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Unfortunately, shippers have fought tight truck availability for the past two years. Just like during a period of tight truck availability, having a wide-open market brings its own challenges as well. Some challenges include picking the right carriers, handling your incumbent carriers, knowing the right time to move on from a carrier, etc.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding on the best carrier for you and your team.

Are you receiving the service that you need?

Transportation is a service-based industry. Are the carriers that you hire making your pick-ups on time? Most companies only worry about making the delivery on time, but timely pick up is essential to keeping the shipping dock open and on schedule. If too many drivers miss their appointment, it slows things down on the dock which also slows the loading process and can cause delays for other drivers who arrived on time. Therefore, shippers need to watch on time pick up as closely as they watch on time delivery.

Is the carrier easy to work with?

The main goal of a logistics provider is to make your life easier and allow you to focus on your business and your customers. When issues arise, does the logistics provider look to you to solve them or do they provide you with solutions and discuss the best course of corrective action?

Does the transportation provider offer you a specific account manager?

When you need to contact your provider, do you know who to call? Is it consistent with the same person every time who knows your freight? It is important that you have your own, dedicated customer service representative with each transportation company you work with.

Are you getting the true value out of your carrier?

Value doesn’t always mean just price. While price plays a significant role in choosing carriers, it shouldn’t be the only reason you follow through with a decision. For instance, some of the most expensive carriers do not provide the service or communication and some of the cheapest carriers might provide service but cost you other issues. Look for a carrier that you not only feel comfortable with but that provides you with experience, service, and communication.

There are a variety of factors that go into choosing a transportation partner, so it is important that you make sure the provider checks all the boxes you need to make your life easier and your customers happy. If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, it might be a good time to consider other carrier options that service your business needs!