Gaining Shipper of Choice Using a Transportation Management System

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The age of technology advances more daily, and everyone is looking for the most prominent and best way to control costs and offer better customer service. For shippers, process improvement to reduce delays is the key. Reducing delays also provides other advantages, including increased eligibility to become a “Shipper of Choice.” What is “Shipper of Choice,” however? Well, if you are unsure, you are probably missing out on its positive impact in your supply chain. So, let’s take a closer look at what it means for your company.

What Exactly Is “Shipper of Choice?”

“Shipper of Choice” refers to the notoriety associated with shippers that optimize supply chain management to reduce the burden on carriers. Shippers that gain “Shipper of Choice” status enjoy the perks bestowed by the carrier, as well as benefits of process improvement.

For example, a shipper seeking to attain “Shipper of Choice” status must make necessary improvements to processes, such as implementing a transportation management system and optimizing the schedule, which reduces the risk of delays for carrier pickup. For shippers, such improvements amount to better operations.

Benefits Associated with Becoming a “Shipper of Choice” Through TMS

As reported by Talking Logistics with Adrian Gonzalez, becoming “Shipper of Choice” is an excellent way for shippers to win favor with carriers. Carriers are more likely to make room for freight pickups, despite the challenges deriving from tight capacity, the trucker shortage and HOS regulations. Shippers also avoid the penalties of detention fees from poor management.

More information about on-site operations enables real-time visibility into available loading bays, the dock schedule, pre-appointment planning, managing yard traffic, and more. When paired with a TMS, this capability grows exponentially, enabling automated management and further reduce freight costs.

Shipper of Choice & TMS: How a TMS Makes Shippers’ Freight More Attractive

Benefits apply to last mile as well.

Customers ordering products requiring assembly, installation, or even white glove service can know more about what to expect, including estimated time of delivery and cost of additional services. Carriers can also use data from the TMS to schedule the delivery with end users, complete load planning processes, and increase billing accuracy.

Another benefit of using an over the road TMS includes the ability to track more shipment and transportation data. Real-time tracking reduces the risk of freight claims, and depending on the industry, ensuring a shipment’s kept at proper temperatures could amount to millions of dollars.

For instance, chemotherapy medications and vaccinations may need to be kept at sub-zero temperatures to ensure the medication’s effectiveness and potency. Failure to do so could result in severe consequences, including the deterioration of patients’ health. Note: This is just an example, as Cerasis currently supports no reefer carriers…but the example is still vital in understanding the role of TMS to share data and help shippers gain more visibility.

As the relationship continues with carriers who work with “Shippers of Choice,” shippers will learn how to recognize when consolidation/deconsolidation of freight outweighs using a single mode. This practice also increases the use of full truckload cargo, further lowering freight spend.

How to Become a “Shipper of Choice”

It’s not enough to work with a dedicated carrier, and failure to diversify your carrier relationships could lead to higher freight spend. According to Steve Banker via Forbes, shippers that are only beginning to think about gaining such status should follow these steps:

  1. Align your organization with a focus on costs and sales prioritizing service.
  2. Collect data to track performance.
  3. Always look for the latest, most appropriate rate, not just the cheapest.
  4. Remember, carriers value ease in making money, not shipping volume.
  5. Review performance management with carriers to improve productivity.
  6. Know when to give on your demands; it speeds negotiations and reduces the risk of failure.
  7. Provide accurate, longer lead times for order tenders.
  8. Be flexible where possible, and if flexibility is not possible, let customers have the option of paying the extra fees or surcharges for faster delivery.
  9. Implement a TMS; THIS IS ESSENTIAL.

Become a Shipper of Choice to Enjoy Better Productivity and Lower Freight Spend

Gaining “Shipper of Choice” must be your goal. As more companies break into the world of e-commerce and offer greater customer promises, shippers need the best carrier relationships possible. One last point: gaining this status is crucial to scaling your business and boosting employee satisfaction too. Want to gain “Shipper of Choice” status using a TMS? Get a demo of the Cerasis Rater TMS and see how Cerasis can help you gain this key status.

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