Lots Can Go Wrong: Are You Ready?
Lots can go wrong: ask your broker.
Have you ever thought about everything that could go wrong when you’re trying to get your freight on the road? Or what about once it’s already on the road?
Moving freight is a risky business with a lot of moving parts. If your logistics providers (carriers or brokers) don’t know what they’re doing or don’t have the experience or knowledge to avoid or get ahead of problems, you’re spending more money or time than you need to. And it’s expensive, isn’t it. Especially now with capacity shortages due to the pandemic. You can’t afford the added costs of mistakes and blunders.
Here are just a few of the things that can go wrong.
Loads given back, especially late in the day.
If you work with a broker or carrier that gives your loads back late in the day, you have no time to recover or try a different option. But here’s something else to think about–it’s not just poor communication, it could be a matter of outright dishonesty.
Yes, problems do occur late in the day, but this should happen seldom. When your provider accepts a load tender from you, they should have a truck prepared to take care of your load. When problems do occur, you should be notified promptly so you have the time to explore other options.
If this happens regularly, the lower cost you think you are getting is eaten up every time you have to hit the spot market which leads to higher costs and more likely service failures.
Failure to contact shippers and consignees ahead of time.
If your broker or carrier fails to contact shippers and consignees ahead of time to confirm pickups and deliveries, they may be in for a rude awakening, and that means you are in for a rude awakening.
Things like closings for inventory, holidays, maintenance, and other instances can render moot “regular” shipping or receiving hours. And you know what this means–costly layovers and the dreaded returned load.
Sure, sometimes it’s simply bad data in the system that shows a facility is first come/first served (could be two years old) when it’s actually by appointment only. The point is, your provider must take the time to check. It’s not only smart business, it’s imperative. When your providers get to know your shippers and consignees, your experience will be better.
Continuing along the lines of communication skills. If your broker or carrier is a poor communicator, run away as fast as you can. Communication is at the heart of any logistics operation. So if they aren’t proactively communicating with you, it’s time to worry.
Make sure you can call and get them on the phone at a moment’s notice. And it’s a given, if you shoot an email their way, they should hit you back with a reply to assure you they received your message and to apprise you on their plan. You don’t have time to wonder if they got your message.
Here’s another example you should take to heart. If you get a call from your customer asking where the truck is, you need a new option now because it’s unacceptable. If you have to call your carrier or broker to find out where a truck is, they aren’t taking advantage of the great tracking tools available to everyone in logistics.
It makes you look bad when your customer is looking for that truck. And your reputation is too important.
Shortages and Damages
Let’s be honest, shortages and damages do occur occasionally. Thankfully, here at AMT, we rarely see that. But when it does happen, you want your provider to give you a heads-up immediately, so you can quickly resolve the issue while the details are fresh. Finding out a week later because it’s noted on the bill of lading is aggravating and costly.
Your reputation matters.
If you are experiencing even one of these problems, your broker or carrier is falling down on the job. When things go wrong, you’re the one paying extra, scrambling at the last minute, or explaining to an unhappy customer what happened. You deserve a freight broker with experience, communication skills, and access to great carriers.
Here at AM Transport Services, we’ve been in this business for 30 years. Our team members understand how important a smooth supply chain is to your business, and we’re dedicated to that end. When you work with us, you’ll never get a voicemail because we don’t have one. We answer our own phones 24/7/365 days a year.
If this sounds good, then please schedule a call with us today. We’re in the business of making sure you and your customers are happy.