RFX Blog

Building Trust In Your Carriers

June 19th, 2013

As Independent Sales Agents it’s easy to become shortsighted and lose focus while trying to grow your business. There is often an unbalanced focus on the customer or shipper dynamic while carrier relationships are put on the back-burner. Solidifying new business and growth is crucial, but it’s the day to day management of those accounts that will either increase your value or show weakness.

Building Strong Carrier Relationships

People like to do business with people they like, know and trust and let’s face it there has been a severe disconnect between agents and carriers. There is a lack of trust that has developed from years of unscrupulous behavior and many carriers have developed trepidation and concern that brokers/agents are out to get them. Many carriers see agents  in a negative light for a myriad of reasons but a lack of appreciation and acknowledgment that an agent’s success is 100% dependent on their assistance is one of the biggest. Many carriers see the agent/broker as a necessary evil rather than a partner who can assist them in streamlining their operation

 

 

Changing This Perception

The first step is to take a sincere interest in your service providers. The best way to grow your business is to help others build theirs. Take a vested interest in your carriers’ growth and goals. Find out the lanes they service and the areas they hope to expand and work together to put those plans in action. Be empathetic and encourage your carriers to give you feedback on how you can serve them better as an agent.

Make Yourself Unique

Let’s face it there are brokerages/agencies popping up everywhere and the job of a freight agent is one that many people have the skill set to accomplish, what will allow you to stand out is your relationships and where you show value. A returned phone call, a “thank you” or a “job well done” goes a long way to promote good will. Getting rid of the “Us vs. Them” mentality is key to approaching carriers as the solution and not simply a “means to an end”

Industry Changes Are Coming July 1st

On July 1, drivers will have to pull over after 70 hours of driving a week, compared to the 82 hours they can log today. They will be able to “reset” a week long work period, but not before getting 34 consecutive hours of rest spanning two nights. This means that an industry that has already seen a severe driver shortage is soon to be restricted even further which will result in yet another sizable cut in productivity. Carriers will have to address these changes and make the necessary steps to be compliant and now is the time to solidify bonds with valued carriers

Opportunities During These Changes

As we brave the new regulations and industry changes, there is inevitably going to opportunity to grow your agency if you take the time to cement the relationships with your providers. These changes will likely produce even more driver shortages which will make it more difficult for customers to find qualified agents/companies to move their freight. With this shortage there will be more shippers & customers open to the possibility of adding or replacing agents/carriers. The agent with strong carrier relationships is going to be able to compete and thrive in this very competitive marketplace by utilizing and leveraging the strength of these carrier bonds.

Changes Are Inevitable

We are in a fluid marketplace and changes occur quickly, as an agent your job is to adjust to trends and show value to both customers and carriers alike. It is only with a balanced and relationship driven approach that an agent can hope to thrive and remain relevant.

Posted on June 19th, 2013 in Freight Agent Broker, Freight Logistics, Independant Contractor Trucking, LTL Freight Shipping, Refrigerated Trucking, RFX, RFX News, Trucking Industry, Uncategorized