Winning over Shippers is a tightrope between getting better rates and landing a lane that nets you regular work.
If a Shipper has never worked with you - and vice versa - building trust can be extremely difficult. To win over Shippers, first know that you already have an advantage over other old-school Carriers. Using electronic proof of delivery, having online vehicle inspection photos and verifiable load progress already differentiates you. However, Shippers are making the move to migrating to transportation management systems. To help you better navigate the relationship, we built the following cheat-sheet on winning over Shippers with the help of modern load boards.
Trucking in any industry is a 24/7 business. Phrases like Monday to Friday, 9-5 or during business hours rightfully conjure feelings of annoyance.
A mutual savior for Carriers and Shippers alike are budding load boards that allow for booking 24 hours a day. Trying to avoid deadhead miles after you hit your next delivery? Better hope you aren't driving overnight. Even finding great loads on your 30-minute rest break can be useless if you can't even call the Shipper or Broker to grab the load. Overnight, there is no such thing as sniping loads. That is, unless both you and your Shipper or Broker are using a modern load board.
On Super Loadboard, for example, Shippers can give a Preferred status to a Carrier. This status allows Carriers to immediately book loads from them on the load board without a single phone call. No call, no email, no questions asked. Any load you book from a Shipper that designates you as Preferred is automatically yours if you book it.
Modern load boards like these help out the Shipper as well. If you have Carriers that you trust, you can make both your lives a lot easier. If both you and your Carrier work with Super Dispatch's transportation management systems, there are even fewer questions asked. All documents, vehicles, photos, statuses and everything are in-sync without any user input. Sure, you can save a couple trees as well, but you are importantly saving yourself a ton of time. That means convenience, speed and a better cash-flow.
Ugh, more paperwork after I already went to the trouble of switching to a digital transportation management system? Depending on the Shipper or Broker, potentially. Compliance is a hairy word with many connotations with both the law, contracts and claims.
However, in tech-advanced load boards, compliance packets are finally becoming digitized altogether. It is a slight improvement to have a digital compliance packet, but the more interesting development with packets and transportation management systems is automatic document verification.
Super Dispatch uses a service that reaches out to Carriers, confirms their cargo insurance agent contact, and verifies their coverage with the agent which provides a drastic improvement for creating trust.
When a great load gets posted on most load boards, it is a race to the phones just like a radio show contest rewarding caller number one.
On that phone call, you spend valuable time discussing the vehicles (inoperable, enclosed), the location type (dealer, residential, auction) and price and the dates. Here we go, the make-or-break moment where the rapport you have with the Shipper or Broker comes into play. For one load that will probably net both you and the Shipper less than $1,000, it feels like the stakes are higher. However, If you are a trusted Carrier it is business as usual and a phone call you would not need to make on a more modern load board.
Load boards that have invested in technology often offer 4-click negotiations for Carriers. Open the load, set your pickup date, set your delivery date and crank up the price to something reasonable. You're good to go in minutes. Shippers that invest in transportation management systems are not moving one load at a time. Especially if the technology has allowed the Shipper to grow their volume without growing their team massively, then the phone-bandwidth of a Shipper is smaller.
Negotiating digitally sometimes becomes the only option. Thankfully, the amount of effort it takes to place a higher bid on a load through a system like Super Loadboard is a lot less than placing a phone call you hope gets answered. The same goes for Shippers reviewing and accepting or declining bids. On these modern load boards, instead of hoping and waiting, you can request a higher rate for the load and get a quick yes or no around the clock.
Arming yourself with context for how modern Shippers and load boards operate can only stand to grow your competitive advantage. Soon enough, you might find yourself instantly booking great paying loads at 3am, rather than cursing at the 9 to 5 gods.
Check out Super Dispatch's Super Loadboard to learn more on how you can move more cars faster.