Become A Shipper Of Choice And Attract Quality Carriers
March 28, 2019
March 28, 2019
As the demand for truckers continues to increase, and the number of them fails to match this growth rate, the carrier capacity crunch is looking to worsen in the foreseeable future. This situation will likely give a newfound degree of power when it comes to a carrier’s ability to accept or turn down jobs, meaning that shippers and truck brokers have to step up their game to remain competitive. However, there are some things you can do to counterbalance this situation. You may have already heard the term “shipper of choice” being tossed around to indicate shippers with a desire to make themselves stand out above the rest – here’s how you can get started down this road.
Pay Well – And On Time
Seems obvious, and it is – shippers who pay fairly will instantly be more attractive to carriers. Not only basic rate payments, but also fuel costs and accessorials – which includes costs such as wrapping materials, use of their own equipment like a pallet jack, storage costs, detention fees, and several more types of extra fees. These may seem like small costs which you can afford to keep on the low side in your offer, but be aware, to a driver these can add up to a figure worth paying attention to, so keep them fair.
Additionally, no one likes to be kept waiting for their payments. Make sure you keep carriers happy by paying them as soon as possible after a job.
Don’t Keep Them Waiting And Optimize Drive Times
Besides paying a fair wage, one of the best ways of getting carriers on board (and keeping them on board) is making sure that their routes are well-optimized and that as little of their time as possible is spent waiting. Carriers can check up on driver productivity for shippers, and if they don’t like what they see this can make it far more difficult to encourage more carriers to fill in the void. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to do this and things to look out for.
For example, when determining a pick up time, try to stay away from times of the day when the driver will inevitably be forced into traffic upon leaving the
Delays at your own facilities can inhibit driver productivity. While a complex system to get off the ground, a drop trailer program, whereby pre-loaded trailers can be immediately attached to a truck and sent off once the previous load has been dropped off, can heavily streamline productivity. It will help both prevent driver delays and having to pay out unnecessary detention fees. Drivers will also be happier to drive for shippers who implement these kinds of programs due to Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, as any time they have to
Overall, a 24/7 facility is a driver’s best friend. Giving them the ability to drive weekends and arrive or depart in the middle of the night rather than spending more time waiting will do a lot to improve the appeal of working with you.
Set Realistic Expectations
This somewhat follows on from the previous point. While carriers frequently push themselves to overcome tight delivery windows, they won’t take well to being forced into completely unrealistic timeframes. With HOS regulations in place, it can already be hard enough for truckers to manage their time on the road and balance it with getting sufficient rest, so taking these kinds of restrictions into consideration will show carriers that you don’t only care about your bottom line, but also about them.
Simply Treat Them Well And Take Care Of Them
Ensure that you and the people at your company who interact with carriers do so with nothing but courtesy and respect – carriers have a tough time of it on the road itself, not to mention from a host of their employers – the last thing they want is another shipper who puts them through a negative experience.
If drivers visit your own facilities to pick up their loads, make sure they’re kept to a high and accommodating standard. Make sure they have a place to stop off and wait that is close to their pickup point (rather than making them search for an off-site spot by themselves), give them access to a cafeteria or at least some vending machines, and of course the bare essentials such as a lavatory.
Make Use Of Technology That Can Make Their Job Easier
Developments in freight and trucking technology are constantly pushing forwards and can offer both you and your carriers unexpected benefits.
For example, our FreightTrust platform offers a way to digitize freight documentation such as Bills of Lading, saving you costs (which can be transferred into better carrier payments, helping you stay more competitive), as well as saving carriers time, effort, and involvement in the usual physical paperwork – also endearing them to your company.
Take a look at what benefits FreightTrust can bring to your company here, and if you like what you see, sign up here.
In summary, the best thing you can do to become a shipper of
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Sign up now and save yourself time, money, and effort that you can reinvest elsewhere.