Better ground shipping time: How shippers lower freight rejection risk

Adam RobinsonFreight Market Blog

Trucking and logistics continue to evolve as shippers, carriers, 3PLs, freight brokers and freight forwarders look for new opportunities to improve efficiency. Lowering the risk of tender rejections stands out as a leading way that companies can achieve that goal. Unfortunately, shippers’ typical processes for calculating and offering shipping rates can be substandard at best. To unlock better ground shipping time, shippers need to understand a few things about how data and freight analytics contribute to a lower risk of freight tender rejections.

Standard benchmarking processes focus on internal data – overlooking many opportunities

Take a moment to think about standard benchmarking processes for shippers. According to a past Transfix White Paper published on FreightWaves, “Shippers, more than carriers and brokers, have the most narrow view into the fluctuating freight market. This is because shippers’ main focus is the manufacturing of goods. When they manage transportation and forecast future pricing, they are beholden to a narrow window of their own historical transportation pricing and volumes, leaving them to benchmark against themselves instead of the market as a whole.” Failure to look beyond the four walls of the individual operation will lead to missed opportunities. Furthermore, failure to apply data may lead to tenders’ inappropriate rate offers – driving up total freight spend or even increasing the risk of tender rejections.

Ground shipping time is related to acceptance or rejection

While the relationship between tender rejection and acceptance and total shipping time exists across all shipping modes, the issue is more prevalent for ground shipping. After all, ground shipping failures or rejections take significantly longer to address than a shipment that can be booked on the next flight. Think about it; if a shipment is scheduled for departure by truck and misses that departure due to a tender rejection, it could take 24 hours or more before the carrier returns for a subsequent pick-up. Realizing this striking correlation between extended ground shipping time and tender rejections is essential.

Meeting carrier expectations in advance reduces rejection risk

When trucking capacity shrinks, shippers lose the upper hand in freight management. Carriers gain the ability to be more selective about which shipments are the most lucrative. That fact forms the basis for many shippers’ decision to pursue shipper-of-choice status with carriers. And according to Supply Chain Dive, shippers that possess realistic service expectations are more likely to establish rapport with carriers. Such expectations may include providing ample “lead time to plan, and scheduling carriage in advance.” By creating more lucrative offers for carriers and avoiding surprises, shippers can secure better ground shipping time through improved tender acceptance rates.

Shippers should consider the nuances of added-care shipments

Another consideration involves white-glove logistics. White-glove logistics describe shipments that require an added level of finesse, comparable to the archetype of literally wearing white gloves to avoid damage to a grand piano during moving. In today’s world, white-glove service levels can be applied to large, bulky goods. Even advanced electronics can be subject to the same degree of white-glove service, such as solar panel systems and vast home entertainment systems. As a result, these freight shipments will take more time to deliver and should have an appropriate rate. Remember that while a shipment can be sent via less-than-truckload carriers for large, bulky goods, it may not be the best practice. After all, the carrier will weigh the risks and ground shipping time costs of that shipment compared to other available loads. 

Be transparent in all rating processes, using a freight forecasting platform to pre-evaluate tenders before official submission

It is time to face the fact that carriers will know if a shipper’s tender attempts to undercut carrier profit margins. While rates were subject to ambiguity in traditional supply chain circles, the age of connected everything has given carriers, and other freight management parties, access to an advanced treasure trove of data. For example, FreightWaves SONAR can peer into real market conditions and drill down into the granular data affecting individual lanes, countries or locations. As a result, shippers that take steps to use a freight forecasting platform, such as SONAR, will inherently be more attractive to carriers. Ultimately, carriers realize that those shippers have taken the initiative to determine whether a tender is appropriately rated and are less likely to submit an inappropriate request.

Stay informed by becoming a SONAR user

Stop trying to guess which rates will generate better ground shipping time by applying these steps to all activities. Reduce freight rejection prevalence by using data in all freight management decisions. Learn more about how an advanced freight forecasting engine, such as SONAR, can help by requesting a demo online today.