Bridging the LTL Relationship Gap

Our Sage Advice columnist—a 30-year transportation management veteran—offers logistics professionals and carriers time-tested relationship management advice. Let’s hope it’s not too late.

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Many savvy logistics professionals think about “relationships” as a state of mind that exists between individuals and “relationship management” as a process that describes how companies work together on all levels to create value for each other. Unfortunately, others don’t get it and only pursue relationships when there’s something in it for them—usually financial—or they disregard it entirely.

As children, encouraging parents gave us food and a safe, warm place to live. As we grew into teenagers, our learning experiences over time had a lot to do with sentiment, attractiveness, communication skills, patience, and trust. Those feelings in varying degrees are in play today for each of us personally and professionally.

Over the next few pages we’ll aim to provide logistics professionals with a few ideas on how relationships can be managed to bring about value for companies. We’ll also try to help both sides of the transportation equation come to terms with the fact that relationship management must occur on multiple levels—and over time—if it’s to be considered successful.

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About the Author

John A. Gentle
John A. Gentle is president of John A. Gentle & Associates, LLC, a logistics consulting firm specializing in contract/relationship management and regulatory compliance for shippers, carriers, brokers, and distribution centers. A recipient of several industry awards, he has more than 35 years of experience in transportation and logistics management. He can be reached at jag@RelaTranShips.com.

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