Why value trumps price when choosing an online freight service.
June 15, 2016
The old adage "you get what you pay for" holds true in many situations and it's no different when it comes to selecting an online freight service provider. When you are shipping your company's goods, it's worth the extra time and potentially money to research providers and up your odds of safe and on time deliveries.
But what should you look for in an online freight service and what are the ramifications of selecting a service strictly based on price over quality? Let's take a closer look:
Consider this: The news of bad customer service experience reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience. (Source)
We've all been on the receiving end of a shipment that didn't arrive on time. While natural occurrences can delay the shipping process, many of these missed deliveries are preventable with a solid process in place.
When working with an online freight service provider, the customer service benefits are twofold. On one hand as the shipper, you will be working with a team of dedicated shipping professionals who are there to help you along the way. On the other hand, you will be freeing up more time to improve your customer service in other areas, ultimately boosting the bottom line.
Consider the provider's technology alongside its people. Online services give you 24/7 access to quoting, tracking, automated bill of lading creation and contract carrier dispatch.
Tracking and security.
Consider this: In the first quarter of 2016, there were 221 cargo thefts in the United States, which represented an increase of 13% from the fourth quarter of 2015 and an 8% increase when compared to the first quarter of 2015. (Source)
If you select an online freight service that doesn't have proper tracking capabilities, you could risk losing sight of your freight. Real-time tracking of your goods allows you to see where they are throughout the shipping process. This way, if something goes wrong, you will immediately be able to take action and pinpoint the location of the incident.
Consider this: The value of freight moved in the United States was projected to rise from $882 per ton in 2007 to $1,377 per ton in 2040. (Source)
As the value of freight is expected to rise steadily, the likelihood of unfortunate events such as damaged or stolen goods will remain steady. To protect freight against these events, limited liability coverage is often provided. The amount of limited liability coverage is typically determined by the carrier and is based on the commodity. This type of coverage protects a certain dollar amount per pound of freight. However, it's possible this coverage turns out to be less than the actual value of the goods being shipped. Additionally, to make a claim, the carrier has to be at fault.
With this in mind, shippers should look for a provider that offers additional insurance options for purchase to cover the true value of the goods. By paying for insurance up front, and working with a service that offers these plans, you potentially protect yourself and your business from costly accidents that would otherwise result in loss.
Consider this: Two-thirds of shoppers desire an expedited shipping option (Source)
If you're a small business owner with customers scattered across the country, you want to select an online freight service provider that will help you with expedited shipping. Why? Because two out of three of today's shoppers will look to do business with a company that offers expedited shipping as a service.
Effective online freight services will work with you every step of the way to get the best rates for expedited shipments and help you track the goods all the way to their destination. While you may have to pay a little more up front for expedited shipping, the satisfied customer will likely outweigh the costs in the long run.
Consider this: There are about 9 billion tons of freight moved by truck annually, requiring nearly 3 million heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and over 3 million truck drivers. (Source)
That's a lot of freight. And what comes along with that amount of freight is an abundance of data. Those that regularly ship freight and are looking for a service to help them along the way should make sure their provider offers reporting capabilities.
This technology allows shippers to evaluate the shipping process through data and pinpoint areas of the process where money could be saved. Once again, paying for this value up front puts more money in your pocket over time.
There are ways to cut business costs, but selecting an online freight service provider based on price over value could do more harm than good. Consider the points (and statistics) within this post the next time you or someone you know is looking to work with freight shipping professionals.
Whether you have been shipping freight for many years or this is your first time, Freightquote by C.H. Robinson's patented technology allows you to get instant and free freight shipping rates.
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