Consider these open-minded suggestions to work through a decline in driver availability.
CURRENT MARKET TREND
You’re probably well aware that hiring more drivers to meet the steady delivery demand has been a challenge in today’s market. Because of the lack of drivers to fill those empty truck cabs, rates have increased significantly, leaving it to the drivers to pick and choose which loads they want to handle.
And in turn, this has given the drivers an even bigger advantage to select the easiest routes to take--whichever is more desirable to them---leaving the more complex, higher demanding, and fuel guzzling deliveries at risk of a much later delivery date than is expected.
This then results in your customers (a) not receiving their shipment when they need it, and (b) risking other business needs that need to be met, likely at a significant cost.
TRANSPARENCY IN TRANSPORTATION
This is a time where we must be open-minded and consider all of our shipping options. Although these options may not be the best strategy for your load, it can be crucial in the bigger picture to meet your customers’ expectations. "Time is money,” as the saying goes, and we must get the job done, however possible, by being open with a more creative approach, and with what resources and information are available to us.
So with this goal in mind, here are a few suggestions, which you may already be familiar with, but are worth revisiting for your upcoming orders.
Consider consolidating loads if you expect multiple shipments in a small window of time. Hold off on shipping until the end of the week (or until you can fill up a truck and a driver is available to take all your shipments at once).
You can do a partial load, or split up the load. If it's imperative that at least some of your shipments deliver than none at all, then this might be ideal for your situation.
Allow for more time and flexibility in your shipment window and delivery dates; consider the miles and transit times.
Communicate and be transparent. When your customer is placing their order, be upfront with them about the situation. They need to be aware so there are no surprises down the road.
Understand what’s an “attractive delivery” to a driver. What do they care about most and what will benefit them so they are more inclined to pick up your load? Consider lighter loads, no downtime, max hours on the road, consecutive days filled. With more understanding of how your loads are selected, you can adjust your method of shipping, and be more flexible with time.
Don’t assume what you are quoted means a driver is also locked in for your load. You increase the risk of losing out on the pickup altogether, or possibly for a much higher price than you were originally quoted. Do consider the quote as your best option, and make the decision quickly.
With these tips in mind, you’re in a much better position to secure your loads and continue to meet your customers’ shipping demands and expectations.
Have any questions about your upcoming loads, and discussing some alternatives to ensure they are picked up and delivered as timely as possible? We're here to support you and your customers' needs any way we can.
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