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As we’ve shared with you in a recent article, today’s freight landscape has been transformed into a carrier’s market. For the first time in many years, drivers and carriers find themselves in a position to choose which shippers they most want to work with, giving rise to the shipper of choice environment.

According to JOC.com (The Journal of Commerce), many carriers and drivers are collecting data that helps identify inefficiencies with shippers across the country. “Shippers might be surprised by how much data their trucking suppliers have on them: enough to pinpoint problems at specific docks across the country. That directly affects both the price of trucking for those shippers and whether they get a truck at all,” noted a recent article.

Driver feedback is being collected by both large and small carriers to monitor shipper inefficiencies and issues. To stay on the best terms with your carriers, shippers should be more vigilant than ever when managing dock operations and promoting driver accommodation.

Using a TMS to be a Shipper of Choice

Technology has become a perfect enabler to help shippers create more efficient collaboration with carriers. Here are 5 ways shippers can use an advanced TMS to become a preferred shipper.

  1. Faster payments – It’s important to pay your carriers quickly and accurately. Freightwaves.com suggests the best way to accomplish this is by using a TMS that integrates clean data between carriers and shippers. A strong TMS integration helps shippers and carriers quickly identify and resolve rate discrepancies and makes the payment process accurate and efficient for both parties.
  2. Integrated systems – Using EDI and APIs available through advanced TMS products, you can connect your systems with carriers to automate communication and eliminate the need to manually email and call back-and-forth for load updates, tracking and more. You’ll become easy to work with and drive operational efficiencies with carriers and drivers.
  3. Go paperless – For any given shipment, several pieces of paperwork are required. Using a TMS, you can eliminate the need to push paper back and forth and reduce manual entry for the carrier (and your company). According to a recent JOC.com article, 75% of LTL business is still done using paper BOLs, but moving to digital BOLs can greatly impact costs and efficiency for both carriers and shippers.
  4. Advanced appointment schedulingAdvanced TMS systems allow you to set-up facility hours so you only schedule pick-up and delivery only during warehouse operating times. This helps eliminate driver downtime and wasted time waiting at a loading dock.
  5. Use data to improve operations –  The best TMS products have business intelligence tools to help you identify trends and make decisions based on the data from all your shipments. A TMS shows you where the bottlenecks are occurring throughout your network, including accessorial charges, claim reports, detention time, and more, and enables you to make operational changes to better accommodate carriers. 

Read more tips for becoming a shipper of choice.

Looking for a TMS vendor that can position you as a shipper of choice? Call 866-275-1407 orGet a demo.