Rejections and freight volumes continue to grow in the supply chain. Why? As Supply Chain Dive put it, “ Most decisions on carriers to use, other than the traditional parcel and expedited services, were often based more on pick-up times and the relationship with the driver and the shipper than on customer needs.” The relationship was based on realistic expectations in the supply chain. Unfortunately, the unprecedented demand, not to mention the vast uncertainty for how high-priority vaccine distribution will work, complicates the matter. Still, shippers have freight and small packages that need transportation. And those with the shipper-of-choice status can boost efficiency and secure capacity easier with self-service appointment scheduling and automation in retail. But first, let’s take a closer look at why and what companies can do to improve shipper-of-choice status eligibility.
Why Freight Volumes and Rejections Impact Dock Management
With the state of the supply chain today, how did freight volumes and tender rejections reach an all-time high? Not since the pandemic panic-buy has the industry seen this much change in the tendered demand. It’s simple supply and demand. The need for home-deliveries skyrocketed, and capacity is finite. Unfortunately, this has caused a direct correlation with the rate of tender rejections. At first, drivers could be selective over who they deal with through social connections or back-door deals. With the amount of business now, those rules just don’t apply. With the limited number of drivers on the road, those responsible for freight movement can be more selective of the loads and whether it’s more straightforward or more practical.
Tender Rejection Rates on the Rise Indicate Shippers Need to Make Their Docks More Appealing.
With so many drivers becoming pickier about the freight volumes they take, it’s time for shippers to start thinking ahead. Appealing to the driver to make shipping, docking, and transfers easier becomes the name of the game this year and for years to come. As word goes around about who conveniently pays more or who has the better jobs, a shipper-of-choice “label” starts to stick. It’s not necessarily a new idea. But becoming a preferred shipper has never had more value than in today’s freight market. More drivers flock to the shippers-of-choice rather than anyone else who’s bad for business and themselves.
After all, would you keep working with a supplier if they were continually failing to deliver on your expectations? Probably not. So, increased rejections mean it’s time to boost your attempts at becoming a shipper of choice.
A Few Tips to Getting Shipper-of-Choice Status
Some shippers are faced with uncertainty during these freight volumes and have nowhere to turn. Minor tweaks in business practices, such as customer service gains through preferred delivery days or offering a discount for a longer order delivery window, can help. Adapting to new technological advancements can make the business go a long way toward reducing the dock management burden. And in turn, that brings up the critical need to get and maintain shipper-of-choice status. To that end, shippers should follow these tips:
- Offer competitive rates.
- Look beyond national data, and ensure rates reflect the nuances of local markets too.
- Work with carriers to accommodate flexibility/rigidity in drivers’ schedules.
- Streamline payment management with digital, connected systems, including dock and yard management.
- Reduce detention time by avoiding over-scheduling.
- Give drivers and carriers control over appointment scheduling.
- Automate appointment booking processes
- Reduce driver wait times while onsite (appointments), enhancing driver turnaround times in tandem.
Increase Eligibility for Shipper-of-Choice Status Despite Freight Volumes’ Increases With Advanced Dock Scheduling Software
It may not be as easy to become a shipper-of-choice, but one can get there in time. Proper management skills, training, and the right technology go a long way to reaching that goal. And more efficient dock processes will lead to positive customer and driver relations. After that, nothing can stop a shipper-of-choice from getting the speed and fluidity that’s needed for their product line. Another way to make docking and scheduling smoother for everyone, combining all the tips above, is through advanced docking scheduling software. Request a demo at C3 Solutions today!