The 2017 capacity crunch has uncovered a clear shift in power within the transportation industry. A saturated market, with freight stacking up from coast to coast, has been impacted with a shortage of carriers to haul it. The power of freight selection has come into play and carriers now more than ever have the power to pick and choose which shipments they want to take on. More often than not, a carrier will select the shipment with the most profitability BUT not just in terms of revenue. They often go with a Shipper of Choice.
A Shipper of Choice is one who shows a carrier their desire to partner with them, their want to achieve a common goal, and display an investment by providing accommodations at their facilities. These particular shippers understand and appreciate the drivers they encounter and treat them accordingly. Also, Shippers of Choice distribute benefits to the parties involved and keep efficacy in mind. Partnership, in this case, surpasses price.
Benefits and accommodations can span from friendly staff, nice restrooms and a comfortable waiting area to flexible delivery windows, automated scheduling, paying invoices on time, and much more. Recently, Axle spoke with a carrier partner who had two shipments available to him paying a difference of $100.00. The driver explained he’d like to be assigned to the shipment paying $100.00 less because the experience at one particular shipper was more valuable to him then the increase in pay. This Shipper of Choice had a respectful staff, coffee, and snacks along with a waiting area in which the driver was able to get out of his cab and stretch his legs as his trailer was being loaded. All of these amenities were of great value to this particular driver.
From a driver’s perspective, each location is an experience, positive or negative. Being treated with respect, receiving competitive pay, and spending two+ hours of loading/unloading time in a comfortable environment all play a very important role in shipment selection. Collecting feedback from drivers on their experience while at your facility can uncover unknown deterrents or issues that occur while on site. This provides insight into what makes your shipments more or less desirable to carriers and may be some things that can be tweaked in the future.
In today’s carrier climate, it is very important for there to be a driver friendly environment at a facility. An appealing atmosphere can ultimately strengthen a partnership between drivers and vendors. This type of partnership increases the likelihood of carriers having a memorable, positive experience and wanting to be assigned to these particular shipments in the future.