Every carrier that a shipper trusts their freight to should be able to provide three things: good customer service, competitive rates, and reliable delivery.
These are all basic things. If you are not getting them from your current group of providers it’s time to look at other options. This requires some work but transportation is a buyer’s market, so there’s no reason for shippers to put up with sub-par service or high rates. Your carrier program should be built on a portfolio of providers you can count on.
Here are 3 signs it’s time to re-evaluate the carriers you are using and weed out the low performers.
Poor Reliability with Deliveries
Inconsistent or late deliveries are a problem for obvious reasons. Every step in the supply chain counts on product being on-time – today more than ever. Your customers expect on-time shipments and will look somewhere else when they don’t get it from you. The trend for shorter lead times and faster customer deliveries is affecting logistics more than any other department. This means the pressure is on.
In transportation, companies usually get what they pay for. But, that doesn’t mean you always end up paying a premium to get the service levels you need. If fact, when you work with the right carriers and develop good relationships you can get good reliable service and competitive rates.
Costs Are Too High
Like service, costs matter. Everything in logistics is about balancing the two. The way to preserve the service level you need with good rates is to be smart about how you approach carriers. You want reliable partners and so do quality carriers. Smart companies on both sides appreciate the value in this, so good things happen when they find each other.
It starts with knowing your products and the market. Confident and knowledgeable shippers are appealing to carriers. When you know your own business, it makes your freight desirable because carriers want to be able to count on their customers too. Well prepared bids are a great signal to carriers and get you better rates from better carriers as a result.
There’s No Technology
Today, logistics technology should be a requirement and not just a ‘nice to have’. Tech like TMS systems are an expensive investment for shippers, but something many transportation partners offer them for free.
At the very least, your carrier partners should give you access to data and real-time information. This includes functionality like real-time tracking and delivery confirmations. More advanced partners will also support rate management and carrier selection to make sure the best balance of cost and service can always be found.
Companies shouldn’t be lazy when it comes to managing their carrier programs. The impact of logistics costs on your company’s profitability and impact of poor carrier performance on your customers is too great. Finding problems in any of these 3 key areas is a clear sign it’s time to re-evaluate the carriers you are working with.