Тhe most stable and successful freight brokerage operations are those who take the time to build strong, long lasting relationships with motor carriers. Make it a priority to take good care of your carriers and treat them as you would expect to be treated in your business relationships.
Matix has gathered some of the best ways that you ( as a broker or shipper) can improve relationships with carriers.
Why is it important to make good relationships with carriers?
Establishing a great relationship with your carriers is the best way to get the most out of their services. It is easy to forget that these companies are more than just equipment and machines that get the job done. They are made up of people with real goals and needs who have their own strengths and weaknesses. Keeping that in mind enables you to establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. In a great partnership, carriers will have the opportunity to run their business more smoothly, and brokers/shippers will have the power of data to achieve higher levels of efficiency in their operations all while reducing costs.
1. Dare to be different
We all know that the market has its ups and downs. The trick is to get the best of it and provide it to the carrier. What can make you different from the other brokers?
- Do you offer better freight?
- Do you offer more money per mile?
- Do you offer the benefit of newer technology?
- Do you offer QuickPay?
- These are things carriers are asking. And they’re determining factors that keep quality carriers around. So, what makes YOU different?
When you present new opportunities to your carrier partner, then everybody will end up benefiting from greater profitability. Allowing for better leverage for negotiating better terms on future agreements.
2. Be Fair and Generous
Brokers/shippers should build trust with carriers by keeping to their promises and being loyal to the terms of agreement or contracts reached. Be honest with your carriers – even if it’s not the best news. Show respect and integrity – these simple things go a long way in building strong relationships with your carriers. In the end, so many things are based on loyalty, but loyalty has to be earned.
Be generous by giving select carriers a little more for a load. This will keep them coming back to you for future hauls. Sometimes offering a more generous rate at the right times creates a long-lasting relationship that will make you more money in the long run. So, know when to remain firm on price, and when to be a little more flexible tooApprove paperwork faster and
3. Pay on time
Carriers have a delicate job of transporting the goods and cargo to their destination on time, and they have to be compensated to enable them with their operational and processing costs. For some brokers it takes from 3 days to 3 weeks to get the paperwork approved. And on the top of that it can take another 30 days for the carrier to be paid. Offer quick pays and fuel advances whenever possible. The quicker and easier you make it for a carrier to get paid, the more they will want to work with you. Many brokers are already cutting down payment times after delivery to as little as 24-48 hours.
4. Be respectful
You’re all working with deadlines, and a carrier’s time is just as important as yours (especially when you factor in hours of service regulations). Be courteous, treat drivers like the professionals they are, acknowledge their time constraints, and do what you can to help them get your cargo to its destination. Answer calls and respond to emails as quickly as you can
5. Detention/ Layover Pay
Drivers sitting being held up for whatever reason are losing money because the wheels are not turning. Let’s make a quick calculation: If an owner-operator gets $2/mile for hauling loads and is held back at the shipper or receiver for 2 hours, that owner-operator has a lost potential revenue of 2 hours of driving at max highway speeds of, say, 70 mph, or 140 miles at $2 per mile.That is $280 the owner-operator could have been generating.
When carriers are owed compensation above and beyond their contract agreement, do your best to ensure they receive payment promptly. Respect driver’s time and effort. Show them it matters to you. This way you are doing a huge step towards a strong relationship. As we all know : Drivers make the company, if you show them understanding, they will choose to work with you again.
6. Be Transparent
When offering a load, make sure there are no turnarounds. You wouldn’t appreciate it from the carrier’s side. Be clear about the load, the lane, and any shipping or receiving expectations so there’s no surprises. Try to avoid canceling shipments. If you do so, try your best to find another load for that driver or simply pay them a compensation. It would be appreciated. When necessary, make changes at delivery locations ahead of time to make everyone’s life easier.
7. Don’t forget to say ,,Thank you”
Anyone in any position wants to feel respected and appreciated. Say “Thank you” to drivers and dispatchers whenever you get the chance. It’s amazing how powerful those two simple words can be and what showing a little of appreciation can do. Don’t take it for granted that they drove over-night in hazardous conditions to get a load delivered on time.