Transportation is a core pillar in many industries, and a core pillar in the economy as well. Every item you buy at the supermarket, the pharmacy, the clothing store, and many more have probably been delivered or at least at some point transported by a trucker. The same is true for the equipment used for farming, construction, mining, factories, etc. The truth is that without the trucks and the hard-working individual who drive them around, the economy, and very likely the world as we know it would come to a halt.
We know transportation is a core driver of our businesses, and in the same way, choosing the right provider can hugely benefit your business, choosing the wrong provider could generate huge losses and even cause the loss of the business.
So, How do you select the right transportation provider to fit your needs?
Here are 5 tips, based on what we have done to find the right transportation providers to deliver over 81,000 loads successfully and counting for our customers.
- Make sure the company you are hiring has the proper truck setup to be able to tender your load. Based on your needs, you need to find a truck that can fulfill them, however, you must also make sure they don’t vastly exceed your needs, for that will come at a cost as well.
For example, you could move a small forklift on an RGN, which depending on the route could go anywhere from $4 to $6+ a mile. Even though it fulfills your needs, the capacities for an RGN are much more, and that is what you are paying for. That same forklift could be moved on a hotshot trailer, which would cost, depending on the route, anywhere between $1.50 and $3 a mile. That is why knowing the capacities of the trailer you will hire are as important as knowing your needs.
- Do a background check on the carrier. Each carrier company has a record with the FMCSA in regard to their time in business, DOT and MC numbers, physical address, the type of freight they are authorized to transport, safety records, and even a record of any accidents they might have had in the past.
- Do a background check with their insurance company, you want to make sure there are no open claims, also that the insurance is active and paid up to date. Keep in mind that although a driver can provide a legit certificate of insurance that says he is insured for 8 more months, that coverage is not active unless he is up to date with the insurance payments.
A good practice when it comes to insurance is to add your company as a certificate holder, usually, a broker will ad the brokerage as a certificate holder, however, you may ask for your company to be added as a certificate holder instead. You want to make sure this certificate is provided directly to you by the insurer or insurance broker rather than the driver directly.
- Get a copy of the driver’s license of the actual driver that will pick up your load. Many carrier companies have several drivers, you want to make sure that you have the driver’s license from the actual driver who will be tendering your load. This will give you information on who has your load in their possession.
- Always sign an agreement. Make sure your responsibilities as the shipper and the responsibilities of the driver are always well defined and on a signed document. Ideally, you want to sign this through a secure e-signature platform to make it easy to sign and also easy to keep a copy for your records.
These are at least the most basic steps to follow when choosing your transportation provider. It may seem like a bit of a hassle, and in all honestly it sometimes is. However, at STT Logistics Group we will do this and more to ensure we have the proper transportation provider to suit your specific needs and safely deliver your load, hassle-free for you, at its final destination.