Finding the right shipping partner for your company is no small task. With a multitude of carriers out there, it can be a tough job to sift through all the offerings to find the best fit for you. Focusing on three key attributes can help narrow down the list a little quicker:
- Do they provide real cost savings?
- Are they a reliable, asset-based carrier?
- Do they have a history of providing great service to their network?
Let’s take a deeper dive into these questions to see how they can lead you to the best shipping partner.
1. Do they provide real cost savings, or are they packing some unexpected “hidden” fees?
Too often, carriers will focus on winning business by bidding at “target prices” and giving less attention to their asset care. This can end up costing you more in the long run when equipment breakdowns or attrition cause your loads to get delayed and deadlines to be missed.
Ask yourself, is this carrier a long-term partner that has a history of providing strong, reliable service to other companies in your industry? Are they culture, technology, and safety focused? Not knowing those characteristics of your carriers, may be putting yourself at risk for those “hidden fees” after purchase. Partnering with a carrier that focuses on quality asset care over a seemingly “cheaper” carrier can ultimately save you more in the long run. Which is why the next question is so important.
2. Are they a reliable, asset-based carrier?
Your carrier should have reliable equipment and technology that will not leave your loads sitting on the side of the road or in your shipping yards. Think about your current carriers. Do they have:
- Low average age of equipment
- Advanced equipment safety technology
- Event recorders
- Real-time, GPS load track-and-trace
Your carrier should have reliable equipment and technology that will not leave your loads sitting on the side of the road.tweet this
These few points help provide accountability and assurance in a carrier’s ability to meet manufacturer and supplier scheduling demands. Also, consider what recognitions they have earned in the industry. These qualifiers could give you a good benchmark of what “asset-based” in your carrier pool means and lead you to the right carriers to partner with.
As you can see with the first two questions, the more you can learn about the carriers you are considering partnering with the better. These will help you understand your candidate’s focus and build a picture of how they might perform for you. But that leads us to one more important question:
3. Do they have a history of providing great service to their network?
You need carriers who can execute, not just sell their service. Take a look into your candidate carrier’s history. Talk with some of the other shippers they’ve worked with. See if they have a track record of delivering great service for others. If they do, it is likely they will bring the same great service to your company.
You need carriers who can execute, not just sell their service.tweet this
Carriers that are found re-investing in their equipment and people are actively working to perfect their craft. These carriers will be filled with people who engage deeply in their work. They are committed to their success as well as the success of their customers. These are the carriers that shippers want in their logistics network. The top performers that surface, are the diamonds in the rough worthy of long-term incumbency.
The bond between a shipper and carrier is one that can be mutually profitable through value-added interactions at every touch point. As Forrest Gump once said, “We go together like peas and carrots, Jennayy”. Hopefully asking these questions about your carriers can move you towards that affinity!