The 12-Step Program to Become a Shipper of Choice

Posted - April 8, 2014

The 12-Step Program to Become a Shipper of Choice

As we gear up for this year’s 12th Annual Shipper Symposium, we think back to the great speakers we’ve had over the last decade  – from Marci Rossell to T. Boone Pickens and many, many more in between. All have been accomplished and storied speakers to have graced the main stage of our signature event.

Most recently, 2013 speaker Thomas Albrecht from BB&T Capital Markets, shared great insight into what shippers can do to win favor from their carrier base and strengthen these critical relationships. We’ve captured that insight and turned it into 12 steps that shippers can take to become a preferred partner for carriers. Read on to find out what it takes to get to attain preferred partner status.

  1. Quick payments: 70% of carrier expenses are due inside of eight days, so pay carriers in a timely fashion and help offset rate increases.
  2. Weekend freight: Offer freight during off-hours, such as weekends.
  3. Bids & honoring commitments: Test the market by talking to key partners on key lanes to arrive at a mutual agreement, and deliver on agreed terms and expectations.
  4. Time management: After awarding lanes, give sufficient time to implement.
  5. Prioritize Partners: Bring new opportunities to your core carriers first.
  6. Driver friendly practices: Have driver friendly facilities and staff to make it easy for drivers to interact and connect with your business.
  7. Velocity improvement: Utilize drivers’ time efficiently to increase productivity.
  8. Average daily volumes: Minimize the chaos from Q1 to Q4 by managing lane flow seasonality and setting up surge capacity.
  9. Automation Tools: Use EDI to communicate and resolve claims & payment issues in a timely fashion.
  10. Expand business: Use multiple service offerings from carriers.
  11. Publish competitive metrics: Understand the competitive landscape and share the data.
  12. Connect: Have high-level discussions with upper management 1-2 times a year.

“A program to become a shipper of choice can keep you or your carriers from feeling like you are on a roller coaster ride.”

— 2013 Shipper Symposium

Taking the time to consider what is impacting carriers will help shippers identify and implement best practices to strengthen those important relationships. Working to become a shipper of choice will help uncover a clear understanding of what both parties want to achieve and will help drive improvements such as additional growth opportunities, enhanced loyalty and increased revenue.

You can view this particular Shipper Symposium session here or watch it below.

Question: What step is the most important? Are there any other steps you would add to this list to improve relationships with your carrier base?