How to Attract the Best Carriers


With a current demand for shipping and outpaced capacity, carriers are constantly working hard to operate more efficiently. Even with significant demand growth, the majority of asset-based trucking companies are concerned about regulations, rising trailer costs and recruiting new drivers; which leads to their unpreparedness to add capacity. Considering the things aforementioned, how can shippers attract (and keep) the best carriers and get their freight hauled successfully and efficiently?



The following points could give a shipper undeniable advantages:


  • Fair Payment, Terms and Rates. When selecting shippers, it is imperative for carriers to consider fair rates. There are so many to take into consideration in these circumstances such as fuel surcharges, prices, payment delays and accessorial fees; all of which can affect a carrier’s reluctance for a partnership. To attract carriers in these circumstances, shippers would benefit from developing a solid relationship with a third-party logistics company (such as Millennium Logistics Management).


  • Driver Productivity Promotion (and Dwell Reduction). As a carrier-friendly shipper, it is vital to provide quick and efficient loads. The goal is ultimately to keep the driver moving and affect their productivity in a positive and efficient manner (providing quick loads/unloads and release from dwells). In fact, many carriers prefer facilities that are operate 24/7 and offer “drop-trailer” programs, which allow drivers to drop trailers off at the shipper’s yard and take off (leaving the shipper responsible for loading and unloading). These types of programs aids in driver productivity by freeing them from long waiting periods and more time to focus on generating more revenue.


  • Driver Treatment. Because many drivers have to spend several hours waiting for a load, they need a place where they can take a break and oftentimes that can be a real challenge. It is not uncommon for carriers to choose a lower paying shipper on the basis of something as simple as having restrooms and coffee available. A good idea to attract the best carriers is to provide driver-friendly facilities that consist of vending machines, comfortable and clean restrooms, convenient parking spaces, tire refill stations and even free beverages. A pleasant experience for the driver can have lasting effects.


  • Consistent Schedules. Carrier’s are attracted to year-round consistent schedules. They prefer to work with shippers who will work with them in finding their empty miles and make use of their time with maximum efficiency. For instance, most carrier’s will be turn off by the idea of seasonal shipping, instead they would prefer for shippers to order longer hauls at the end of the work week to create more driving time during the weekend. Consistency and Predictability!


  • Good Communication. Good communication is important in any partnership as it is the key for an efficient partnership based on mutual trust. As a shipper, it is important to ask carriers questions to understand their geography, hours and best practices because it will provide the shipper with insight, flexibility and understanding on the carrier’s capacity and availability.


  • Technology. Using the technology of transportation management system (TMS) implements an efficient strategy for transportation options and offers competence which is highly valued by carriers and helps shippers automate and standardize communication and business growth with them. This leads to a significant reduction of labor time and potential data errors. Incorporating the use of a proper TMS can lead to coherent and cohesive management which will make it much easier to work together with a carrier.



Carriers are important and essential to the success of your business, therefore it is wise to keep them in mind in your business plans. If you would like more information about the material covered in this article or are looking for the best carriers and rates, contact Millennium Logistics Management today!


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