a highway running through an open field

Time to Revisit your Shipper of Choice Status

Doing the right thing. 

(even when no one’s watching)

In the transportation industry, we like to say the pendulum is always swinging. Sometimes it’s on the shipper’s side–lots of trucks to choose from means you can cut corners and still get some low rates.

But when that pendulum swings, as it did during the pandemic, you could be left in a lurch. When capacity tightens up, carriers are a little more choosy. They can choose better freight for better prices, and they do.

Here at AMT, we believe in doing the right thing even when no one is looking. That means we take a look at your lanes and your network and put the right service-oriented fleets on dedicated lands and routes for you.

We make sure the carriers coming into your facility are paid consistently for their hard work. We make the appointments and we pay detention when necessary. We do the right thing so the swinging pendulum doesn’t have to affect your business.

Shipper of Choice Status

With National Truck Driver Appreciation Week right around the corner (September 11-17), it’s a great time to revisit the importance of your shipper of choice status.

Why is this so important?

Here at AM Transport we believe it’s just smart business to be considerate to trucking companies and drivers. Not to mention, it’s the right thing to do; after all, drivers are people, right. And it’s our job to be kind and compassionate to other human beings. Truck drivers, in particular, work long, hard hours to deliver the goods we depend on. And the last few years have been extremely difficult on these men and women. If you consistently treat carriers and their drivers right by making it easier for them to get in and out of your facility in a timely manner, you’ll end up paying a lower rate over the long haul with superior companies.

How Can You Achieve Shipper of Choice Status?

It’s not all that difficult.

First, be flexible. Flexibility is so important for drivers. Does your facility require an appointment, and is that appointment difficult to set? The drivers we talk to love shippers who load trucks on a first-come/first-served basis. If you’re flexible, the best carriers will want to work with you.

Planning is so important, and that is why lead time makes a difference to carriers. The more time you give carriers to plan their loads, the more likely they’ll become a dedicated carrier. Trucking was complicated before the pandemic, and it’s even more complicated now. Don’t allow a lack of lead time to be the reason you’re paying premium prices for a last minute load.

Drivers love quick loading times. Well, who wouldn’t, right. But drivers have to deal with a number of time constraints based on hours-of-service (HOS) rules. Therefore, it’s no surprise that trucking companies are highly aware and pleased when shippers are timely and efficient with loading and unloading.

Good parking options are essential. If you have good parking options you are ahead of the curve. If you allow drivers to park and sleep onsite, you’re ahead of the pack.

What kind of driver amenities do you provide? Do you have nice bathrooms for the men and women drivers who visit  your facility? What about vending machines? Top shippers might even have a lounge with free WIFI and comfortable furniture. Treating drivers like your customers is a great idea all shippers should live by.

You can be a shipper of choice!

Being a shipper of choice is the best way to ensure you are working with superior carriers with long business histories and low driver turnover. If you follow the above suggestions, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a favorite with the carriers you work with. Remember, when you take care of carriers and drivers, you create long-term relationships that will serve both parties well into the future.