Shipper Best Practices

Checklist for shippers: How to make freight more attractive to carriers


As we head into the traditional peak season time of year, we essentially never closed out last year’s peak season. With capacity continuing to tighten, we need to work together more effectively than ever to alleviate congestion so that you can secure reliable and economical freight capacity to ensure your loads get from point A to B. 

When carriers have several options for loads, it’s important for shippers to make their freight as attractive as possible to increase acceptance rates.

Freight can be assessed on two fronts: its supply chain efficiency and its driver friendliness. These two important characteristics impact how carriers and owner-operators view and ultimately select your freight.

Carriers have several freight options to choose from and capacity decisions are heavily influenced by the below items. Here’s what you can do as a shipper to help make your freight more attractive to carriers and secure more capacity this peak season.

  • Maximize your carrier relationship

    Using a multimodal carrier like Schneider can offer shippers a combination of transportation mode options, which can optimize supply chain service, cost and capacity. We also highly recommend reserving capacity with your carrier early through a peak season volume agreement.
  • Provide forward visibility

    Solid forecasting helps carriers plan for your needs. Two to three days advance notice is best, but informing carriers 24 hours ahead of anticipated surges makes freight more attractive.
  • Convert predictable freight to dedicated capacity

    Schneider Dedicated offers freight capacity that is guaranteed for your routine shipping needs, where and when your business calls for it. When your shipping volume surges, Schneider leverages our network — including Brokerage capacity through qualified carriers — to keep freight moving on time.

  • Consider alternative options for your challenging or difficult-to-cover freight. Schneider offers two options for covering your spot freight:

    › Schneider FreightPower allows you to quote and book your freight online.

    › Market Index Pricing is a simple pricing model and Schneider accepts 100% of your freight.

  • Leverage trailer pools and utilize power only capacity

    Carriers can make more drop-and-hook moves versus live loading and unloading. This grab-and-go option allows carriers to simply bring their power unit (power only), pick up a pre-loaded trailer and get back on the road quickly. Schneider also offers power only options with a qualified carrier power unit and a Schneider trailer for additional capacity when you need it.
  • Maintain smooth volume of freight

    Consistent freight patterns throughout the week help providers to have a reliable flow of equipment into and out of a facility.
  • Make loading and unloading freight efficient

    Unload dropped equipment as soon as possible upon arrival, ideally within 24 hours, and ensure equipment is available and ready for drivers to depart with timely. Increasing staffing levels to accommodate an increase in forecasted volumes will help ensure shippers can meet these needs. Additionally, at-the-ready gate guards, clearly marked signage, staged loads, and prepared paperwork helps drivers enter and exit the facility efficiently.
  • Minimize load changes

    Frequent load changes, cancellations, or short lead times can negatively impact carrier planning. Allow carriers to suggest alternate pickup or delivery times to help secure freight capacity.
  • Make amenities accessible for drivers

    Because our drivers spend time at your facility, ensure appropriate amenities and facilities are available for those drivers moving your freight. Restrooms, break areas and safe designated parking make a shipper or receiver more desirable.
  • Allow flexibility for pickup and delivery

    Offer flexible pickup and delivery windows. Shippers who offer weekend pickup and delivery availability along with expanding appointment time options when compared to those who don’t will increase the likelihood of attracting a truck in a tight market.
  • Offer regional networks

    Evaluate your supply chain to assess whether there are freight patterns that can be optimized for round trips or consistent flows within your network. Freight that represents a leg in a round trip has an extremely high chance of being dispatched in order to take advantage of the rest of the trip or tour.
  • Build resiliency and mitigate risk with supply chain engineering

    When navigating your current supply chain becomes too challenging, costly, or time-consuming, Schneider can help. Schneider provides consulting and engineering services for companies anywhere in the world who are looking to optimize and strengthen their supply chain. Our expert supply chain strategists and engineers help you understand the key drivers that transform your supply chain from a list of uncertainties to a competitive advantage.

When there are limited transportation resources available and getting your load covered is critical, it’s important for shippers to assess their supply chain for carrier attractiveness. For more ways to maximize your load acceptance or learn how to secure capacity this upcoming peak season, contact us today.

Published July 2021

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