Freight Carrier Selection – Who to Use and How to Use Them
How do you choose which freight carriers to use? Do you have direct relationships with the LTL carriers or do you go through a Third Party Logistics company (3PL)? Is it based more on price or service? Or a combination of both?
Early on in my logistics career, I was selling for a company that offered services from what we in the industry often call “low cost carriers.” These are carriers that are often the lowest price, while having limited trucks and terminal networks, and often times the culture of service is based on what’s convenient. The customer’s needs and desires are not taken into consideration, and between my staff, my customers, and I, we ended up spending countless hours on the phone with the carrier trying to resolve service failures, and all things considered, the cost of using a carrier like this far exceeds the dollar savings on a per shipment basis, even if it’s hundreds of dollars. I eventually had to make a decision that I was not going to exchange material things ($ savings for a business) for priceless intangible things that affect a lot more than that (stress, emotional energy, time away from working on business development, time away from family & friends). PLP to the rescue!
Premier Logistics Partners (PLP) started because we had a dream that is now being realized more and more every day. We saw a huge gap in the market that we intended to fill and we execute this every day. This gap, as we see it, is the gap between high quality levels of service and competitive pricing. We know there are many service providers that can offer competitive pricing, whereas the service and follow up is lacking. We also know of many service providers that are high quality, but the service comes with a premium price tag. PLP continuously seeks to provide the best combination of high quality, customer focused levels of service at very competitive prices.
There are many carriers and 3PLs in the market that will provide you with a low price and a service that will pick up your freight and deliver it to your customer . . . eventually. PLP partners only with top tier carriers, the best in the market, and we negotiate very competitive rates with them for a win/win/win situation.
We also like to encourage our customers to use more than one carrier because you’ll need a good regional carrier that may have quicker transit times and a denser network of terminals in your regional market, whereas you’ll need a good national carrier for longer hauls. However, you don’t want to use too many carriers either. For most of our customers, a good combination of 3 – 4 top tier carriers tends to be a good fit. Using too many carriers is usually driven by price. However, if you just had 5 different shipments picked up by 5 different carriers yesterday, you’ll need to go to 5 different websites to track them, and maybe call 5 different phone numbers. This also dilutes your carrier relationships and ability to negotiate long term contracts.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how PLP can accomplish this for your business, please contact me, Josh Harshman at 678-921-8181 ext 202. We have a solution for you. Also, ask us any further questions you may have on twitter, facebook or linkedin!