Whether it’s implementing technology to give shippers easier access to information or assigning a single point of contact to drive efficiency, there are a lot of ways carriers can help build strong relationships with shippers.
But just like any relationship, it’s a two-way street, and there are plenty of ways a shipper can strengthen that relationship. A few include:
Using Automated Reporting
Manual reporting can be time consuming, tedious, and expensive. When shippers automate their reporting processes, particularly for basic requests, it frees up time for them to develop strategic solutions for any potential road blocks the carrier may experience.
Keeping an Open Mind
Sometimes in trucking, an alternative solution can be the right solution – maybe even the only solution – to secure vital capacity. Carriers are there to offer up as many options as possible, finding the right one for a shipper’s needs. Considering them all can save time, money, and a lot of hassle.
Maintaining Realistic Expectations
When something needs to be done, it’s easy to perceive it as everyone’s number one priority. But the reality is, carriers have a lot going on every day. They should always hold up their end of the bargain, maybe even exceed your expectations, but making sure those expectations are realistic helps build a solid, successful relationship.
Having access to a trailer, something that’s becoming more and more difficult in this market, means nothing if it sits around waiting to be unloaded. Shippers who unload trailers quickly and cut down on detention time for drivers never go unnoticed.
Reporting Accurate Data
Keeping the supply chain moving smoothly and efficiently is really what the shipper/carrier relationship is all about. If a shipper provides incorrect pickup numbers, delivery numbers, preload trainer numbers, or any other reference numbers, it slows everything down and can create its own set of problems for everyone involved.
Allowing for Flexible Hours
Some shippers will preload a trailer but restrict a carrier’s access to pickup depending on the time. Finding a way to make preloaded equipment available for pickup after hours can make a huge difference in utilization and efficiency.
Providing Quality Driver Facilities
Shippers and carriers both know – being a truck driver isn’t easy. They spend hours on the road running freight, so when they do get to their destination, they want to be able to stretch their legs, use the restroom, maybe even shower. Providing these amenities is good for drivers and therefore good for carriers. And what’s good for the carrier is good for the relationship.
And that’s really what it’s all about, right? Because a strong working relationship between carrier and shipper is the key to an enjoyable, efficient, and profitable partnership.