Introducing the Preferred Shipper Checklist

Posted - February 5, 2016

Introducing the Preferred Shipper Checklist

By: Ben Cubitt, Senior Vice President, Engineering & Strategic Carrier Management

Recently, Transplace announced our Preferred Shipper Checklist to help companies better understand the best practices for becoming a shipper of choice for their carrier partners. A much-talked about topic by shippers, this checklist identifies key factors in how carriers evaluate shippers and then translates that insight into an actionable scorecard to help shipper organizations achieve “preferred shipper” status with carriers.

Shippers want to understand specific ways and clear “next steps” in how they can help carriers become more efficient and also support keeping hard-to-recruit drivers in the industry. The truckload carrier community recognizes the need to fully communicate to shippers what they need to be more efficient and drive productivity as well as retain and recruit drivers. That’s why we worked with our customers and carrier partners to develop this scorecard.

The project was completed in collaboration with Transplace’s customer advisory board and more than 25 carrier partners. We conducted a number of workshops with our carrier partners in order to truly delve deep into the challenges of the industry and to learn what they see as becoming more important in the future. Our goal was to get extremely detailed with regard to determining the key categories for the checklist. By creating a document that is as specific as possible, we can now truly communicate the needs of the carriers to shippers and give them detailed and actionable feedback.

The Benefits of Better Communication

A big benefit of this checklist is that it will allow open communication from carriers to shippers regarding specific areas that can be improved upon. Along with our carrier partners, we also think that the driver shortage is, and will continue to be, a challenge – and increased regulatory changes will only exacerbate this challenge. The Preferred Shipper checklist will help shippers measure their performance against best practices and identify gaps to optimal planning, tendering and facility infrastructure.

While many shippers are unsure when and even if a truck driver “crisis” is coming, many still feel that it’s a challenge for carriers and the industry and have modified their behavior accordingly. These shippers are proactively working with their carriers to become better partners. Drivers are a critical resource and treating them with respect and as a valuable network asset can impact the way a shipper is viewed by an entire carrier organization.

Today, more and more shippers are placing additional focus on aligning their efforts with their carrier partners in order to improve transportation efficiency and better position themselves to secure capacity in tight markets. This scorecard (checklist) was developed to highlight those areas of critical importance to carriers and provide shippers a clear measurement of how they stack up vs. other shippers and industry standards.

You can find more information about the checklist here.

What are some ways that shippers and carriers can work collectively toward improvement?