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Tyler Nickel FourKites headshotTyler NickelSenior Product Marketing Manager, FourKites

As carriers’ leverage with their shipper customers ebbs and flows, being a shipper of choice will put you at the front of the line when disruptions strike or renewals occur. Helping carriers have a lower cost to serve you can mean the difference between consistent capacity at a great rate or hitting the spot market at a premium just to cover your freight.

Where Big Costs Hit Hardest For Carriers

Think about your carrier’s operations and the many ways their margins are squeezed — from maintenance to fuel, driver wages, insurance, equipment investment, and beyond. But one of the biggest costs to their operation doesn’t show up on your rate sheet: opportunity costs — missed revenue due to a driver not optimizing their hours of service (HOS).

If a carrier is locked up at a single facility for most of their HOS, their day is limited to a single move that generates revenue for their parent company. With 40% of a driver’s day spent waiting at a facility, reducing their time on site increases their ability to find another load to cover and create revenue for their parent company – a significant win for carriers.

Here’s how you can start becoming a shipper of choice:

  • Invest in self-service tools that carriers can interact with, including the ability for carriers to schedule their own appointment times rather than work through email or phone calls.
  • Use ETAs to keep calendars accurate and avoid the ripple effect of late loads. Late arrivals without warning can send your team scrambling and put your entire operation for the day at risk, backing up trucks as the schedule gets sorted.
  • Give visibility to the number of assets a carrier has in a trailer pool, helping them right-size the pool as needed or avoid any potential shortfalls.
  • Use intuitive technology at the check-in point, such as a tablet, to capture relevant information, help digitize records, and reduce administrative duties.
  • Provide clean, driver-friendly amenities, such as a driver lounge or rest area, so drivers can exit the power unit and move around while waiting.

While the industry will continue to experience cyclical changes in capacity, rates, and volume, the underlying principle of being a collaborative customer is unchanged. Implementing these procedures helps reduce operating costs for everyone, improving your standing in the general logistics marketplace and building a reputation for being a shipper of choice.

Need to find out more about using technology to become a shipper of choice? Contact us for more information.

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