Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Communication is key

My friend and business affiliate contributed today's blog:

Every Freight Broker, Shipper and Carrier knows that on any given day hundreds if not thousands of freight loads go bad. The possibilities for a load to go bad are endless, since there are so many aspects and people involved in the moving of a load. It has been my personal experience to have had everything go wrong from a carrier not showing up for a pick up to a carrier getting sidetracked in Vegas while he had my load. The sidetracked Vegas trucker eventually ran out of money and fuel thus stranded a day away from his destination. I’ve had a load stolen (though no fault of mine...load was recovered). Carriers however are not always the problem. Snowstorms, bad weather, trucks breaking down, DOT and even the shippers changing plans or load details at the last minute can turn a load into a nightmare. The key to controlling a situation like this is communication. Shippers are not new to these types of situations and can be very forgiving to a Freight Broker providing they are kept in the loop. It is essential for the broker to contact the shipper as soon as he finds out about an issue with the shipper’s load. The worst thing that can happen is that the shipper finds out about a problem from someone other than their broker. Make sure the shipper has a clear understanding of the situation and tell them what you are doing about it. Keep in touch with them periodically even if you have no new news just to let them know that you are still on it. Regarding the carrier, make sure you have the dispatcher’s phone number, the driver’s phone number and an after hours number. It is imperative that you can reach the driver and dispatcher during a crisis. Make sure to talk with both the dispatcher and driver to get all the details of the situation. Sometimes you don't get the whole story by just talking to one. Stay on top of the carrier to make sure that they are doing all they can to handle the situation. We had a situation occur with a first time shipper the other day. A carrier cancelled the load an hour before picking up on a Friday at 5:00 (good luck finding a replacement truck) and after all was said and done, the shipper had this to say "don't worry about it, appreciated the good communication, you and I are all good". Let me tell you again, communication is key to keeping your shippers.

Douglas Dillon
G First Logistics
357 Longbush Lane
Webster, NY 14580
Ph 585-368-5643
Fax 585-368-5650

Thanks Doug. Communication is vital. When things don't go as planned we can cope much better when we are thoroughly informed along the way.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach

No comments: