight in transit.
Organize your pallets so they can be stacked, allowing the carrier to maximize its trailer space. Standard size pallets (48”x40”, 42”x42”, 48”x48”) that can be stacked or racked are the most sought-after freight. Make sure you keep your freight below 50 inches in height and avoid non-stack stickers, placing cones on top of pallets and overhanging items.
Plan Ahead—Consolidate Pickups
One of the most significant costs for carriers is driving to your facility and waiting to get loaded. Naturally, the cost to pick up one shipment is the same as the carrier’s cost to pick up three or four loads, except they’re earning revenue from multiple loads instead of one.
If you know you’re going to have multiple loads that must be picked up on a given day, it’s more efficient for you, and the carrier, to stage those loads to go on a single carrier instead of separate carriers. When you combine your loads for one carrier, you reduce wait times, dock doors required for loading, and the risk of loading freight into the wrong trailer.
Pay Freight Bills on Time
It’s important to pay carriers quickly and accurately. Freightwaves.com suggests the best way to accomplish this is using a TMS (like ours coming soon) that integrates clean data between carriers and shippers. A strong TMS integration helps shippers and carriers quickly identify and resolve rate discrepancies and makes the payment process efficient for both parties.
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