Shipping is an integral part of your business operation and it is key to ensure you’re working with carrier partners who can check off certain boxes, depending on what is important to you and your supply chain, and that will vary from company to company. However, there are five traits you should consider when choosing your LTL carrier lineup.
This seems simple-- but it’s important. You need to make sure that you're working with carrier partners who can cover the areas you are shipping to and from. Do your lanes require interlining your shipments with your chosen carriers, or are they direct service points?
Interline isn’t necessarily a bad thing-- but it is a key piece of information you need to know to make the more informed decision when it comes to your shipping.
You don’t want to overpay on your freight-- plan and simple. Different carriers will be the best fit for different shippers based on what they’re shipping, their geographical location and the level of service they require.
This is a two sided relationship and your carrier partners are going to offer better rates on freight that is desirable to them.
Great rates don’t mean much if your shipments are not delivered on time or show up undamaged. Missed pickups and late deliveries are bound to happen sometimes, but if it is becoming a regular occurrence it may be time to evaluate your relationship with that specific carrier, or at the very least have a discussion with your carrier rep to see if there is anything specific causing this and what can be done to solve the problem.
It’s important to ask what your carriers do to help prevent damage, and what their claims process looks like in the event you do have to file one. Not all carriers are created equal here.
Great customer service
If you do end up having an issue with a shipment the customer service response can really make or break a relationship. Your freight is important to you, and you should feel like it is important to your carrier partner as well.
Are your questions, inquiries, and issues answered promptly and efficiently? This is an important part of your relationship with your carrier and should be considered when looking at your carrier partnerships.
Up to date technology
A lot of the big LTL carriers have been in the freight game for a long time-- but it’s still crucial they’re keeping up with the times and implementing current technology.
Does your LTL carrier have API integrations into systems like Freightview? This kind of connectivity is becoming standard. A live API means as soon as the carrier updates your rates in their system it becomes updated in your transportation management system.
Your freight is important, and it is necessary to find carrier partnerships that can make your shipping department a successful one.
Are there other key traits or information you look for when deciding who will be in your carrier lineup?
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