Take Advantage of Market Conditions to Become that Shipper of Choice!
May 29, 2019
On the good news front, shippers are in much better shape on the truckload capacity front than they were last year. Having said this, I laughed when a friend who happens to be a senior executive at a major truckload carrier told me that with looser capacity, a bunch of shippers have developed amnesia.
He told me that last year most shippers wanted to be a “Shipper of Choice,” but this year, many of these same shippers have forgotten what those words mean. So he asked me to pass along a word of advice to our Two Minute Warning audience: The decision to become a Shipper of Choice is a way of doing business with your carriers and it should not be driven by market conditions. In fact he noted, the best time to become a Shipper of Choice is when there is capacity in the market.
This advice comports with what we have seen. A lot of shippers get the Shipper of Choice religion when the market is tight and they desperately need capacity. Often times that can be too late because many of the truckload carriers have already allocated capacity to companies who've already achieved Shippers of Choice status.
With that thought in mind, my friend shared a final tip: “Take advantage of the current market conditions and make positive make inroads with your truckload carriers. Now could be the best time to improve relations with carriers – think of it a as a second chance.”
If you’re wondering where to start the journey to becoming a Shipper of Choice, we have several resources for you:
- Transportation Spend Management Plan eBook - This resource is designed to help shippers become a Shipper of Choice by developing a comprehensive logistics management plan that focuses on "Thinking from the Inside Out" rather than just focusing on rates.
- Interview: How to Optimize Your Relationships with LTL carriers – Two CEOs of LTL carriers talk about the role of data in LTL shipping rates, what transparent communication looks like, and the fallacy of pre-payment as a value add.
- White paper: Carriers’ View of Carrier-Friendly – One of our most popular resources, this white paper covers the basics of becoming a Shipper of Choice. This was built from decades of working with carriers and hearing their needs.
I'd strongly encourage you to heed my friend's advice and focus on improving relationships with your carriers. And remember: we’re on your team, here to help and passionate about seeing you be successful in your relationships with carriers. If you have questions or would like to get in touch for any reason, please give us a call at 630-833-0890 or send us an email.