5 Ways Shippers Can Make Carriers Love Them


You may know about the importance of Carrier Management – about how measuring the performance of carriers and monitoring KPIs can improve carrier and shipper relationships.

However, it’s no longer just shippers measuring the performance of carriers. Tightening capacity, fewer drivers and heightened demand are causing carriers to hold shippers to similar standards and monitoring their behavior.

It’s now imperative that carriers have great experiences at the dock and in the yard, just as it’s important that those carriers deliver to customers on time.

Here are 5 ways shippers can make their carriers love them:

  1. Respect your promises. When you make a commitment with a carrier, whether it is to ship in a certain lane or to provide them with more information about your freight, honoring your commitments will lead to a win-win relationship.
  2. Treat each driver as a partner. Anything you can do to help carriers retain drivers will strengthen the partnership. If you respect the drivers, they are more likely to want to great job for you and the carrier. That means respecting a driver’s time, so don’t keep them waiting at the dock. With a dock scheduling system, docks will be open when they are supposed to be, keeping truckers moving.
  3. Plan ahead. Share forecasted demand schedules with your carriers so they can better plan their truck assets. If carriers know in advance that there will be a surge in volume around a particular time of the year, like the holidays, then they can be more strategic about keeping the right amount and right size of assets needed for forecasted shipments.
  4. Create a two-way street of communication. With an open door policy of regular communication, shippers and carriers become more confident in their relationship. You provide feedback to carriers on how well they are doing. Carriers, in turn, make suggestions to shippers on what they like and don’t like about their operations, procedures and relationship. Make sure to act on the feedback.
  5. Pay quickly. When shippers pay carriers quickly, carriers will be happier and more likely to continue doing business with you. They may even be willing to do additional business with your company, such as finding and scheduling additional capacity. Auditing freight bills so that they are paid correctly means your carriers will receive the money they should be paid and won’t have to come back to you when an invoice is wrong.

Proper communication, following procedures and honoring commitments shows that you, as the shipper, respect your carriers. In turn, they will be more likely to want to work with you over other shippers. This will work in your favor in the capacity crisis and help you to keep your orders shipping efficiently.

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