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Shipper of Choice, Redux

Posted by Aaron Keller on 10/1/20 8:17 AM
Aaron Keller
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While it’s been established how aiming to be a Shipper of Choice has its fair share of benefits, it’s quickly become a relevant topic for many in the industry again. With such tight trucking market conditions and capacity issues continuing to surface, obtaining this sought-after shipping status has reappeared as the solution to securing carrier interest.

Despite the progress made as the economy recovers from the pandemic, the market conditions are still difficult for most businesses across many industries. Rates continue to be volatile and capacity inconsistent. In fact, the current lack of capacity is even more extreme than the crunch that occurred following the introduction of the ELD Mandate back in 2018.


If you’re a shipper struggling to overcome some of these challenges in your logistics operations, it may be time to revisit and reconsider the many ideas discussed when being a Shipper of Choice was the trendy buzzword not too long ago – a sort of Shipper of Choice redux!


So, as a refresher, here’s why being a Shipper of Choice matters and how you can go about becoming one.


Shipper of Choice Explained


This is a fairly straightforward explanation. Right now, carriers have the power, and therefore, the ability to pick and choose the shippers they want, since they’re controlling the supply. If your business is attractive to carriers, then you’ll secure better options. Of course, this logic doesn’t only apply to your logistics partners, either. Not only will becoming a Shipper of Choice improve your transportation options and performance, but it will also demonstrate your value to other businesses within your network and industry.


How To Become A Shipper of Choice


1.      Practice Reliable and Effective Communication


Things in the logistics industry rarely go exactly as planned. Whether it’s unexpected equipment malfunctions, severe weather disruptions, or untimely traffic, sometimes missing an appointment is unavoidable. This is why reliable and effective communication is a critical part of having a proactive response to unexpected hurdles. When you provide clear and useful direction to your carriers ahead of time, you’re increasing your chances of successful delivery.


2.      Make Timely Payments


No one likes to wait around on payments, and your logistics partners are no different. Carriers appreciate shippers that pay them on time and in the correct amount, so don’t form the habit of keeping your transportation providers guessing in this area. To many carriers, cash-flow is vital to their operations.


3.      Track Key Performance Indicators


Establishing KPIs in advance with your carriers to measure and track their performance will help you understand each other’s needs and expectations. In turn, this process will increase internal transparency and improve the likelihood of a smooth and collaborative partnership. It’s important to leverage your supply chain data to its fullest extent, and using it to improve how you work with carrier partners should be a big part of that.


Becoming a Shipper of Choice will take time and continuous energy on your part; however, the benefits that this label offers to shippers is well worth the commitment. Use steps like these to help get this process started. The more you do now to streamline your shipping processes – whether being a Shipper of Choice is still a ‘thing’ or not - the better off your operations and bottom line will be in the future. 


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