Shipper — Whitepaper
Truck driver shortages and an ever-evolving regulatory landscape are a few reasons why it is important to become a shipper of choice among carriers. Thirteen tips on how to become a shipper of choice.
For decades, the American transportation industry has battled to attract and retain drivers. From volatile freight volumes impacting available miles and pay to increasing regulations negatively impacting productivity to a changing workforce in which most do not aspire to embrace the lifestyle … there are many reasons. Shippers know that this long-term plague has a very real impact on load acceptance and costs.
The bottom line: Today’s drivers have choices, and loads that take too much time to pick up or drop off will be passed over for more appealing options. Every hour counts, and drivers want that time spent on the road earning their living.
Maximizing driver time – every minute – not only moves a shipper’s freight more effectively, it also positions that shipper as more favorable to drivers. That position makes the acceptance of future loads easier and more efficient.
The Hours of Service rule permits no more than 13.5 consecutive on-duty hours within the “driving window” for drivers. While the amount of time may seem like more than enough to keep loads moving, there are many tasks that fall into the definition of on-duty:
Many of these on-duty items can be made more efficient by the shipper, getting drivers on the road in a more timely fashion. In turn, they can use their on-duty hours to keep freight moving.
“Normal” shipping practices must be redefined. For greater load coverage, shippers need to assess key areas of their supply chain to become a shipper of choice.
Not surprisingly, time at the dock and time at the gate are two big areas that can reduce a driver’s productivity. While time in traffic due to congestion and time spent due to mandatory breaks and inspections are beyond the shipper’s control, there are many elements that create a driver-friendly freight environment.
Shifts in these areas – some simple and some more involved – can make a difference in how carriers, intermodal providers and drivers view and ultimately select and price the freight.
When asked, drivers can provide great insight into how shippers can achieve this sought-after status. Carriers and shippers who value drivers are listening to the valuable feedback that these professionals share.
Schneider’s custom-built mobile driver app, Schneider Compass™, has a feature to rate shipper locations and the experience (e.g., employee helpfulness, state of the facility and amenities available to drivers) associated with pick-ups and deliveries. The Rate My Location feature captures over 4,000 reviews per month from Schneider drivers and the feedback is considered invaluable by shippers.
The data shared with shippers can raise awareness of delays, productivity problems and other issues. Schneider customers are diligent in seeking this data and leverage it to make improvements that create smoother future experiences for drivers.
Every hour counts when trying to keep freight moving. With a limited number of driving resources available, shippers must take a fresh look at their current supply chain practices to find areas for improvement.
Ever-evolving conditions will continue to tighten the capacity vise. When it comes to finding greater efficiencies to improve freight movement, we’re all in this together.
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