What does it take to be a good shipper?
The freight industry asks this question all the time as each player figures out how to optimize the space. FreightWaves awards a Shipper of Choice every year to highlight leaders in the supply chain who value and respect carrier.
There are a few things shippers can do to be worthy of a nomination of Shipper of Choice.
Manage expectations to build trust with carriers
Instead of giving a lot of volume to any carrier on your list, work with carriers who can make your lane work in their transportation network. Carriers can factor your pickup into a well-organized system of lanes, and it benefits their time management.
Make your freight desirable to carriers by optimizing the entire experience for them. If carriers like to run at certain times, try to accommodate a loading schedule so they can make their hours for the day.
There is no such thing as too much communication. Shippers who communicate delays or changes in shipment could save themselves from a headache later on. In turn, carriers can manage their expectations and show up prepared.
Developing friendly relationships between dock staff and drivers is great too. It’s nice to pull into a dock and already know and get along with the people working.
Understand current market conditions
As the logistics specialist of the company, have a close relationship with the market on a day-to-day and yearly basis. Notice trends and accommodate your numbers to stay competitive. Make sure that you are offering rates that are congruent with the current market.
Prioritize your carrier’s time
One of the most considerate things companies can do in business to business transactions is to be considerate of each other’s time.
Carrier’s have to have Tetris-like scheduling skills in order to maximize their hours of service. Shippers who respect this and are staged for pickup can really impress carriers. Additionally, not every shipper will act this way, and they might be coming from a delayed drop-off to get your load, so having a flexible pick up schedule goes a long way.
Finally, paying invoices on time will encourage carriers to run your freight because they can better manage their business. This takes away the confusion of what loads are owed on and which loads they are shipping at the moment.
Monitor and benchmark your performance
If the shipper wants to get excellent service from carriers, they must be aligned internally with a corporate strategy.
Managing finances and service can be a balancing game, but if the entire shipping team knows the priorities of the day-to-day, there will be a more focused output.
Make it essential to pay attention to how your shipping facility is performing against other companies in the space. In certain markets, shippers can fluctuate in on-time performance and inventory. Taking note of delays and communicating with the carriers can add to building that relationship.
Why this matters
Being a shipper of choice is not only a title to tack onto your freight, but it creates a friendly and efficient work environment for everyone involved.
Having your shipping team aligned by using a TMS can be the advantage over other shippers. Shipwell has features that make posting freight easier than ever.
Shippers and carriers can communicate and update information all within the platform. Shippers who have preferred carriers can invite them into a private Load Board in Shipwell so they get to work with their favorite carriers every time.