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Your Guide to Becoming a Preferred Shipper

In an era of finite carrier bandwidth, it pays for companies that need their goods moved - AKA shippers - to stand out from the crowd in a positive way. A shipper of choice establishes a pattern of behaviors that make carriers' - and their employees' - lives easier, including flexibility, reliability and foresight to name a few. By becoming a shipper of choice - also sometimes called a preferred shipper - a company is more likely to jump to the front of a carrier's line. Being seen as a shipper of choice takes some effort, but there is a shortcut: working with the right third party logistics provider (3PL) instantly gives shippers some of that 3PL's established credibility by proxy. Plus, the 3PL can handle many of the nuts and bolts (see below) of implementing preferred shipper behaviors. Let's go a little deeper on just how to become a shipper of choice.

How to Become a Shipper of Choice

While it's not exactly an official designation, to become a shipper of choice, a shipper must demonstrate a commitment to some key tenets/behaviors that matter to carriers, like:

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  • Planning ahead
  • Minimizing dwell, detention, and delays
  • Paying promptly
  • Flexibility
  • Data-driven decisions
  • Communication and transparency

Communication and transparency

While all the other items noted in this piece are important, being transparent with processes and communicative with carrier partners is vital. Transparency and communication is not only good when things are going well, but especially key when a stray unforeseen issue arises. Carriers are much more understanding when there are open lines of communication with someone on the other end to answer calls, texts or emails promptly. Also a positive is visibility into the shipper's activities.

Becoming a shipper of choice goes beyond a company waking up one day and declaring itself to be so. It also goes beyond simply outlining its commitment to these behaviors - though that's a good start. Actions speak louder than words, so carriers will always prefer shippers who have a track record of walking the shipper of choice walk.

And as mentioned before, working with the right 3PL will make that commitment easier to implement and maintain. The 3PL can handle the detailed planning, incorporation of logistics data, communication, and other key elements carriers are looking for in a shipper of choice, while the shipper focuses on its business. And here at Eagleheight Logistics, we just might be able to help you there. Let us know what you're looking for, and we'll be happy to get back with you quickly to assist.

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