As a business owner, selecting a trucking partner is one of the most crucial decisions that you have to make. Finding a partner who understands your requirements and is committed to the wellbeing of your business will take you a long way. Secondly, it can also make up for significant expenses and directly impact your bottom line.
When you are in a business of supplying products to other cities and states, you would want to exercise all caution to select the right vendor. It is advisable to meet a few vendors to understand what the market offers. As you evaluate them, here is what you should focus on, to make the right decision.
Depending upon your needs, you may need the trucking partner to provide particular types of services.
For instance, you may need less than truckload freight a few times in a month. At other times, you may need a full truckload freight. Similarly, you could want your trucking partner to have dry van trailers or flatbed trailers or refrigerated trailers.
Moreover, a few partners outsource their work to other asset-based companies. In such scenarios, there are more chances of error and communication failures. You may want to decide if you would like to work with such partners or with asset-based companies.
It is advisable to assess your needs before you float your requirement in the market. Once you do that, you will be in a better position to ask the right questions. Depending on your conversations, you may choose to work with the best vendor in a particular type of freight or work with multiple vendors.
If you choose to work with multiple partners, you may have to spend more money and time on communication. Ultimately, it depends on your business dynamics and how essential transportation is to your business.
Reliability & Safety
When you work with a trucking partner, nothing is as important as reliability. Your business sales and revenue will depend a lot on how fast your products reach their destinations. It becomes all the more essential if you are in the business of perishable goods.
If your trucking partner is not dependable, you stand the risk of losing out on your opportunities. Apart from impacting your inventory, it will affect your reputation.
The customers will build a perception that your company does not bother about replenishing the stock in time. As a result, you stand the risk of losing your loyal customer base.
Apart from this, delays can cause you to miss scheduled inspections. Going through the process again will cause further delays and cost you money in the process.
To avoid this situation, you may want to examine the level of service rates of the vendor. A few trucking partners offer their services at lesser costs but compromised levels of services. It is advisable to avoid such vendors for the wellbeing of your business.
Another aspect of reliability is the safety standards that the trucking vendor adopts. Of course, you want your truck to reach its location on time, but not after breaking laws or getting into accidents. You can check the record of the company and choose a vendor who wouldn’t compromise safety at any cost.
You don’t want to end in a situation where you do not know where your truck is. Most freight carrier companies use technology like fleet management software for trucking companies to track their trucks in real-time. They also extend this service to their partners so that they are always in the loop.
When you are still talking to the vendors and evaluating them, ask them about this service. Other than this, try to understand how their truck drivers respond to challenges while on the road. A trucking company worth its mettle will know to communicate effectively and professionally at all times.
To avoid any mishaps in the future, both the businesses can work on a communication model in the agreement. You may also ask if you can work with only a few drivers to build a better relationship. It will safeguard your interest and also give you legal protection when things go wrong.
You don’t want to get into a partnership with a company that is not financially stable. If something goes wrong, you will have to go through this rigorous process of finding a trucking partner once again. It will be even worse if their financial problems lead to seizing your inventory placed in their warehouses.
You can dig into their financial reports to understand their current standing. Moreover, try to give more thought to understand their rates.
If they are offering their services at low prices, try to comprehend why it is so. Are they large enough to offer such competitive prices, or are they in desperate need of money?
A few vendors also have a shortage of truck drivers. It is a growing problem in the US. The gap between the supply and demand is more than 50,000. Try to work with a company that can fulfill your needs with its current workforce.
Price Vs Quality Of Services
In the end, you get what you pay for. Of course, the pricing is going to be a key factor in making this crucial decision. You will have to assess what’s affordable and what’s not.
However, the quality of the services is the other end of the balance. You will have to work towards finding a trucking partner that offers the right balance of these two. Moreover, you can also try to understand hours of service to understand if they are compliant with the local laws.
You may face delays and other quality issues with a vendor who offers its services at the lowest cost. On the other hand, a well-known name may charge you something that’s not economical for your business. The best way is to identify your needs, do your market research, and work with what suits you the best.
When you are in a business that depends on transporting your goods to other locations, working with a trucking partner is imperative. With the information shared above, you can make the right decision and give your business a boost.
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