Is it Time to Find Some New Freight Carriers?

freight carriers

Being complacent or docile when finding new freight carriers is a dangerous and slippery slope for any shipping company. You must be proactive, do all the research you can beforehand, interview several and then finally, you can begin to make all the right connections.

It is a process, to say the least... but it's also extremely important for the health of your supply chain.

Sure, it's convenient and easy to use the same freight carriers that you've trusted for years. But failing to explore your options can significantly impact your supply chain operations. As a matter of fact, you should review the performance of your current carriers on a regular basis. Over time, carriers may become lax and start to lower their performance levels as a result.

Of course, there are other reasons you may seek to change or add new carriers to the roster. Regardless, keeping your options open only leads to more growth.  

During the summer seasons, many retail, manufacturing, or distribution companies prepared their budgets and contracts for the upcoming fiscal year. As 2020 quickly approaches, it may be beneficial to consider locating new freight carriers for the upcoming year. If nothing else, understanding that you have options when it comes to choosing carriers to move your freight can be enlightening all in itself. 

In this blog post, we will discuss 3 of the best tips that help shippers of all sizes find new freight carriers for 2020.  


Make a List of What’s Important to You 

Every shipper has different customers and different levels of shipping commitment. For every customer you deal with, different shipping attributes are important.

Before you begin your search for new carrier options for 2020, it is important to first document your shipping needs. 

Here are a few easy tips to remember. 

First, review your shipping records from the previous year.

Did you have a need for expedited next day delivery? Were your shipments fiscally responsible? Did you have situations that required special handling such as satellite tracking? Did you require instant notifications or shipping updates sent to customers? Dealing with azardous materials, or cold storage commodities? This will help you fine-tune a list of your needs and the budget it will require.  

Second, review your customer feedback.

Did you have situations where your a customer was dissatisfied with your shipping solutions? Were there times when you had to reschedule a shipper to suit the needs of a specific customer or freight type?  

The important thing to remember here, is that sometimes the carriers you used in 2019 may not have been able to fulfill the needs of your customers. And since customer service is critical for all businesses in general, this should be your primary consideration for locating carriers who can operate ethically on your behalf. 


Review Your Invoice Auditing Solutions 

At the end of the day, bottom line profitability and making sure not to exceed your shipping budget is incredibly important. But did you know that several carriers will inflate the shipping invoice that you receive with hidden surcharges or fees? 

The task of finding discrepancies is completed through freight invoice auditing. Most shipping companies or individuals who use the supply chain daily have a third-party logistics company complete invoice auditing on their behalf. Those who trust a 3PL with this important job will determine if some carriers are more guilty of invoice inflation than others. 

When looking for any new carriers for the upcoming year, cross off those who are on this list, like... immediately. 


Update Your TMS  

Finally, if you're going to search for new carriers, it's important to have the best technology solutions to compare them. Today's modern transportation management systems offer shippers of any size this flexibility.

The TMS can be custom configured for any shipping platform. Whether you only use FedEx or UPS, you schedule LTL or FTL movements, or have a need for heavy haul movements, a TMS can be customized to locate all possible carriers to accomplish these tasks.  

One final thing to consider when looking for new freight carriers for 2020 is key performance indicators when it comes to shipping efficiency. Any good carrier will have three important attributes that they offer their customers.

First, they will be flexible with pickup and delivery times. Second, they will have an exceptional on-time delivery record. Third, and probably most importantly, they will be customer service superstars who respond quickly to inquiries and resolve problems with as little hassle as possible. 

Want to learn more about TMS platforms? Read this article!


Final Thoughts

Of course, one of the best tools is an experienced 3PL like Redwood Logistics. By working with a 3PL to manage your supply chain functions, find, locate and schedule the right carriers, you’ll improve service, save money, and start 2020 out on the right foot.  

Ready to get started? Reach out to us here!