5 Keys to Building a Long Term Freight Partnership!

Freight Partnership

In shipping and logistics, building strong relationships with your freight or carrier company is often underestimated. Whether you have a small or big contract, a long-lasting freight partnership with a company you trust is critical, especially when your business’s logistics is on the line.

Moreover, finding a reputable freight company that ticks all the boxes of what you’re looking for can often be a considerable challenge.

Undoubtedly, working with a freight company can make or break your business. A freight movement company with whom you’ve worked for many years knows your operations better than a company with whom you haven’t built rapport yet. Moreover, you already know their reputation for handling goods in the safest and securest way to ensure your cargo arrives in your warehouse on time and in good condition.  

Once you’ve found a company you can trust, your next challenge is building and fostering a long-lasting professional relationship with the company. Suppose you’re looking for a company that can move your cargo all over Australia and other points.

You can work with services like Effective Freight Solutions and enquire about EFS Freight’s domestic freight services or other programs from similar businesses to connect you with reliable freight movement companies. These services can help you find the right freight partner according to your business’ needs and operations.

That said, say you already have a freight partner and want to improve your relationship with them. Here are five tips to help you in your pursuit of improving and building a long-term, positive relationship with your freight or logistics partner: 

1. Always Work For A Win-Win Situation 

Working for a win-win situation means whatever agreement you have with a freight forwarder should be favorable for both parties. While you have a business to maintain, an image to uphold, and a profit to make, so goes for the freight company. As such, a desirable contract is one where the stipulations balance your interests with your logistics partner’s.

However, take note that freight companies face many challenges in today’s industry. Among the many challenges are driver availability, increased use and demand for transportation management systems, and growing regulatory guidelines, to name a few.

Amid these challenges, the best solution for a win-win is a collaboration to solidify a long-lasting relationship rather than face the negative costs and consequences of a constant changeover in freight partners.

2. Make Room For Collaboration 

As said in the previous point, always make room for collaboration. One way to promote collaboration between your business and your logistics partner’s is maintaining good communication with them. Should you encounter any problem in any area, don’t let days or weeks pass without meeting with your partner carriers. 

Fortunately, technology has enabled businesses to foster more transparent communication with partners and suppliers, even if they might be separated geographically. Take advantage of all the communication and collaboration tools and apps you can use so your business isn’t missing out. 

In past years, sending formal emails was the only way to open communications with your partner. Now, you can hold virtual meetings with them when needed. The more open your communication lines are, the more likely you can to resolve any issues between you and your partner freight companies.

3. Don’t Hesitate To Share Data 

Information has become more critical than ever. As such, the inability to share data with suppliers and partners can be detrimental to your professional working relationship and your success. The reluctance to share data often translates to poor transparency, resulting in a partnership that has a challenging time communicating.

Bring your figures and data when talking with and explaining concerns to your freight agents or partners. This makes it easier to understand any point you may be coming up at. 

For example, it’s easier for a logistics company to understand quantitative data. So you can say, “Over the first quarter, we’ve had 10 complaints due to damaged goods and 2 instances of lost shipments. Unfortunately, this doubled in the second quarter. What can we do to improve this situation?”

Because this is very specific and backed by numbers, it’s easier for the freight company to make actionable changes to improve their performance. You can then compare data in the next quarter to gauge whether or not your logistics partner made any changes to their process.

Otherwise, without data or figures, your logistics partner might conclude your claims are unsubstantiated. This situation can escalate into a damaged relationship that might no longer be productive for both parties.

4. Push Through With A Geographic Expansion 

Have you contemplated whether or not to push through with your planned expansion into another market? Now might be the time to take on a new market in a different geographic location, especially with the technology available to communicate with suppliers and retailers seamlessly. It’s a new challenge, but the benefits it can bring can help grow your business. 

When you expand to another country, you can increase your market reach potentially. This means your business will have more potential customers. As a business, geographic expansion also translates to higher profitability when done right. For your freight partnership carriers, your expansion can also mean more profit for them.

However, freight companies are also selective about the companies they partner with, since they also want to maximize their profit-earning ability. If a freight company sees they have an opportunity for business growth with you, they’ll treat you as a valued client. They’ll do their best to retain you, particularly if they can see your potential for growth.

5. Make An Effort To Get To Know Each Other 

Lastly, make an effort to get to know your logistics and freight partner. Beyond the corporate face of your freight partner, remember that the people running their business are also human beings. Over the long run, you might work with the same rep from your freight partners.

Getting to know each other means introducing your business and your people to build rapport. Assign a representative from your end as your freight partner’s point of contact. The longer your rep works with your partner and vice versa, the better it is for your general freight partnership. 

The Bottomline 

Suppose you’re in the business of importing and exporting goods. You must understand that a long-lasting and professional freight partnership and working relationship with a freight carrier can make or break your business’ success.

Working with mediocre logistics companies can affect your reputation as a business and your overall profitability. It can be challenging, but the tips in this blog post can help you build a better relationship with your freight partners.

Freight partnership article and permission to publish here provided by Claire Glassman. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on October 13, 2022. 

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