Freight shippers vary a great deal in what they can offer your organization, and you might find yourself replacing old shippers or looking for new ones for a wide variety of reasons. A freight shipper may have a great record of performance, but may be unable to meet all of your needs as your business grows. On the other hand, it may be necessary to find freight shippers when you discover that one of your current shippers has not been living up to the terms of your agreements.
Whether you’re retooling your network or making it more robust, you will need to have ways to find freight shippers that meet your criteria. Small firms can get away with using only one freight shipper for many transactions – but with the demands of growth, you will probably find you need many freight shippers and the corresponding operations, development, and quality control framework that will keep your supply chain efficient.
Here are the steps you should take when looking for new shipping partners:
1. Establish Firm Criteria
At some point in the process of finding new logistics partners, you’ll have to put your expectations into written form. It’s a good idea to do this as early in the process as possible so that your desires will be met – and hopefully exceeded. Establishing criteria in terms of your expected volume, costs, and attendant services will help you to quickly vet those firms who do not match your operating portfolio and who would not be able to give you top quality service.
2. Retain a Logistics Consultant
Although it is not always necessary to call on a logistics consultant, a logistics expert such as Lojistic can help you streamline and expedite the process of altering your supply chain. Such a consultant typically has a well-developed roster of freight shipping businesses to refer clients to, and can also help when it comes time to negotiate service agreements. Ongoing assistance, such as invoice auditing, can also help you to save millions in the long run.
3. Consult Industry Sources
The industry is full of professional, reliable sources for understanding what the logistics landscape is like in your area. Through venues such as industry periodicals and blogs, you can get the lay of the land and begin compiling a list of potential contacts. Once you have developed such a list, you will have a good starting point on a focused campaign for evaluating potential partners. This is a good way to do a “reputation check” on such companies as well.
4. Evaluate Firms One at a Time
Although you might find yourself using small freight shippers, any company worth the money will be willing to set up an exploratory meeting with you where you can discuss their capabilities versus your needs frankly and honestly. Be sure that you have an expert on hand who can ask the tough questions about relevant certifications, licensure, and insurance such companies are expected to have, as well as details on their operations and values.