A truck broke down; a driver had to be diverted and isn’t going to be able to pick up your shipment on time; or, you’ve gone through your routing guide and haven’t heard back about your bid – now you’re scrambling to cover your load.
Regardless of the cause, any of these scenarios can send your logistics team into a frenzy. Here are five strategies to use when those uncovered loads need to get to their destinations on time:
- Use a digital freight matching platform. A commercial glazing contractor, J.R. Butler uses Convoy’s platform, gets alerts before any trucks are late. David Muench, assistant project manager, can also easily see where trucks are, whether drivers are experiencing any delays, and accurate arrival times. He can then easily share that information with J.R. Butler’s receiving crew, which knows it can rely on the information provided. “They can just log in and see that a truck is 30 minutes away,” says Muench, “and plan accordingly.”
- Leverage a shipper rating system. J.R. Butler also benefits from Convoy’s shipper-rating system, which allows drivers to pick and choose the exact shippers that they want to work with—a must-have in the current freight environment. “It’s pretty beneficial to be able to share our rating with my teams, and show them tangible results of us going above and beyond to accommodate drivers,” Muench says. “And with these ratings being shared with drivers, our likelihood of drivers falling through will also decrease.”
- Eliminate emails, phone calls, and faxes. L&C Food Distribution used to work directly with a group of carriers that would ship loads to its customers. That meant multiple phone calls, emails, faxes, and other forms of communication to secure freight capacity, negotiate rates, and track shipments. Today, L&C posts its requests to handle a freight move, and then Convoy’s platform immediately pinpoints a carrier that has been vetted through its safety records and that’s in the right place with the right equipment (and a predetermined price). After obtaining an “instant” agreement between L&C and the carrier, the former gets real-time tracking of shipments and delivery (and fast payment for the carrier) and can monitor performance metrics like on-time pickup, on-time delivery, and safety.
- Focus on your “last mile” deliveries. As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of folding cartons, unbleached paperboard, coated recycled board, microwave packaging, and machinery, Graphic Packaging International (GPI), was struggling to meet its day-before and same-day freight commitments within a 90-mile radius of its plants. Operating under stringent customer on-time delivery (OTD) requirements—and needing to fulfill “last mile” deliveries via short hauls (and sometimes just across town—the company’s single load planner was working with 20 different carriers to manage 30 loads per day. For GPI, Convoy developed a premium solution to the manufacturer’s most pressing freight issues. The holistic solution provides substantial cost savings thanks to reduced operational burden, improved lane pricing, better service, and the fact that GPI would no longer have to use spot freight to pick up its missed loads.
- Get real-time, guaranteed prices for contractual freight. A typical routing guide finds shippers offering the job to the primary carrier at a pre-negotiated price. This price is usually set during the annual RFP. When the primary carrier rejects the load, the shippers start going through their routing guide giving each backup carrier two hours to accept or reject the load. When the primary rate is lower than prevailing market prices, carriers start rejecting more loads. As loads make their way through the routing guide, each rejection means valuable time lost in securing the right truck. With less time available to find a truck, prices increase and the possibility of a service failure looms. With Dynamic Backup, Convoy inserts a real-time and guaranteed market rate into the routing guide that is instantly bookable. Convoy’s toolkit of innovative pricing programs are designed to integrate with shippers of all sizes, while providing cost-savings, increased operational efficiency and peace of mind knowing that their loads are covered.
Using these five tips, shippers can improve their chances of getting their loads covered while also maintaining high levels of visibility across their transportation networks.
Whether you’re finding your next freight partner or starting an RFP process, consult our guide to developing a freight transportation strategy.