Shipper | Best practices 4 minutes

Checklist for shippers: How to make freight more attractive to carriers in any market

Securing reliable and economical freight can be a challenge, so it’s important for shippers to make their freight as attractive as possible.


The steps to make your freight more attractive

Market cycles come and go, but something that should never ebb and flow is the attractiveness of your freight to the carriers that haul your loads. 

graphic of a truck with dashes leading to boxes and a question mark in between

When capacity tightens, securing reliable and economical freight can be a challenge. During those market conditions, carriers have several load options to choose from, and they assess their available options on two fronts: supply chain efficiency and driver friendliness. These two important characteristics impact how carriers and owner-operators view (and ultimately select) your freight. 

That’s why it’s important for shippers to make their freight as attractive as possible – no matter the market condition. Carriers who trust that your business tenders attractive freight will be much more likely to accept your loads, which ensures more of your deliveries get from point A to B on time and on budget.  

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 in any market cycle. 

  • 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. 

  • Embrace technology 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 to provide ready-to-load shipments.

    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 preloaded 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 maintain 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 help drivers enter and exit the facility efficiently. 

  • Minimize load changes.

    Frequent load changes, cancellations or short lead times can negatively impact carrier planning — as well as the driver experience. It’s crucial to provide accurate and detailed freight specifications so that carriers can ensure they are appropriately planning around customer expectations.  

  • 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 their likelihood of attracting a truck in a tight market. Shippers can also consider allowing carriers to suggest alternate pickup or delivery times to help secure freight capacity. 

  • 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 to learn how to secure capacity in any market condition, contact us today

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