10 shipper of choice tips to aid in securing capacity and carrier relationships

Adam RobinsonFreight Market Blog

With competition and the demand for fast and reliable transportation management options also increasing at rates never seen before, shippers need to focus on providing quality services to thrive. Becoming a shipper of choice will help win over new customers and keep current customers satisfied with services. Here are 10 shipper of choice tips to help enterprises secure capacity and improve relationships with carriers, not to mention transportation brokers.

1. Focus on dock experiences for drivers

Excessive dwell time becomes a burden with all the costs involved. As reported by Inbound Logistics, “Shippers who unload efficiently and quickly without depending on driver involvement help carriers avoid poor trailer utilization or excessive trailer inventories.” Improving dock efficiency times ensures drivers can get in and out quickly, which reduces delays in order fulfillment and transportation. And that will win over carriers, keep them coming back and boost procurement efficacy.

2. Streamline the delivery process

Ensuring rapid delivery time along the full supply chain earns a company the reputation of shipper of choice. Among the shipper of choice tips, offering reliable delivery windows with accurate and on-time truck arrival, communications, and proper documentation will significantly strengthen that reputation.

3. Offer personalized services and options

Another of the shipper of choice tips is that an enterprise must stand out from its competition. A great way to stand out as a shipper of choice is to provide personalized shipping, loading and cargo services no one else can or will offer. How? That’s a loaded question, and it requires a review of all existing shipping services, freight brokerage value-added talking points and more. Regardless, creating that engagement within all interactions can lead to a marked improvement and increase eligibility to become a shipper of choice.

4. Provide driver shipping route choices

Think of the many ways to get from Point A to Point B, and when the company can offer a variety of choices, drivers are more likely to respond positively. The best examples of shippers of choice provide services along several trucking routes. Putting the control in the hands of drivers, such as viewing road conditions and all available routes, will increase the attractiveness of your freight, making this a leader in the shipper of choice tips enterprises need to know.

5. Always put carrier needs first

Successful use of the shipper of choice tips also comes down to meeting customers’ wants and needs quickly, effectively and in an affordable manner. The most significant and most essential trucking carriers will always gravitate towards shippers that have their best interests in mind and make it known. The same applies to customer service – meaning companies that put customer interests first, such as a willingness to pay extra for speedy delivery, will likely see fewer tender rejections through proactive carrier management.

6. Be flexible by offering a variety of contracts

Carriers and shippers can provide a range of trucking contract options. Such a focus allows them to deliver in-demand services for short-term and long-term contracts. By staying flexible, shippers and carriers enjoy the benefits of aligned market volatility and freight contract expectations. In other words, all companies can protect their assets and margins more effectively.

7. Embrace automation and digitalization

All enterprises need to stay up with the times if they want to have a chance of becoming a shipper of choice. As a combination of several shipper of choice tips, digital processes, AI learning and automated innovations are the key to the future and must be embraced. Since automation reduces the risk of error, carriers can rest assured that preferred shippers follow industry-leading best practices, including freight management analytics, to hasten management decisions.

8. Give trucking carriers various shipping modes

Having the option to provide multi-modal methods of shipping can also position freight carriers to become more desirable. Provide as many options as possible to win over trucking carriers and keep them coming back. 

9. Maintain open lines of communication

Carriers show increased loyalty when they feel comfortable working with a shipper of choice that values their priorities and feedback. Communicating openly and maintaining a level of transparency throughout the chain can help strengthen enterprise shipper loyalty. As a result, enterprise shippers are more likely to collaborate with carriers to avoid miscommunications and streamline freight transportation. 

10. Respond to issues, deviations and problems with data

The final of this list of shipper of choice tips is simple rests on proactive risk management. Even with the best planning and preparations, issues will arise, and when they do, enterprise shippers must never shy away from them and should address the problem based on data-driven transportation management insights.

Apply these shipper of choice tips to increase eligibility for this status with freight data at your fingertips

An effective shipper of choice knows that freight data access and application of that data are critical tools for maintaining their status through routine and unexpected trucking RFPs. After all, efficiency as an enterprise requires careful timing and communications between shipper and LSP. Stop wasting time trying to hope for the best rates. And get a better rate across all modes and trucking contracts by tapping a complete freight data analytics resource like FreightWaves SONAR. Get started by clicking the button below to request a FreightWaves SONAR demo today.