It may be a new year, but the challenges that began in 2020 will not be going away any time soon.

Rates are rising throughout the industry, which means that shippers are not only competing only for customers’ attention, but also for the transportation capacity needed to deliver the goods once an order has been placed. As my colleague Glenn Koepke put it in a recent interview, “The companies that come out ahead will be those agile enough to adjust to changing dynamics both quickly and efficiently.”

Knowing which carriers you can rely on to deliver your most critical shipments is key to maintaining agility and outperforming the competition in this difficult landscape. For the past two years, FourKites’ Premier Carrier List has been shining a spotlight on the companies that can help you bring consistent tracking, heightened service levels and improved customer service to your supply chain. Now, I’m proud to unveil the latest generation of this list, with more carriers, more tracked loads and more value than ever before.

The Growth Continues

FourKites’ Premier Carrier List dates back to early 2019, and represents the industry’s first catalogue of high-performing carriers who have prioritized bringing cutting-edge technology and visibility to their operations. It’s used as a blueprint by many of the world’s largest shippers, as they seek to ensure high service levels and customer satisfaction despite the changing shipping landscape.

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“At a time when visibility has never been more integral to the on-time delivery of our shipments, FourKites’ Premier Carrier List continues to be a valuable asset, helping us select the carriers that are as committed to data transparency as we are. Being able to easily identify carriers that are executing at the highest levels of service is critical to helping us remain agile through these turbulent times.”

– Jeff Covington, Supply Chain Manager, Smithfield Foods

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This quarter, we saw continued growth in the total number of carriers making the list, whether they were those returning to the list from previous quarters or those being included for the first time. I was especially impressed by the 100-plus carriers who have been on the list for four or more consecutive quarters, as well as the 24+ carriers who have been Premier Carriers since we first created the list over two years ago. These achievements demonstrate an astounding commitment to customer service and reliability, and it’s why I’m so proud to work with these outstanding companies.

At the same time, we’ve witnessed unprecedented growth this past year in the number of shippers that track freight with FourKites. Over the past 12 months, we’ve enabled our 480+ global enterprise customers to track more than 1 million loads each day. And we’ve seen 20% growth in freight tracked specifically by Premier Carriers over the last quarter, with that group alone having tracked 2.5 million loads in Q4.

No Time to Take it Easy

There’s plenty of talk about the ongoing capacity crunch and the impact it’s having on global logistics.

Capacity may be tight today, but I’ve been constantly impressed by the number of top-performing carriers in our network who realize that it won’t be that way forever. They understand that the time to invest in better operations down the road is now.

Both FourKites’ data and the feedback we’ve received from our carrier partners paint a similar story: Inclusion on FourKites’ Premier Carrier List is a benefit to carriers of all sizes and modes when it comes to securing new business. The list includes carriers who operate in all modes, from truckload and LTL to ocean, parcel, courier, air and rail.

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“At Capstone, we’ve made visibility part of our DNA because we understand the end-to-end value it brings to our partners, and ultimately their customers. We are excited to do our part in reducing supply chain waste.”

– Bill Kropf | Vice President of Client Management | Capstone Logistics

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While carriers may be able to easily secure new tenders in today’s carrier-favored market, we all know it won’t stay like that forever. The carriers that invest now in the technology they need to surpass the competition are those who will be on top when the market flips back and the pickings get a little slimmer.

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With everything going on around the world, it’s especially encouraging to see how many smaller and mid-sized companies were represented on the Premier Carrier List this quarter, making up almost 30% of the total list. I’m always saying that companies of all sizes, mode and industry stand to benefit from investing in visibility technology, and the number of smaller operations leading the way is the greatest testament to that sentiment. As visibility has grown in priority – not just within the United States, but all over the world – FourKites’ Premier Carrier List has been both a beacon and a benchmark for those companies that prioritize customer success regardless of changes in the industry, challenges in the field or whatever other difficulties the world throws at them.

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