Cultivating relationships—we all do it.
Every day of our lives we interact with others, developing ties and contacts, exchanging information and sentiments.
Some do it more often than others. And some do it better than most.
But it’s all part of who we are, and for a freight agent, knowing the best ways to go about it is a roadmap to your success.
Courtesy of SPI Logistics, a leader in the industry, here are four ways freight agents can unlock earning potential through improved carrier relations.
1. Understand how to negotiate more effectively
One of the biggest pitfalls brokers can succumb to is sacrificing the long-term quality of a relationship in favour of a short-term focus on pricing. This is a fast-track to high levels of carrier turnover and tense, potentially unreliable negotiations.
2. Remember that hard data and honesty are best
Carriers need accurate data to provide correct prices. If you are dishonest, sloppy or inaccurate with the data, it hurts the carrier and your overall relationship.
Good data collection practices help every aspect of your business, including carrier relations. When you have specific numbers and percentages that help you objectively measure a carrier’s performance and your cargo flow, you can more easily provide incentives, benchmarks and clear expectations.
3. Respect and value your carriers
Carriers are running a business, too, so they’re looking for companies that will add to their value and respect their efforts. Keep open lines of communication with your carriers so you can work together to find services and lanes that will benefit both sides. Whenever possible, offer new opportunities to your carriers.
Remember, carriers have a difficult job. Most drivers are the ones who endure the anger and frustration of customers. Find out how you can make their lives easier, and you’ll reap the benefits of carriers who will go the extra mile for you whenever necessary.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of de-escalation
When things go wrong, and deliveries are late or missing, it’s normal to feel you should escalate the situation, so the carrier knows you won’t tolerate low-quality work.
However, remember your top priority is to get your freight delivered to the customer, even if it’s late. This means it’s critical to de-escalate a tense situation to minimize any risk of loss or damage to the cargo.
Visit the SPI Logistics website to learn more about freight agent opportunities.