Selecting the Right Carrier
What do you look for in a carrier when wanting to engage with a new company?
Is it cost? , Trust?
Because in transport there are so many companies with different niches, it has become almost like a science to work out who and which company is the best for you.
There are speciality services, couriers, bulk carriers, interstate carriers, local carriers, country carriers and the list goes on and on.
Below is how I work it out. I basically break it down into small portions and answer the smaller questions individually until I get an answer.
First, you need to understand exactly what it is you want to be transporting.
- Smalls – (cartons, satchels etc).
- Pallets – (orders of 1 or 2 pallets)
- Pallets – (Bulk loads)
- Where do you send this stock? (local, inter or intrastate)
- Is it a combination of all of these
Then, once you know the answer, you then need to start breaking down even further to understand as much as you can to be able to match your needs to the correct carrier/s.
Once you get that part out of the way, then you need to start thinking about your company, what your company stands for and the reputation your company has out in the field with your clients and public. What is really important as far as transport, your goods and your clients?
- Cleanliness and professionalism?
- Problem solving and getting the job done?
The above should be the most important things you could have. You will notice that I put cost last in this list. That’s because in my opinion, while cost is important, by putting it above any of the others means you put pricing above yours and your clients business expectations. Just remember that a good company isn’t cheap, but a cheap company isn’t good!
Then third, by now you should know what it is your shipping, where to, how often etc. You should understand your client’s needs as far as transport expectations. You should know your company’s expectations and needs for transport to your clients. Once you know all of this you can start matching your requirements with carriers that cover the areas you need to transport to, as well as can provide the qualities listed above.
The final, an probably one of the most important parts to a partnership is the following,
- Your transport companies representative. Do you like them? Would you be able to spend time with them outside of work?
- Trust, Do you trust the rep when he or she speaks to you?
- Your gut feel. This one is the most important. If for whatever reason the company or the rep doesn’t sit right with you then use someone else. You gut feeling is usually right in guiding you in all situations.
Regardless of what type of business you are running or managing, knowing your costs is imperative. Your transport cost for local deliveries are no different. Some businesses and carriers have agreements for pallets rates, others hourly rates and day rates.
But now, there are additional charges creeping in. There are, and has been for a while, Fuel Surcharges written into pricing and now we are seeing Toll Charges being added as well with the never ending expansion of roads and privatisation of them. Between the two of those charges, those costs can add up substantially for you as a business, and yes, while they have been agreed to initially, most people only remember the first number given.....the hourly rate. It is like being told a price of between $300 and $500 for a service, most people will only ever hear and remember $300 and therefore be upset when the final invoice comes through at a higher price.
If you're a business in Sydney or surrounding areas utilising transport for deliveries to your clients daily, these additional costs, depending on you and your clients locations could add hundreds of dollars to your final price DAILY !! Toll prices are fixed for periods at a time, however fuel surcharges, depending on the carrier can be anywhere between 10% and 20% (some even higher) that will be added on top of your freight charge altered monthly depending on fuel prices.
In Local Transport especially, a transport carrier should know their costs based on past records. For instance, I know that my trucks use 1 litre of fuel for every 4kms travelled around Sydney. I know my average Toll charges monthly and all other expenses. Knowing that I can work out fixed hourly or daily rates. I can work out a job rate for a specific one off job and all inclusive of everything allowing my clients to know their exact costs. I am yet to meet either a client or a potential client that does not want fixed prices whenever they get the opportunity and of course they do, as they themselves are running businesses or departments and this allows them to know their costs giving them an easier platform to be able to price potential work as well as run their own accurate reports and analysis.
At BTG Transport, we not only give fixed pricing with no additional surcharges, we provide superior customer service. We see ourselves as an extension of our clients business and strive for their success.
Maybe when you're ready to look at saving time and money in the warehousing and transport area of your business, you should contact us at BTG Transport. We can provide simple Transport solutions right through to 3rd party warehousing and consultations to help your stream line and better improve your transport efficiencies.
You have absolutely nothing to lose and MONEY to gain!