Managing relationships — any relationship — takes time, commitment, and a shared vision of success. And managing carrier relations is no different. However, with carrier relationships, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Carrier relations are a very important relationship that is well worth the time investment. Strong partnerships between you and the carrier are vital for your freight operations to run cost-effectively and smoothly. When carriers and shippers work together as a team, it creates a win-win relationship that improves customer service as well as logistics efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at various actionable steps that can improve carrier relationships.
Make the Shipper-Carrier Relationship Bidirectional
Having a bi-directional shipper-carrier relationship works to benefit both parties and the industry at large. When you’re willing to work with your carrier, the carrier will be much more willing to go the extra mile to provide the service level desired.
It is not beneficial to either party if the carrier relationship is viewed as if the carrier is the only party providing services in the relationship. In reality, shippers provide a critical service to the carrier in the form of timely and accurate data and information about each shipment’s attributes and the products transported.
Pay Carriers on Time
Carriers have very delicate jobs — traditionally involving safely and efficiently transporting your cargo and goods to the final destination. Carriers are expected to overcome whatever comes their way to deliver your product as intended. As a shipper, your key component of the contract is to pay the carrier promptly and correctly based on the pricing agreement between both parties.
If you’re looking to improve carrier relations, one of the first and most important steps you can take is to pay the carrier on time. This compensation will equip them with operational capital to continue to function and support your shipping needs.
Plan for Positive Carrier Relations with a Plan
You know the old adage: if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. And this sentiment rings true when it comes to carrier relations. It’s ideal to maximize and optimize your carrier relations with a strategic plan or approach for common situations, such as handling in-transit changes, special requirements, billing disputes, loss, and damage, etc. You can exponentially improve carrier relations by having advance plans in place to resolve issues as they arise.
Get Connected to Better Carrier Relations
In today’s modern age of technology, you more than likely expect up-to-date, realtime data on your packages and shipments. Because of this, you should make it equally easy for carriers to provide the information you need. There is a vast range of different tools available that you can choose to make improvements to the carrier relationship. For example, online visibility to payment status.
Treat Drivers Like They Are Part of Your Company
We get it: drivers aren’t really part of your team. But just because they do not receive a paycheck from you does not mean you should treat them as outsiders. On the contrary, you should treat these super-important professionals as members of your team.
In the most simple sense, drivers are tasked with moving your product, so it only makes sense to develop and nurture relationships with these professionals.