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Transplace rolls out a Preferred Shipper Checklist focused on best practices

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
February 05, 2016

In an effort to help buyers of freight transportation and logistics services to better understand the required best practices in order to be a shipper of choice for their carrier partners, non asset-based third-party logistics (3PL) services provider Transplace said this week it has rolled out a Preferred Shipper Checklist.

Company officials said that this effort was done by Transplace in conjunction with its customer advisory board and more than 25 carrier partners that it said identified key factors in how carriers evaluate shippers, with that insight being culled into a scorecard that, in turn, enables shippers to gain ‘preferred status; with their carrier partners.

Transplace Senior Vice President, Engineering & Strategic Carrier Movement Ben Cubitt told LM there were multiple drivers behind this effort, explaining that more and more shippers are placing added focus on aligning their efforts with their carrier partners in order to improve transportation efficiency and better position themselves to secure capacity in tight markets, coupled with carriers wanting to work with shippers to improve operational efficiency as they look to address the challenges associated with the ongoing driver shortage. 

“Our customer advisory board had asked us to lead an initiative that would develop a scorecard for shippers, keeping in mind the need to drive efficiency, retain and recruit truck drivers, and further encourage communication between shippers and carriers,” he said. “We released our Preferred Shipper Survey in 2014, and this initiative built upon that information to make it more actionable. Shippers want to become ‘shippers of choice’ for carriers, but many do not know how exactly to become one. And the truckload carrier community hasn’t been able to fully communicate to shippers what they need to be more efficient, drive productivity and retain and recruit drivers. That’s why we developed this scorecard. We worked with a diverse group of carrier partners and our customer advisory board to create an actionable scoreboard to try and help fill that gap in communication.”

A major expected benefit of the Preferred Shipper Checklist, according to Cubitt, will be keeping drivers in the industry by communicating to the shippers those areas that can be improved upon.

And he added that Transplace and its carrier partners think that the driver shortage is, and will continue to be, a challenge and that more can be done between shippers and carriers to drive efficiency for all parties.

“It was important to us to create a resource that was developed in collaboration with key carrier partners and provided shippers specific, actionable practices for how they can best work together,” he said. “This will help shippers know what they can do across their network to be a better shipper and help the carriers drive further efficiency.”

When asked what types of issues and problems the checklist has helped to resolve for both shippers and carriers, Cubitt said that the early results show that it moves discussion from general discussion to very specific areas of focus and improvement.

“It has helped shippers identify clear gaps in their planning, facilities or tendering that could be improved,” he said. “It also helps highlight if a specific origin (plant /DC) or destination (DC or customer) is an issue. Going in we knew that the survey would identify facility challenges, i.e. not enough parking or driver break areas, but were a little surprised about how much load tendering concerns were highlighted, examples being loads tendered that did not help maximize driver productivity or hours. We think this helps structure a more detailed dialog between shipper and carrier, on areas like the importance of opening load / unload windows at facilities and just how important 24/ 7 hours at major shipping locations has become to carriers.”

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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