5 Best Practices to Gain Shipper of Choice Status & Why That's a Vital Designation

Advancing technologies and digital tools improve the transportation procurement process. The culmination of technology opens the doors to digital freight matching and makes it easier for shippers and carriers to collaborate. But collaboration can only go so far in helping to secure capacity. Shippers do have a power-play even in this circumstance; those with shipper of choice status may have access to capacity, better rates and faster service more than their competitors. Attaining this status can be excellent and confusing at the same time, so it’s important to understand what it means, why it’s valuable and a few best practices to gaining and keeping it for the long term.

What Is Shipper of Choice Status

Shipper of choice means you’re a preferred shipper in the eyes of carriers and drivers. Shippers of choice tend to make it easier for drivers to get in and get out, meaning more hours on the road making money. Companies further understand their role as shippers and the role of drivers more closely, always keeping the drivers in mind when making decisions. Those gaining this status may experience fewer tender rejections, find capacity at a lower cost than others and are less likely to experience problems in loading/unloading. 

Why Being a Shipper of Choice Is Critical to Success in Transportation Procurement

It all comes down to having a future-proof transportation strategy. Acceleration of e-commerce logistics and digital freight matching has created new points of connection between shippers and carriers of all sizes. The economy is heating up, and the ability to procure transportation is now much more involved than requesting a driver pick up a shipment with a vague timeline, which results in struggles within the transportation network itself. 

In today’s age, being a shipper of choice is a recognition that your brand is going to be pleasant to work with, won’t result in delays for the driver, and is even following the right recommendations for safety. 

Take a moment to think about that final sentence’s point—safety. In the world of everlasting disruption, keeping your staff safe and thinking about the safety of drivers will mean the difference between having coverage or realizing higher freight spend as rejections for underestimated bids mount. Safety must not be an afterthought; it all depends on choosing the right service level for each shipment. As explained by Supply & Demand Chain Executive, carriers “need shippers to choose the best shipping services on the basis of weight, package size, location, contents, delivery date and shipping speed. Choosing the right services for shipping can make a huge difference.” Setting realistic shipping expectations amounts to knowing what needs to happen to ensure safety and also starts to lead into how your team can gain shipper of choice status by staying a bit more holistic when approaching transportation procurement.

How to Gain Status as a Prefered Shipper Faster

There is no one-size-fits-all process to obtaining shipper of choice. Unique carriers may set unique requirements for obtaining this status, and the designation may require the completion of a timed contract or other extenuating factors. Regardless, there are five tried and true practices that can help your team attain shipper of choice status faster and more often with your carriers. These include:

  1. Avoid errors by automating your tendering process, providing thorough and accurate shipment data at the time of tendering for all truckload services and transportation needs.
  2. Plan appointments and staff schedules based on data, setting realistic expectations along the way. 
  3. Put your freight where carriers can find it, thinking like a carrier and using digital freight matching platforms. 
  4. Know when to back down from negotiations, demonstrating your respect for a carrier’s or driver’s time.
  5. Avoid detention time by integrating systems and using real-time notifications to stay vigilant of driver ETA and status. 

Increase Your Eligibility for Shipper of Choice Status with Digital Freight Matching Capabilities

The future of e-commerce depends on shippers and carriers working together to build collaboration in managing bookings, considering the full cost of every move, and thinking about backhaul opportunities that may exist. Remember that carriers want to secure the most profitable shipping loads possible. That's a data-driven process, but one of the most effective ways of achieving that goal is to figure out which shippers are the easiest to work with. That itself lies in following the precursory steps to achieve preferential status. Becoming a shipper of choice must be your goal as a shipper—regardless of industry vertical. Finding shippers of choice is the goal of carriers. Brokers need to find both.

Without this coveted designation, freight spend will increase, coverage will be difficult to attain, and your team will eventually face the prospect of having zero coverage when it comes down to crunch time. Request a newtrul demo to learn more about how your team can get your shipments in front of more carriers today.

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