With rising inflation, recession fears, and uncertainty on worldwide events, having knowledge about carriers and their current practices as well as great relations with them have become more and more important to understand in navigating the best prices and shipping wins.
2022 has been a rough year for many small businesses as there have been many variables to consider from inflation to COVID. Increasing inflation rates; major weather events; the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine; and COVID-19 variants have continued to impact a slew of different parts of the economy and shipping disruptions. In this blog series, we have covered a number of different aspects to be cognizant of during these turbulent times, but one new aspect that some small businesses may not be considering is the importance of understanding the relationships with the shipping carriers and fostering better relations with them (or using a great intermediary that has the knowledge).
Why does it matter to actually have a better understanding of and relationship with shipping carriers? Doing so will help you to better realize important shipping techniques that will help out your small business. Even more importantly, you can actually save money and get other perks that you may not be aware of. Some may mistakenly believe that they have all the information they need via their experience as well as seeing just the information available online. However, as we will explore in this blog post, that is only half the story, and you are missing out on savings and important information.
Why trust us? At TRG, we receive a large amount of quotes from our clients and create orders so often that gives us a great overview of the different options, perks, and rights that you may not be aware of unless you also ship a large number of packages and keep in good contact with agents at the carriers. Because of TRG’s good relationship with the carriers, we have a designated representative from each company talking to us and telling us about a specific new change taking place. Below, we’ll break down a few important points in understanding shipping carriers.
Using Carrier Knowledge to Reap the Biggest Discounts and Perks
Having a good rapport with carriers will help your small business know where to actually go shop and find big savings and helpful items. For instance, specific carriers may only help out in looking for a lost package if you purchase insurance while other carriers may only cover a specific amount of value for a missing package from a claim ticket. Not every customer gets this knowledge because it really is dependent on the relationship that is developed over time with the carriers and amount of business.
One direct perk that you get with a good carrier representative relationship is getting a heads-up on dates that may be super busy or events that may impact shipment times. For instance, at TRG, we will be notified which holiday dates will be most impactful on shipment times or if there is a storm in a state like Wyoming. Using this knowledge, we can directly let our clients quickly know what is going on ahead of time for potential delays.
Another benefit is actually getting a heads-up on discounts and related to the amount of business a fulfillment center or customer gives to a carrier. It’s important to be on the lookout for a fulfillment center that carries enough volume to make an impact with the carriers. Much like in any beneficial business relationship, shipping carriers do focus more of their efforts and care with customers that send more shipments to them and move a lot of volume. Loyalty is also taken into consideration as well. At TRG, because we move high amounts of volume, we are given a dedicated representative that gives us consistent updates and discount deals exclusive to these higher volume customers. We then pass that knowledge onto our clients to make sure they benefit.
One last perk that many may not know about is the exclusive pickups that only these high volume customers have access to. For instance, TRG and other high volume customers get access to trailer drops and pickups. For example, this trailer drop opportunity is given on Black Friday to us. The reason is that this is a heavy duty time in which companies are fighting for pickups since daily pickups need to take place with a high demand from consumers. With so much congestion, the carriers are not always able to fulfill all the orders, and then small businesses are stuck with a package that can be delayed and hurt the business’ reputation and repeat business.
Because of the strong relationship and constant communication at TRG with the carriers, they will provide containers and trailers for use on dates with a high volume of shipments whether on holidays like Black Friday and Christmas as well as any average date. This trailer is dropped off in the morning just for use by our clients where we fill it up, lock the trailer, and leave it overnight. The carriers then pick the trailer up during this period and scan all the packages in their facility quickly, so that they can drop off the trailer the next morning to create this efficient cycle where our clients can get their packages out to customers on time. This perk creates trust between high volume customers like TRG and carriers as well as between TRG and our clients.
Learn More About TRG’s Outstanding Carrier Relationships
As we shared throughout this blog, TRG Fulfillment is a great resource with a staff who has a great relationship with the shipping carriers and gets the latest information on what best practices you need to be mindful of. If you have any questions or shipping needs for your business that we can help, especially with the upcoming busy holiday periods, contact us here.