Carriers Ranking Shippers Based on Driver ‘Friendliness’

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Posted on July 25th 2014 7:24 PM

Carriers are most swayed by how shippers affect them financially and operationally and most of the time that is rooted in how customers impact driver productivity, according to a survey conducted by 3PL provider, Transplace, of its own preferred-shipper program.

How shippers treat drivers goes a long way in determining whether a carrier will assign them “preferred shipper” status, which could become a huge benefit for companies as the driver supply tightens and capacity shrinks in the coming years, the survey suggests.

As reported by Fleet Owner, the survey says that along with providing market-competitive rates, fair fuel surcharges and acceptable payment terms, carriers are beginning to rank shippers on how positively they impact driver productivity and on how ‘driver-friendly’ they are.

Transplace told Fleet Owner the study was conducted to gain insight into best practices for achieving preferred status with carrier partners. It drew on data from over 75 motor carriers.

“Shippers are looking for ways to improve their transportation operations, and a significant way to do so is by aligning efforts with their carrier partners to improve efficiency and overall benefits to all parties,” said Ben Cubitt, Transplace’s senior vice president, consulting & engineering.

Cubitt said how shippers affect driver productivity “continues to be a focus for carriers and one of the most critical factors in shipper freight profiles or practices.”

Nearly all respondents indicated that providing market-competitive rates and fair fuel surcharges are “critical” or “important” factors. Payment terms and average length of time until payment was also concern, with 63% of the carriers ranking it a “major factor.”

However, a whopping  97% of carriers consider dwell time as an “important” or “critical” factor in determining the preference status of a shipper with in-transit delay the second-most important. The ability to use drop trailers, shipper load count and type of freight were also seen as key elements.

Carriers ranked driver-friendly behaviour from shippers the highest based on those that enhanced driver productivity, such as onsite parking and making available bathrooms for drivers. Regular updates on loading and unloading status and a guard shack for drivers to receive instructions also ranked high.

Read more about the survey results here.

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