The shifting full truckload market conditions throughout the last year has led many shippers to perform a stronger, more meaningful assessment of their carrier routing guide assignments. Here are key elements to maintain reliable lane assignments as conditions continue to evolve.
Committed vs. Spot Load Placement
It can be tempting to swing more volume into the spot market during times when both capacity and price become loose. Be aware that shifting your load allocations can result in undercutting the commitments from asset-based carriers while also jeopardizing pricing and future surge support.
Consider using a consistent allocation ratio of loads to the respective placement market types to sustain carrier-direct and brokerage relationships.
Adjusting this ratio closer to the retail peak season, even if the near-term opportunity looks lucrative, can ultimately become a costly mistake. Maintaining consistency throughout the year helps sustain capacity supply and successful supply chain partners.
Scalable Capacity Providers
Supplying real-time access to reliable and scalable capacity has become the support of most third-party logistics (3PL) or brokerage providers. Having at least one 3PL/broker within the primary routing guide balances the irregular consumption of asset-direct provider capacity. It also provides the shipper with more mode and capacity flexibility based upon shifting lane or customer requirements. Shippers are able to leverage the 3PL’s/broker’s freight network and compliance protocols to keep quality carriers accessible. As a result, using a 3PL/broker in conjunction with asset providers helps to create a deeper routing guide.
Rate or Cost Basis
Shippers who work with multiple asset-based carriers and 3PL/brokers can gain a great perspective of market pricing on lanes that goes well-beyond website data. This visibility and engagement can enable a shipper to assemble a feasible price range. This can then be used as a constructive tool to refine a routing guide based on real-cost awareness. It is also important for the shipper to specify the characteristics of the lanes. This allows the carrier and 3PL/broker to reflect the best cost-basis to execute the loads based on full requirement visibility.
There is often a correlation between price and service. Securing the best value for the truckload service product should not always be done by trial-and-error. 3PL/brokers help navigate this by sustaining a shipper’s performance and compliance standards, and through vetting the 3PL/brokers experienced carrier base. This will essentially weed out lesser performers prior to placement on the loads.
The on-time performance of the provider (asset or non-asset) is a strong measure of the quality you’re getting for the price.
Shippers’ routing guide decisions are crucial to supply chain success and customer satisfaction. It’s essential to periodically test the routing guide against current supply and demand conditions and adjust accordingly to remain ready for the coming shipping cycles ahead.
The England Logistics Full Truckload division offers a range of services for companies of all sizes. Dedicated team members are available day and night to offer solutions and assistance with all logistical needs. Regardless of the transportation mode, our market and seasonal specialists provide flexible shipping solutions and are committed to helping every step of the way.