The 4 Types of Trucking Carriers Shippers Should Consider in RFPs

Adam RobinsonFreight Market Blog

trucking carriers

When it comes to planning RFPs and figuring out which carrier partnerships to pursue, shipping managers need to be aware of the various trucking carriers with availability. Throughout most freight shipping chains, there are four types of providers offering services through requests for proposals (RFPs), such as full truckload RFPs and less-than-truckload RFPs and similar contractual agreements. And knowing their differences and how those differences amount to varying service levels, including benefits, are key to success. 

The value of diverse trucking carriers

There are many benefits to be gained from working with more than one of the trucking carriers that offer service in a given industry or shipping lane. Each provider offers unique services, coverages and perks depending on the trucking contract and carrier type. The top four include:

  1. Strategic Partners – These carrier providers are the ones always available and ready to assist with last-minute loads. With a strategic, long-term agreement in place, these carriers make up the backbone of many transportation chains and provide the day-to-day shipping coverage needed to meet customer needs. Most importantly, they will provide premium service when “freight demand outstrips available capacity,” according to Coyote Logistics.
  2. National Carriers – Where the local strategic partners can’t go and when there are gaps that are difficult to fill, the national carrier teams are usually next in line. These larger networks can easily travel longer distances and get to locations when smaller freight carrier providers may struggle with either capacity or access.
  3. Regional Carriers – Sometimes it is more affordable and more practical to break local orders into separate shipping lanes with a regional coverage component. Regional carriers specialize in shipments within very precise and confined areas. These local/regional transporters can help ensure these types of orders are delivered quickly with the right freight spend and service level and without causing delay to the order going out of a strategic partner’s service area or out of the state.
  4. Niche Providers – Sometimes orders are so unique that no plan or protocol already exists. When unique loads come around, niche providers lend a helping hand and can take care of highly specialized loads with ease. 

How trucking carriers and RFPs fit together

For many freight managers, the foundation of their shipping processes and logistics is determined by the trucking RFPs getting approved in the shipping and trade process. The various trucking carriers with the most in-demand bids are usually the ones with the best footprint and logistics metrics performance. Therefore, they are the ones with direct influence on how freight gets handled and shipped. Forming a close relationship of trust and support with carrier providers can help both parties weather the low points and maximize profitability.

Benefits of working with different carriers for different loads

One of the biggest benefits shippers stand to gain from a partnership with different carriers is the ease of handling various loads. Rather than stressing about how to get local fleets to the other side of the state or the country, a different carrier can be tapped to handle a specific load. Instead of wasting the time of the specialty transport carriers with mundane local shipments, their focus can remain on high-demand, long-distance hauls. Trucking carriers offer a variety of services to help maximize efficiency and increase profits by cutting costs, reducing dwell time and eliminating wasted movements.

Partner with trucking carriers to meet 2021 fully prepared 

Whether it is experienced local shipping services or highly specialized handling of unique loads, carrier providers can offer the solutions needed to make the most of every order and load. And it begins with getting access to the comprehensive freight data needed to help diversify the trucking carriers mix and restore the biggest opportunities for advancement. To start capturing the data and understand what differences trucking carriers can make (not to mention how easy it can be to diversify shipping options), request a FreightWaves’ SONAR demo today.