In the transportation industry, there’s one thing we know for sure: somewhere, somehow, something will go wrong. Any transportation provider knows that when dealing with man, machine and Mother Nature, the unexpected is expected. So the next time severe weather rolls in on your freight’s route, a carrier falls through, a truck breaks down or the unexpected happens, pay attention. The way your broker handles the situation may be telling you something.
A knowledgeable logistics provider plans for contingency with every load. So when the unexpected happens, they’re able to resolve it quickly, often independently without interruption to your delivery schedule and without you having to worry — or even knowing it happened. An experienced freight broker with a vast network can quickly call another quality carrier in the area to cover the load.
Effective problem resolution can also mean more stable, dependable pricing when working with a responsible broker. Experienced brokers are able to leverage their history and knowledge to more properly plan and prepare for loads, routes and projects — so deviances are less likely to happen. Even when they do — because of the long-standing relationships they’ve built with their shippers — they’ll stand by their quote. Trust built over time allows them flexibility with their shippers that helps them weather the ups and down more consistently.
Of course, even the best freight brokerages can’t solve every problem behind the scenes. What separates a typical logistics provider from a preferred partner is honest and transparent communication. Trustworthy logistics providers are proactive and communicate frequently and openly about each unique situation to prevent delays in your supply chain.
It’s also critical that a freight broker understands the bigger picture involved in every given situation and engages all parties involved — including the customer, the shipper, the receiver and any other entity vital to successful delivery. A shipping crisis is no time for phone tag. Effective communication means speaking to each stakeholder in real-time to find a solution, not leaving voicemails or emails and making assumptions. Here, miscommunication is bound to happen — and ultimately lead to additional challenges.
Efficient problem resolution is vital to not only any freight brokerage serving their customer, but to every customer serving their customers. The best logistics providers have teams dedicated to every step of the process — from sales teams to operations — to ensure you’re working with a subject matter expert who can manage problems efficiently. Even better is when those partners have the needed resources in-house, making resolution quicker by streamlining communication and idea sharing. Those brokerages are truly full-service, with the ability to flex teams to ensure your supply chain continues to flow with minimal or no delay.
In the end, the goal for everyone in a successful shipper/broker partnership is servicing the customer — no matter what it takes. For a logistics provider, that means quick solutions to whatever problems may arise. Some brokerages may point fingers or simply disappear when you need them most. However, the best freight brokerages will be accountable every step of the way.
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