The transportation capacity and truck driver shortage issues are affecting the bottom line of many businesses. Most recently, SupplyChainBrain reported that General Mills Inc. cut its forecasts after shipping costs and other expenses squeezed profit margins to their thinnest point in years. Other businesses are citing higher shipping costs, driver shortages and decreased capacity as hitting their profitability as well, forcing them to increase prices to recover margins.
To hold onto current capacity and to gain needed additional capacity, it is now more important than ever for shippers to proactively work with their carriers to gain “preferred shipper” status. To do this, shippers need to look at ways to make their supply chain more streamlined and efficient, which in turn will help them become more carrier- and driver-friendly.
Realistically, it all comes down to treating carriers with respect – the same level of respect you expect from your vendors. You can do this by:
Honoring commitments: Talk to key partners to arrive at a mutual agreement, and then be sure to deliver on all agreed-upon terms and expectations.
Scheduling realistically: After awarding lanes, allow carriers sufficient time to accept the schedule and load.
Putting partners first: Offer new opportunities to your core incumbent carriers first.
Welcoming drivers: Driver-friendly facilities, organized loading and unloading processes, and personable staff engage and endear drivers with your business.
Thinking fast: When you help drivers use their time efficiently, everyone’s productivity increases.
Flattening volumes: Minimize chaos by anticipating and managing seasonal lane flows and preparing surge capacity.
Automating processes: Use automation to efficiently communicate and resolve claims and payment issues quickly.
Showing and telling: Generate competitive metrics to examine the competitive landscape, and share the data with your carriers.
Keeping in touch: Engage your carriers’ upper management in high-level discussions at least once or twice a year.
Paying sooner: Pay carriers correctly and in a timely fashion. Utilize a freight bill audit and payment service or solution for best results. See how Bekaert reduced its carrier payment processing effort for better results!
Working closely with carriers to provide consistent loads and develop backhaul opportunities.
Measuring carrier performance against KPIs and share with carriers to foster continuous improvement.
Businesses that use Transporeon transportation solutions can work closely with carriers to strengthen their logistics operations by automating manual processes, gaining visibility into what is happening across logistics and keeping costs contained.