Trucks get your product to market and help you transport your goods all over the country or even the continent. Yet, how much time do you spend thinking about truckload lead times? If you’re not considering this important factor, you could be losing out on chances to make your shipping more efficient.
Why You Should Work to Improve Truckload Lead Times
When you compete for customers for sales, you’re competing with other businesses in your field. When you’re considering truck availability, you are competing with all other businesses needing trucks, including companies not in your field at all. There are about 6 million businesses in the United States, and while not all of them rely on shipping via truck, many do.
When you can’t manage to improve lead times to at least a few days, you risk not being able to get your product to market on time. The delays and issues can sap your resources and keep you reactive, making you less competitive. If you ship products, improving your lead times makes you more attractive to vendors and helps you serve customers better.
Action Items for Improving Lead Times
The benefits of better truckload lead times include improved efficiency and competitiveness. To improve your lead times, you will want to:
- Get everyone involved. Improving lead times is a team effort, so you will want to communicate with sales, marketing, customer service, purchasing and manufacturing. Each team member should understand why improved truck lead times are important and should understand how they can contribute to a solution. Perhaps a more effective purchasing system or a new sales process can create a system to get shipments on trucks with more lead time.
- Pay smarter. While underpaying is unlikely to get you the best service, paying more by itself may not make a difference. You may see an improvement in how suppliers work with you if you can process payments faster.
- Understand the market. You already research your market to stay competitive. Start researching with an eye to truck lead times. How do changes in your industry and market changes impact transportation needs? You may even want to communicate with your carriers to better understand their needs and concerns so you can bring these issues to the attention of your company decision-makers.
- Make things easier for carriers. Make sure docking areas and loading and unloading are as efficient as possible. Reduce delays on your end to respect the time of carriers and to get cargo moving.
- Be as flexible as possible with dropoff and pickup times. Even if you cannot switch to drop-and-hook load, you can respect drivers’ time more effectively if you can offer a window for delivery dropoffs and pickups. Be sure to communicate with carriers and drivers, too, so they can adapt their schedules as needed when the unexpected happens.
Contact Rockfarm for Transportation Management Solutions
If you’d like to improve truck lead times and create enhanced efficiency at every level of the supply chain, contact Rockfarm to find out how we can lower your shipping costs while improving customer experience and your effectiveness.
By Brad Stewart
Brad’s journey into logistics began as a Marine Officer and transitioned from the LTL docks to the non-asset side within the logistics service provider arena. As a co-founder of Rockfarm, Brad drives our business development efforts and delivery of our promise. An Arizona native, Brad enjoys spending time outdoors in his home state with his wife and family.
“Our approach to the market allowed us an opportunity to push forward in 2008 and enable our mission, “lower the cost to serve” to stand as a cornerstone to our company today.”