Shippers can’t rely solely on attracting drivers and carriers by paying higher rates during the capacity crunch. Carriers have the privilege to choose which shippers to work with, based on facilities, dependable schedules and flexible contracts. A shipper might assume they’ve proposed an attractive freight rate, but if the facility doesn’t provide restrooms and parking lots for the drivers, it might be more difficult to secure space for your shipments. 

Shippers who don’t focus on improving facilities for carriers face 5 major problems:

1) Struggle for Capacity

Carriers prefer shippers who respect their time and provide suitable work conditions. If companies fail to meet driver’s expectations, you’ll experience higher shipping costs. A carrier’s rate is often impacted by the client’s shipping routine. When a shipper implements processes that make it easier for a carrier to do business, it creates a mutually beneficial partnership, which may result in lower rates.

2) Inefficient Supply Chain

Both carriers and shippers win when they create productive work hours for drivers. Otherwise, drivers experience long load and unload hours, as well as traffic congestion, which results in delivery setbacks and supply chain disruptions. If a shipper disregards additional pick-up and delivery times (i.e.; on weekends) or doesn’t suggest the optimal route for a driver, it decreases capacity options. The more efficient shipper has attractive operation hours.

3) Responsibility for Drivers’ Fatigue

Does your facility have a parking lot, clean bathrooms and complimentary coffee for drivers? Drivers often have to wait long hours for a load to be ready, and they need a proper place to rest. When they’re forced to drive additional miles to find a truck parking lot, while following the HOS regulations, it becomes a real challenge. Not only does the shipper fail to create a good relationship with the carrier – it fails to provide safety and well-deserved comfort for drivers.

Think about this: Truckers average less than 5 hours of sleep per night.

4) Brand Reputation in Danger

Mistreated drivers have the ability to share their experience online through numerous forums and networks. Information travels quickly. People pay attention to bad reviews and if bad reviews add up… it can cost a shipper their good name. If drivers always face long dwell times at a shipper’s facilities, it will create a bad reputation for that company – both as a shipper and as a brand.

5) Poor Customer Experience

In today’s competitive omni-channel world, improving customer experience is the ultimate goal for companies that want to stay competitive. And one cannot provide convenient service without efficient and well-coordinated shipping processes, which are handled by carrier partners. Helping drivers make work faster and better creates a resourceful carrier-shipper partnership that leads to satisfied customers.

Shippers can implement different programs to make facilities more driver-friendly: enhance visibility and communication with carriers, support drop-and hook freight, build parking lots and resting areas and make it easier for drivers to complete paperwork. It’s also important to encourage open feedback from carriers on how your facility meets their needs.

Continue reading What Carriers Look For in Shippers on how to become a carrier’s shipper of choice.