Carrier selection is a difficult process – or at least it can be. In today’s market, many companies maintain a strong core group, lean on an extended network, and rarely allow in new providers. Their network may be entirely asset-based providers, only brokers or logistics service providers (LSPs), or some mix. How does a company decide the right mix? And once that is decided, how do they choose among the hundreds of thousands of available partners? Luckily, FourKites has made grading carriers a little bit easier.
Before deregulation in the 1980s, domestic freight moved based on tariffs – regardless of carrier quality, there was a set cost based on the key shipment factors. Deregulation prompted the competitive market we see today, which has driven more efficient supply chains and typically lower costs for shippers and consumers. These changes also expanded access to available capacity. Shippers have a choice: use company trucks, move freight through outside trucking companies, partner with third party logistics providers (3PLs), or even hand decision making to 4th party logistics providers (4PLs). Making the right choice can be messy based on internal needs, and is highly subjective.
All carriers strive to provide quality service, but they do not all operate under the same levels of expertise and execution. A carrier or logistics provider will offer unique value based on company size, technology, equipment quality and personnel. Here are the 6 key, differentiating factors in the selection process:
It is very hard to objectively assess these 5 factors when going through the carrier selection process. There will never be one exhaustive consortium to reference. FourKites core focus aligns with our core competency: visibility. Which means that we track and enable coverage, performance and communication, and we partner with leading companies like DAT, Narvar, and your TMS provider to help you make the right capacity decisions, regardless of the need.
FourKites compiles carrier tracking quality metrics based on more than 2.5 million shipments per day, delivers scorecards based on carrier performance and dynamic supply chain insights, and promotes leading carriers in our quarterly Premier Carrier List. With strategic focus around sustainability, we also highlight those who participate in the government SmartWay program, and provide a sustainability dashboard for effective planning as well. Premier Carriers embody the exemplary execution so many pursue. They represent dedication to consistent tracking, which in turn reduces dwell times, improves ETAs, and strengthens your end customer relationships. The FourKites Carrier Operations team works hand-in-hand with thousands of carriers to strengthen their quarterly performance, and as a result this list grows each quarter.
Our goal is to provide innovative solutions through visibility into global supply chains. As the FourKites carrier community prepares for its largest growth ever in 2022, our focus will be to create a network of top quality transportation companies so that shippers and LSPs can better qualify their relationships.