We could spend days answering this question. Many of our meetings are spent doing just…
Your relationship with your shipping carrier can make or break your business. It’s a game of tug of war, of negotiating shipping rates and prioritization so you remain competitive in your market. After all, customers don’t see, nor do they want to know, the logistics between you and your carriers. All a customer truly cares about is lead time. Choosing the right carrier is crucial to this metric, and learning who to cultivate a relationship with is incredibly important.
Yet, many of the most successful businesses choose to wash their hands of this logistical component of their business. Instead, they work with a transportation brokerage company like ours to navigate the complex and fluid dynamics of shipping. Here’s how to choose a carrier and why a broker can help so you don’t have regrets.
Prioritize Reliability and Performance
Evaluate the shipping carrier’s track record for reliability and on-time deliveries. Look for carriers with a reputation for consistency and minimal disruptions. A transportation broker can help by leveraging their network of carriers to identify reliable options and ensure smooth transportation operations.
Research Service Coverage
Assess the carrier’s service coverage and determine if they operate in the regions where you need to ship your products. A transportation broker can provide access to a wide network of carriers, increasing the chances of finding carriers that cover the specific regions you require.
Compare shipping rates and costs offered by different carriers. Look for carriers that offer competitive pricing without compromising on service quality. A transportation broker can negotiate favorable rates on your behalf due to their relationships with multiple carriers, potentially providing cost savings.
Account for Shipping Speed and Transit Times
Consider the speed and transit times offered by the carriers. Depending on your business requirements, you may need expedited shipping options or guaranteed delivery times. A transportation broker can assist in finding carriers that offer suitable transit times and expedited services when necessary.
Consider any Special Handling Requirements
If your products require special handling, such as temperature control, fragile item protection, or hazardous materials shipping, ensure the carrier has the necessary capabilities and expertise. A transportation broker can match your specific requirements with carriers that specialize in handling such shipments.
Don’t Discount Tracking and Visibility
Determine the level of tracking and visibility provided by the carrier. Look for carriers that offer real-time tracking and online visibility into the shipment’s progress. A transportation broker can provide advanced shipment tracking technologies and platforms that consolidate tracking information from multiple carriers, ensuring transparency and visibility throughout the shipping process.
Investigate Customer Service and Support
Evaluate the carrier’s customer service and support capabilities. Prompt and effective communication is crucial when issues arise or updates are needed. A transportation broker can act as a liaison between your business and the carrier, handling any communication, inquiries, or issue resolution on your behalf.
How a Transportation Broker Can Help:
A transportation broker can streamline the process of selecting a shipping carrier by acting as an intermediary between your business and the carriers. They have in-depth knowledge of the transportation industry, extensive carrier networks, and expertise in logistics management. A transportation broker can:
- Provide access to a wide network of carriers, increasing the chances of finding the best fit for your shipping needs.
- Negotiate favorable rates and contract terms on your behalf, potentially resulting in cost savings.
- Offer consolidated shipment tracking and reporting through advanced technology platforms, enhancing visibility and transparency.
- Handle communication, inquiries, and issue resolution with the carrier, saving you time and effort.
- Provide logistical support, including load optimization, route planning, and freight management.
By partnering with a transportation broker, your business can leverage their industry expertise and resources to optimize your shipping operations, reduce costs, and improve overall efficiency.
Are you interested in our New England transportation brokerage services? Reach out to us today.