Routing guides aren’t infallible. They’re bound to hit a few snags as markets change. But routing guide durability is key to a strong supply chain. Decisions you make today will impact the resilience of your routing guide when markets shift and plans change. The checklist below should be used when crafting your routing guide to ensure it’s built to weather whatever comes your way.
Six Things to Keep in Mind
Be transparent. Rates are only as good as the information put into creating them. Ensure your rates accurately reflect your needs by being upfront about operational characteristics and requirements.
Don’t forget about spot freight. When lanes are sporadic and unpredictable, locked-in carrier rates are less likely to move your freight when the market shifts. Expect to cover low-density traffic flows with spot prices.
Maintain your provider relationships. Mutually-beneficial relationships are worth investing in. When there is a solid shipper/ carrier relationship, carriers will deliver better service through market fluctuations. Buying solely on price today may cause issues in your routing guide tomorrow.
Get connected. Safeguard your business by working with carriers who provide options to connect digitally. API quoting can accelerate recovery time when your routing guide goes awry.
Keep it simple. Don’t over complicate your geography structures. Carriers struggle to get it right when you create large geographical areas for pricing and capacity commitments. The more finite the origin/destination definitions are, the more accurate and competitive your prices will be.
Pivot when necessary. Remember, an RFP is a tool, not a strategy. If you’re concerned your original routing guide strategy was a bit short-sighted, it’s not too late. Talk to your carriers about their plans for the coming months and don’t be afraid to pivot if it makes sense for your business.