Shippers. Yes, You. If you're reading this blog then you are already much more open minded, solution seeking and probably successful than some of the decision makers and logistics professional counterparts at other businesses that have to ship freight off of their dock on a regular basis...and that's a good thing!
We need to talk. When I say we I mean everyone who provides logistics services, trucking assistance, dispatchers who dispatch the trucks to pick up your loads, freight brokers and yes...even the "new guys" like us who represent logistics tech. We need to talk about how we can help you save even more time, money and sanity on your logistics costs and keep all of us sane and operational to your benefit as well!
Shippers come in all shapes and sizes. There are the large shippers that can move thousands of truck loads, both dedicated and contracted and spot-market per month. There are also the smallest of shippers who only have a pallet or two that they need a pick up for on an ever fluctuating basis. We love you all! We really do! Well...most of the time.
So what are the top 5 EASY ways that SHIPPERS can cure their freight headaches for the freight that needs to move? Let's start!
1. Make sure you know the commodity of the freight. By commodity I don't just mean freight class, I mean what exactly is it that the logistics provider is going to be hauling when they come to pick up your load after you award them a freight bid. This might sound funny to some, but misreported commodities lead to rate hikes and big problems.
2. Include your ACCESSORIALS or any you think you might even possibly have in the additional details or notes in the descriptions of loads you post up for bid. What are accessorials? They are any additional handling, labor or special requirements that will incur costs or require special equipment or preparation to properly pick up and haul your load. Failing to clearly list these requirements could mean a big surprise on your invoice after the load is already picked up and in transit for both you and the carrier.
3. When in this load picking up? The actual time. When is it picking up? Are you sure it's picking up at 2:37 AM Eastern Time? When entering the time window for pick up onto an online freight service marketplace like ComFreight an inaccurate pick up window can cause a truck that was originally booked based on your info by the bidder to have to cancel because the correct pick up time is not communicated until after dispatch. This can cause an increased cost to you as you scramble to find another option.
4. Delivery. Delivery. Delivery. Did I mention Delivery? When does this have to deliver? It's not required (yet) on ComFreight to place the delivery date/time into a load post but many other systems also have a field or area to enter this as well. Why is this important? If a load has to pick up in CA on a Monday but needs to delivery to NY that same week by Thursday morning, and most of the carriers or brokers bidding on your load or offering services assume you require a single driver in the truck, all those bids you just got aren't accurate because you need a set of team drivers to make the transit time.
5. Last but certainly not least...your reputation. Reputation on a freight marketplace can be driven by many factors. At ComFreight we are a true marketplace (unlike all of our competitors) and that means that what you put in is what you put out. Your reputation on ComFreight is based on word of mouth from other logistics providers, carriers and brokers in the industry and ratings from other users. What's one of the biggest destroyers of reputations for shippers? We call them TONU for short and you probably do too. Canceling a load at the last minute after you have already sent a rate confirmation can throw an instant wrench in a relationship and means that in that off chance you have a hot load that hast to move and can't find a truck it could be even more challenging due to a tainted reputation for too many canceled dispatched orders.
BONUS TIP: Be sure the weight and dimensions (weight and length) of the freight in the post and rate confirmation matches the final Bill of Lading and freight at the time at pick up as closely as possible. Extra size means extra fuel costs, especially for truck load carriers. So avoid unexpected increases in your invoices. We promise it helps!
In summary, info is KING. Correct info is...well what's higher than king? Well it's really up there! Better than great. Although some "marketplaces" or "Uber...cough Goober for trucking apps" require the shipper to enter 100 items simply to post a load those items still tend to be incorrect even after requiring all of those fields.
At ComFreight we take a more open approach and let you enter as much detail as you like, or even tell a story for the load before you post it up for bid. We'll soon be adding the ability for you to connect even more media to load posts which means even better communication of the correct information and improved transparency.
Thank you for reading this post and check back for more updates soon.
-Steve Kochan, Co-Founder & CEO
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