How to Become and Remain a Shipper of Choice—and Why It Matters Now More Than Ever

It’s a carrier’s market out there. With demand for freight transport continuing to outpace supply, carriers are able to be highly selective about the shippers they choose to work with.

For shippers, this presents a problem—and an opportunity. While companies with a track record of delayed pickups and late payments may struggle to find reliable transportation options, those that can assert themselves as a “Shipper of Choice” can gain a serious competitive advantage. And the benefits extend far beyond access to the carriers of their choice. Establishing a partnership with top carriers allows shippers to unlock capacity, gain more favorable rates, and provide better service to their customers.

Being a Shipper of Choice means being a profitable, easy-to-work-with partner that carriers are eager to continue working with. Here’s how companies can successfully position themselves as a Shipper of Choice—and maintain that enviable position.

Streamline processes and improve efficiency through tech

One of the most important steps to achieving and maintaining Shipper of Choice status is helping carriers become more productive. When drivers are given incorrect pickup times or locations, face delays at the loading dock, or have to wait while paperwork is filled in, it can throw off their schedule for the entire day—making them late for other pickups or even forcing them to cancel deliveries altogether.

Continually improving processes to avoid lengthy detention times gives carriers confidence that a company has their best interests in mind. Utilizing a leading-edge transportation management system (TMS) helps streamline shipments and provides the visibility that both parties need to remain productive.

With the right technology and processes in place, it’s easier for shippers to keep track of their scheduled shipments and plan accordingly. Ahead of pickups, they can provide clear and up-to-date information to drivers, including directions to the dock doors, particularly at large facilities. They can also ensure that enough staff are available to load the truck at the scheduled time, and double-check that all freight paperwork is accurate and ready to hand over before the driver arrives. The goal is to get the driver back on the road as soon as possible, and carriers will appreciate the effort.

Help carriers save money, too

In order to show their commitment to creating a true partnership, shippers can’t focus solely on reducing their own costs. They also need to play an active role in helping the carriers they partner with remain profitable.

Communication is the cornerstone of a mutually beneficial partnership. By having regular conversations about the carriers’ pain points, shippers can work with them to make improvements that benefit everyone. This can involve developing key performance indicators (KPIs) such as dwell time to measure performance for carriers over time. Being transparent about what can be improved and what can’t also helps carriers set realistic expectations and retain their confidence in the shippers they work with.

Another way to help carriers reduce their overhead costs and boost profitability is to pay them quickly. Taking advantage of freight audit and payment services makes this a lot easier, streamlining audit exception and payment processes to make sure that carriers are paid accurately and on time—without hurting a shipper’s own bottom line.

Become a Shipper of Choice

There are countless benefits of becoming a Shipper of Choice, but it doesn’t happen overnight. In order to present themselves as attractive, long-term partners, shippers must be dedicated to continuously improving their own processes and performance. This will not only let carriers know that they’re a strong partner, but will help shippers boost their efficiency and sharpen their competitive edge.

Harnessing best-in-class technology signals to carriers that a shipper understands their needs and is invested in their mutual success. CTSI-Global makes that possible. We work in partnership with shippers and carriers to help both parties boost productivity and profitability, so everybody wins.

Don’t lose out on becoming a Shipper of Choice. Contact CTSI-Global today.