What Does a Freight Broker Do When a Truck Doesn't Show as Promised? Author: tylerg
July 01, 2013

Hopefully, you’ll never have to worry about what to do when a truck doesn’t show as planned. However, this is part of business, and any freight agent or freight shipper should be prepared for this eventuality while dealing with the demands of freight shipping. Human error can result in trucks arriving late or not at all. Although we must hope the situation is a simple and safe one, we are also required to take steps to protect our business investments.

Step One: Ensure Your Contract Deals With “No-Shows”

In an ideal world, freight shipping would go smoothly at all times and a freight agent or freight shipper would collect all materials due before the close of business every day. However, you should ensure that your contract with any logistics partner spells out what constitutes non-delivery, what steps will be taken in the event of non-delivery, and how many exceptional events can take place before the terms of the contract agreement are negatively impacted.

Having everything spelled out in writing will protect your firm from situations where your best judgment can conflict with that of your logistics partner, and may even lead to conflicts in court. As a field, logistics is known for thorough contracts that aim to make situations as clear-cut as possible in the event of error or wrongdoing. Protecting your investment, your reputation, and the well-being of your staff members begins with an “ironclad” contract reviewed by experts.

Step Two: Do Everything Possible to Get in Touch with the “Lost” Truck

Depending on your relationship with your shipping partner, it may be possible for you to get in touch with the missing vehicle or to get in touch with a shipping manager or other partner who can give you a current status update. Unfortunately, unforeseen issues such as weather do not typically represent the kind of exceptional events for which you can expect much sympathy in court. Whenever possible, reaching out to the vendor in order to determine what’s going on will give you not only better information, but greater credibility in any future proceedings.

Step Three: Prepare for a Claim in Advance

Caution is crucial when you sense that something might have gone wrong with a shipment. You should take some time to initiate the usual process for making a claim, although you should not go forward with it until you have all of the facts. Begin by making necessary copies of forms that note the expected delivery date, contents, and weight of the missing shipment. In the event that the delay exceeds what is permissible within your contract, you can act right away.

In the Long Run: Consider Your Supply Chain Options

As the economy improves in many areas, the tonnage on the road increases, and it becomes harder to square the delivery aspect of the logistics equation. Many trucking firms have limited vehicles on the road to deal with an increasing amount of tonnage. In many cases, a trucking delay of one to three days is something your firm may have no choice but to absorb.

If you find that your shipping partners seem simply unable to deal with your demands, then you may discover your best bet is to eliminate underperforming links from your supply chain. Question your vendors closely concerning what actions they are taking to improve their capacity to deal with unexpected tonnage overage. If they cannot satisfy you, then call on the services of a reputable logistics consultant to help you find a company that will better meet your needs.

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