Nolan SpanglerSenior Manager, Carrier Relations, FourKites

The FourKites Premier Carrier List (PCL) entered its third year this month. The list, which spotlights the carriers, brokers and 3PLs that have achieved the highest standards for visibility-related operational excellence, offers a straightforward way to identify providers who can deliver high-quality, consistent data for their loads. This, in turn, provides their shipper customers with the data and insights to streamline operations, reduce labor costs and achieve many other time- and cost-saving initiatives.

We’ve been publishing the Premier Carrier List since January 2019. Since its inception, the list has filled a persistent void in the global transportation industry — and addresses the rapidly growing need for better data quality and transparency in an industry that is transforming at lightning speed.

Now, the PCL spotlights the rise of another major priority among the world’s major corporations: supply chain sustainability. Transportation accounts for the largest share of total carbon emissions within the United States, at 29%. And supply chain emissions for the average supplier are 11.4 times higher than operational emissions from elsewhere within the company. This quarter, FourKites recognized Premier Carriers who not only uphold our stringent requirements for data quality and transparency, but also those that have made a strong commitment to sustainability by partnering with the EPA’s Smartway program.

Sustainability on the Rise

Nearly every shipper has some level of sustainability target these days. This means they have key performance indicators (KPIs) that are designed to help them achieve that goal. These KPIs are continuing to grow and evolve as companies feel ongoing pressure from their own customers, and as global crises make clear the need for sustainable practices within the supply chain.

Because of the highly interconnected nature of the logistics industry, and because carriers are an extension of a shipper’s broader supply chain, many companies cannot advance sufficiently in their sustainability goals unless their various transportation partners are as committed as they are. Things like fuel consumption, miles driven, dwell and idle times are all critical data points that enable greater sustainability initiatives such as warehouse optimization, inventory forecasting and detention reduction. These are all areas that are positively impacted by our Premier Carriers and the visibility they provide their customers.

“Core to the Transervice philosophy is building partnerships based on transparency, trust and mutual success. We’re excited to qualify for FourKites’ Premier Carrier List, which provides us with one more valuable tool for working with the community to find smarter and more efficient ways of doing business that benefit our bottom line and the environment.”

– Tom Poduch, Sr. Director of Logistic Design & Technology, Transervice

Premier Carriers are well-positioned to assist in shippers’ sustainability goals, having displayed a strong commitment to investing in visibility by truly understanding the deepest details of their operations. You can’t act effectively without good information, which means that having strong data is always the first step in succeeding at any supply chain initiative. By extending recognition to Smartway-certified carriers, we’re adding one more check box for shippers looking to expand their carrier network and give more business to carriers who share their commitment to productivity, efficiency and the environment.

Better Data = Better Business

FourKites Premier Carriers moved 2.5 million loads in Q1 2021 alone! Of the 366 carriers on the list, 119 have qualified for more than five consecutive quarters, and 28 have been on the list since its inception in January 2019. Clearly, these are the cream of the carrier crop. But what does the average company have to gain from seeking inclusion on future iterations of the FourKites Premier Carrier List?

For one thing, claiming distinction as a Premier Carrier is a glowing endorsement with the 600+ top-tier corporations who make up FourKites’ global customer base. The average Premier Carrier has 10-12 mutual customers on the FourKites platform, while the average non-Premier Carrier has closer to four. Carriers included on FourKites’ latest Premier Carrier List saw their average annual load volume grow by more than 10% over the previous year.

But the value goes beyond numbers alone. In fact, one of the things that makes Premier Carriers stand out is that this list levels the playing field for carriers of all sizes. You don’t have to be a large carrier to be a Premier Carrier. Yes, you’ll find many of the Top-100 For-Hire Carriers on each generation of the list, as well as big names like Uber Freight, Convoy and XPO Logistics. But for every big name, there are plenty of small- and medium-sized carriers that have an average of ten customers or fewer as well. What ties them all together is their commitment to constant improvement through quality data.

By recognizing Smartway-approved carriers and their commitment to sustainability alongside their commitment to data transparency and quality, we’re taking this one step further, and shining a brighter spotlight on the companies that have made sustainable, reliable operational excellence a top priority.

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