Does your business depend on getting physical products to customers?
You’ll quickly understand that the freight shipper you use is a major partner in your business. Your products could arrive in a way that reflects poorly on you and your brand. About 52% of customers will blame the company, not the shipper if a package is late.
That can undo all of the goodwill that your marketing and customer service teams built up with your customers. Freight shippers can undo all of that with one bad delivery.
Do you want to know how you can find the best freight shipper for your business?
Keep reading to learn 7 tips to help you spot a great freight shipper for your business.
1. Check for Licenses
The first thing you should do is check for a freight shipper’s license. This ensures that they are a reputable shipping company that had to meet the standards of the Department of Transportation.
Shippers and brokers are legally obligated to have a license through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. That’s because they are shipping or making arrangements for shipping in exchange for compensation.
In order to get a license, shippers need to be insured and bonded. That gives you an additional level of security in case a shipment gets lost or damaged.
You can also check to see if a shipper has any industry licenses or certifications. For example, they can be certified through the Transportation Intermediaries Authority. Check to see what their standing is with the Better Business Bureau, too.
2. Range of Shipping Options
When you’re looking freight shippers, you want to check to see what kind of networks they belong to. A freight shipper is only as good as their partners. Shipping freight should have very few complications.
You want to work with a shipper that has the networks and infrastructure in place to get your freight where you need it to go.
A freight shipper with limited networks can result in shipping delays and rerouting to get your good to their destination. That will result in unhappy customers and a higher potential for damaged goods.
3. Shipping Experience
There are a couple of ways to look at the shipping experience. The first is obvious, which is years in service. You want to work with a shipping company that has been around for a while.
You can also look at a shipper’s experience within your particular industry. Some shippers have certain niches that they work with, such as ecommerce businesses or healthcare. Ideally, you can find a shipper that specializes in your industry.
4. Customer Tracking Options
When your clients make a purchase, they’re excited to receive their product. They’re likely to want the product sooner rather than later.
While your clients may have the expectations of 2-day delivery thanks to Amazon Prime, the reality is that larger shipments take longer. You want to be able to communicate that with your clients upfront.
You also want to back that up with excellent tracking options. You want to be able to communicate when your clients should expect to receive the delivery and where it’s at.
You’re setting an expectation for your business and you’re also building credibility. You also want to make sure that the shipper that you choose doesn’t change delivery expectations at the last minute.
You may see on the dashboard that a package will be delivered at 8 pm on Tuesday. Just before 8 pm, the delivery time changes to Wednesday at 3 pm. The customer just wasted time waiting and is now frustrated.
That can damage the trust they have in you and in your company, even though it’s not really your fault.
5. Do They Offer Other Services?
Your business may have special needs, like if you ship internationally. That means that your freight will need to clear customs when you ship outside the country.
There are shipping companies that will help you clear customs and take care of that paperwork for you.
They may offer other services like inventory management and storage.
6. Customer Service
This is often the deciding factor when you’re choosing a freight shipper. If you ship enough freight, you’ll know that things can happen to shipments.
Trucks can get into accidents or overturn. Your freight can get destroyed. You want to make sure that you have some recourse in case the worst happens.
The customer service department at the freight shipper has to come through. They need to offer some kind of refund or insurance to replace your goods.
You want to know in advance how good the customer service team is. You want to know that they are responsive, and they care about your business.
You can test them to gauge how good they are. Take a few minutes to call the customer service department at a freight shipper you want to work with. Note how long you were on hold for. Ask them a few questions and see what kind of answers you get.
You should be able to have your questions answered without the need to call back or to ask to speak to a supervisor.
7. On-Time Delivery Rate
At the end of the day, you just want your products delivered in one piece and on time. That’s what you want your shipper to provide.
Check to see what a carrier’s on-time delivery rate is. They’re not going to be perfect. If someone says that they are, they’re probably lying, and you need to walk away.
A reasonable on-time delivery rate is about 90% or above. Anything lower can be a liability for your business.
Choose the Right Freight Shippers
Freight shippers have a huge impact on your business. You worked way too hard to earn the trust of your customers. You don’t want to lose that trust because you chose the wrong shipping company.
There are things that you can do to make sure that you choose the right shipping company. Make sure that they’re reputable and have the experience in your industry. You want to have recourse if something happens to your shipments, too.
Do you want more tips to help your business? Check out this site often for more great business content.