Time is money, and nowhere is that statement more true than in the logistics field. But focusing too closely on time or money, to the exclusion of other factors, can end up saving neither. Why?
A focus on cuts alone can lead to unintended consequences: a squeezed carrier might feel compelled to cut corners, take regulatory shortcuts, reduce the number or quality of assigned staff or lower the priority of your shipments. While any of these actions would likely reduce costs, most would also increase the probability of mistakes, delayed or damaged shipments, hefty fines and safety violations and most important, decreased customer confidence.
So if risking long-term efficiency to achieve short-term savings is likely to backfire, what’s a better way to improve productivity, profitability and service?
The answer: collaborative carrier relationship management.
When shippers, providers and carriers join together to form a team dedicated to balancing cost and performance, the results can make each of the players more successful in the long run. How?
When each team member understands and respects the goals of the others, it opens all eyes to a broader perspective, which allows the team to visualize and explore shared solutions.
For example, when capacity is tight yet predictable, carriers might need longer lead times to accommodate agreed-upon service demands. At the same time, facing increasing customer expectations for same-day pickup, expedited delivery and personal service, shippers might require even shorter-than-usual schedules. In the traditional, competitive environment, these two sets of requirements would be seen as mutually exclusive. Each player would be at odds with the other, arguing, blaming and clutching tightly to their own positions.
In today’s more collaborative approach, the shipper and carrier work together to identify common goals, complementary needs and practical options:
- Can the shipper share advance information on inbound and outbound freight shipments?
- Can the carrier sync or sequence shipments to distribute the flow?
- Are there ways to optimize schedules to create greater efficiencies throughout?
Identifying and implementing innovative, win-win solutions improves performance, stabilizes costs and improves value. Aren’t those the goals we’re all seeking to achieve?
Transportation Insight works with best-in-class carriers, whom we embrace as a key part of the team. Clients are given visibility to more carriers that have an exceptional record of service and faster transit time. Taking advantage of Transportation Insight’s existing relationships with carriers nationwide gives clients access to more options and better prices and service levels.