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Is Your Transportation Provider Meeting Your Needs?
Content was originally published on LogisticsMgmt.com.
The company you trust your freight with can make or break your supply chain. As you reflect on your business’s performance in 2019 and plan for your operations in 2020, take into account the role your transportation provider plays in your overall success. These are the qualities that you should think about when evaluating your relationship with your transportation provider.
Full Suite of Services
Even if you predominantly ship your freight via one mode of transportation, the transportation provider you work with should be able to offer you more than one service. You wouldn’t want to be limited by your shipping methods if a new opportunity arises for your business. For instance, say you normally transport freight via 53’ vans but you now have the need to move some large, over-dimensional machinery which requires a specialized trailer. Rather than outsourcing this shipment to another company, it’s advantageous to work with a carrier that already has knowledge of your business. If you were to hire a different company to handle the shipment, the new company may not be as well-versed in your operations increasing the risk of a supply chain interruption.
Working with a transportation provider that has expertise in multiple service areas can save you money, too. Sometimes using multiple modes of transportation – such as combining rail intermodal and truckload services – is a more cost effective solution for a shipper that would normally only source one mode. The company you depend on to keep your supply chain moving should be transparent about all cost-savings opportunities available to you.
Handing over your freight to a transportation provider can be unnerving if you aren’t confident in the company’s ability to make the delivery safely. Make sure the transportation provider you’re working with, and its network of truck operators, has a reputation for always putting safety first. As a customer, you should be well-versed in the transportation provider’s safety programs and the procedures it has in place to ensure your cargo, the driver and the general motoring public is safe while your shipment is in transit. If you aren’t familiar with your existing carrier’s safety protocols, now is the time to ask.
Technology That Works For You
Technology is supposed to make running a business easier and a quality transportation provider has digital tools to offer to its customers. However, some of these technologies will actually call for more work from the users. When considering a transportation provider, research the technology solutions it provides to its customers and carefully consider if those tools are going to make your day-to-day operations better.
For example, there are different digital freight matching apps on the market and some of them require shippers to locate and book their own capacity. But, what if a problem arises while the shipment is in transit or the capacity falls through? It would then be the shipper’s responsibility to find a different solution. All of this could be avoided by working with a transportation provider that has digital and technological capabilities, but also the people and processes in place to handle the logistics of the shipment for its customers.
If the company you’ve hired has technology that you have to work for instead of technology that works for you, it may be in your best interest to look elsewhere.
A Vested Interest in Your Success
Every transportation provider is going to operate differently but the one that you commit to should have a vested interest in the success of your business. Landstar’s business model is unique to the industry. Our freight agents and capacity providers are independent small business owners who need to provide customers with superior service in order to be successful themselves. It’s their livelihood and, often, their family business, so that makes your freight as important to them as it is to you. The scale and size of the Landstar network gives us flexibility to accommodate the needs of all shippers – big or small. It’s our business to make your business succeed.
Visit our website for more information about how Landstar can support your supply chain.