Partner or Perish in the New Era of Transportation
Top 10 Ways Shippers & Carriers Are Partnering to Optimize Supply Chains
There’s no denying it – the transportation & logistics industry is a’changing. According to the ATA, the trucking industry alone is currently short approximately 48,000 skilled drivers, with that number is expected to swell to as much as 239,000 by 2025. Soon shippers may find themselves competing to find capacity as full truckload carriers become increasingly selective over what freight they’ll haul.
Carriers will continue to battle fluctuating fuel costs and rising price tags on equipment in order to offer competitive rates. As the industry turns upside down, it’s more important than ever for shippers and carriers to collaborate.
In fact, we’re seeing the capacity crisis helping to transform the traditional shipper/carrier relationship in ways never before imagined.
What are shippers doing?
Plenty. Remember that drivers fill out log books, rather than punch time clocks. So any delays in loading and unloading full truckloads eat into their strict Hours of Service regulation. And when driver productivity takes a hit, so does capacity, transit times and budgets.
Many shippers are reducing dreaded dwell times – the leading cause of increasing truckload rates – by implementing best practices on their docks:
- Providing clear, accurate directions and/or a map to designated dock doors.
- Having paperwork ready (pulling orders prior to the driver’s arrival).
- Packaging, crating or stacking cartons securely to prevent freight damage (using banding, shrink-wrap, stretch-wrap or breakaway adhesive). Many are pre-staging freight for additional efficiency.
- Setting appropriate loading/unloading time expectations (e.g. less than 45 minutes to load a 53′ box).
- Implementing techy communication tools, such as carrier, dispatch and shipper mobile apps, to increase productivity and efficiency.
What are carriers doing?
A shipper’s efficiency can only do so much to ensure success. As in any true, mutually beneficial partnership, both parties need to go all in with their efforts.
Here’s how carriers are locking arms to improve efficiencies in the supply chain:
- Offering robust communication APIs for real-time freight management. Communicating with shippers instantly and proactively in terms of pricing, tracking, tracing and shipping alternatives
- Exploring subscription services that aid compliance with EDI requirements. These services can also automate email, text and web communications with shippers and provide performance essential metrics.
- Being flexible when responding to shippers’ needs. Helping drive down costs by offering the ability to warehouse shipments, consolidate freight, dedicate equipment and customize services.
- Using big data to understand shippers’ pain points. By analyzing up and downstream, carriers are offering more robust supply chain visibility and partnering toward solutions.
- Engaging in old-fashioned face-to-face communication; working with shippers prior to contract renegotiations to review performance and taking proactive actions to improve service.
Logistics is ready for transformation. Let’s start creating better partnerships and greater efficiencies throughout the network.
YRC Freight has been helping shippers throughout North America increase the dependability and reliability of their supply chain for more than 90 years. We’re seeing a shift and transforming our services to include a broader network with real-time visibility to meet new demands. Read more about how we’ve reinvented our Full Truckload Services or request a quote below. Our experienced logistics team will make sure you get the most efficient service at a competitive price!
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Not sure if Truckload is your mode?
If you’re looking for cost efficiency, guaranteed availability with dedicated equipment, secure shipments with less handling… then Truckload may be your mode. We compare FTL to LTL along with the pros and cons for each in our recent blog article.