ENERGY Transportation Group’s Starting Lineup Series is a forum for the SMEs at ENERGY to share their thoughts, experiences, and expertise on all things transportation and logistics.
Building the first telegraph lines and then phone networks was a significant investment. There was the upfront cost, and it took a while to see a return on investment, but no one doubts the benefits of these ambitious projects today. The same can be said for building and maintaining lines of communication with our logistics clients.
Sure, there is a time investment — time I could be spending chasing down other leads — but I’d rather have a few customers who put me first on their call list than many who don’t.
Because as I mature in the industry, I see my job and priorities evolving. I feel my role now is more than just brokerage; it’s to establish better lines of communication with my customers and their partners. I’m willing to roll up my sleeves and go the extra mile to build something — to truly understand my customer’s needs and how I can best support them.
By building deeper partnerships with stronger lines of communication, we, as brokers, can create win/win logistics solutions for customers and carriers.
It’s not what you need; it’s when you need it
An excellent example of how effective communication improves outcomes in the freight industry was with a canning customer I have. Together we supply around 800 loads per year to an end user north of the border via a receiving warehouse, but there needed to be more communication throughout the supply chain.
The end user needed the cans, but their inventory systems did not integrate with the shipper or the receiver warehouse. The end user simply requested the number of cans they required, and that was it.
While maintaining a drop-trailer fleet of upwards of 14 trailers per day during peak season, an order was placed for 34 immediate shipments. While gearing up to assess what capacity was available and what needed to be done, we simultaneously communicated with the end user. We did this to confirm if the requested number of cans was accurate and what the ultimate delivery requirement looked like.
Since the only communication between the three parties was to provide their basic requirements, no one stopped to ask, how many cans do I actually need right now?
If you ask me out of the blue to move 34 loads ASAP, I’ll every time, but I’d prefer to work sustainably, at a proper cadence, to ensure all loads are moved well in advance.
Blindly shipping the number of cans requested when inventory is available creates unnecessary strain. It over-taxes the resources of the entire supply chain and needlessly increases costs. So, my team and I at ENERGY took it upon ourselves to bridge the communication gap between the three parties to serve our customer better.
We took it upon ourselves to communicate with the customer, and the extensions of our customer, every day to gather requirements.
By working collectively and collaboratively, we increase the efficiency of the supply chain, lower costs, and improve outcomes.
If you want to work with a shipper as committed to your production schedule as you are, with 24/7 support, contact me. We offer assets, dry and refrigerated transport, 300K sq ft of warehousing, and robust drop trailer programs for both over-the-road and intermodal freight.