What Makes a Carrier Relationship Good?
Here are some of the indicators of a good carrier relationship:
Volume– When a carrier takes a high volume of loads for your brokerage, it’s a good indicator of a relationship that’s benefitting both sides of the equation.
Loyalty– When you’ve built a great carrier relationship, each party shows the other loyalty. This means that they come through for each other. Brokers award their core carrier network ideal freight and carriers offer capacity when it’s needed and available.
Reciprocation– Great business relationships mean that both sides have to give a little sometimes. In carrier-broker relationships, this oftentimes means bending on price, even if it means cutting into margins.
Open communication– The best carrier relationships come along with an open line of communication. Reps at the carrier and the brokerage touch base not just on loads, but on the types of loads they have and need, give each other feedback on loads that have already been hauled and are open about what their businesses need.
Personal connections– When a carrier sales rep is consistently in touch with reps at a great carrier, you can bet that personal connections will begin to form. Brokers and carriers with great relationships talk about loads, but they also talk about how the kids are doing or what’s happening in other areas of private lives.
We’ve spoken to Parade customers who, before Parade, thought that they had great carrier relationships that couldn’t get any better. Once their teams embraced Parade, those customers realized that their carrier relationships still had room to grow, resulting in improved carrier reuse, improved margins, increased revenues, and overall business growth. Their carriers had an untapped capacity that they could use, or maybe they found a new level of trust, loyalty, or personal connection with their carriers.
What Do Brokers Have to Gain from Great Carrier Relationships?
We’ve established that great carrier relationships are a Good Thing for brokers, but how exactly do brokers benefit from great carrier relationships? These are some of the top benefits of good carrier relationships.
Access to More Capacity
When a broker gives carriers fair rates and they use the carrier often, that broker may be able to tap into more of that carrier’s available capacity, carrier reuse comes with its own set of benefits. The carrier already knows they like to work with the broker, so they’re likely to want to take even more of their loads. Relationship carriers may be able to get loads covered and on their way faster, as well.
The Power of Scale
When brokers go back to the same carrier time and time again, they may be able to gain access to better rates either through formal contracts or simply through the power of relationships. They’re able to tap into the power of scale: when you account for a significant portion of a carrier’s business regularly, they can likely offer you better-than-normal rates since they know their equipment will be booked.
More Room for Negotiation
When brokers and carriers work together often, both parties have more room for negotiation. When you’ve got a great relationship with a carrier, they know that you’re doing your best by them and vice versa, so if you say you’ve got to have a certain rate (within reason) on a load, a preferred carrier may be more likely to oblige. Of course, that goes both ways. When the carrier needs to get a certain rate on a load, a broker that they have a great relationship will do their best to accommodate.
Carriers who are already familiar with your shippers and how you do business are more likely to be able to offer better service. The carrier you’ve built a relationship with knows that that shipper closes for pickups at 5 pm, and they know that they need a specific tarp set up for a certain shipper’s flatbed loads. The experience leaves less room for error, resulting in more on-time shipments, happy shippers, and therefore happy brokers and carriers.
A More Pleasant Experience at Work
When carrier sales reps get to work with carriers they know and like more regularly, it can make for an all-around better work experience. Great carrier relationships aren’t just great for the bottom line; they’re great for the people pounding keys and picking up phones to get the job done. Personal connections that form as a result of carrier reuse and solid relationships can help make the workday a little more pleasant.
Want to learn more about the potential impacts Parade could have on your carrier relationships? Reach out to our team to get a demo.