What Carriers and Truck Drivers Look for in a Shipper of Choice

In the logistics industry, being a shipper of choice is a powerful position that offers great leverage. When suppliers need their goods shipped from point A to point B, they should think of your company – but they won’t unless you meet a certain subset of requirements.

The most successful shipping companies in the world are generally known by their carrier clients for their timeliness, reliability, and efficiency. But realistically, this trifecta of characteristics can be broken down into a much longer list of services, standards, and professional expectations.

A shipping company needs to meet and exceed expectations to become a shipper of choice or any retail delivery service that wants to be successful. Below, we’ll outline what those expectations are.


Clear communication systems

Communication is the lifeblood of any logistics company. Between estimated delivery times, shift changes, and road incidents, being able to communicate at every step of the way is a huge priority for most carrier companies and truck drivers – both of whom need to be aware of any changes made to their delivery systems, both major and minor.

Transport management systems (TMS) can simplify communication processes and streamline operations. This makes it easier for all parties involved to stay abreast of changes while continuing on with their respective schedules. In turn, this reduces delays, creates a sense of transparency, and builds trust.


Flexible appointment times

As much as carriers and deliverymen value punctuality, it isn’t always possible with the world’s constant volatility. Allowing for some flexibility in the event of an accident, roadworks, or even bad weather will help your shipping company stay resilient and encourage repeat business.

Being too rigid with delivery times can put off larger suppliers, who understand that trips don’t always go according to plan or keep office hours. Consider offering appointment hours that extend beyond the regular 8 am-5 pm weekday-only regimen. This can open up your client base to a much wider carrier demographic and help them facilitate speedier deliveries.

In a world where same-day deliveries and instant gratification are so important, this is a major bonus for carriers and truck drivers on tight schedules. 


Basic, clean amenities at stopping points

Truck driving and logistics work generally require long, hard hours. For many people working in these industries, having a quiet, clean, and safe place to refresh in between stops is not just a sign of respect for employees but a strategic service that keeps the whole system running efficiently.

However simple it may be, hygienic, easily accessible bathrooms can feel like a luxury when you’ve been on the road all day and need a bit of reprieve. You can also enhance morale by providing a comfortable break room, free Wi-Fi, and a vending machine for drivers to use. It’s the little things like this that carriers and truck drivers will remember when choosing a shipping company.

Get best practices for reducing dwell time


Easy, safe access to facilities

When drivers and handlers feel like their safety and ease of accessibility are prioritized, they will remember a shipping company as a stand-out entity in the industry.

Between poor signage, road blockages, and insufficient parking spaces, truck drivers and carriers can struggle to load and unload as needed. These inconveniences can contribute to accidents, truck driver fatigue, and frustration that negatively impact the supply chain and overall productivity.

While some locations are naturally harder to access or have space constraints, providing clear signage, demarcated rest areas, and proper safety and security makes a huge difference. Keeping areas clear of obstacles also increases the safety factor and creates easier access to loading docks. 


Minimal detention times

Many drivers and carrier workers get paid by the hour, and even those who don’t are often on a strict time schedule. Holding them up is not likely to endear them to a shipping company.

While it is true that hold-ups and temporary detention times can be unavoidable on occasion, doing the utmost to avoid and prevent them wherever possible will help bring you closer to that “shipper of choice” goal. Create an efficient loading and unloading system backed up with plenty of resources for dealing with hold-ups that carriers can rely on to make sure their schedules stay on track.


Predictability and structure

Ultimately, what carriers and truck drivers are looking for in a shipper of choice is reliability, predictability, and structure. They want to know they can depend on a shipper to deliver consistently good logistics services that they will want to return for again and again.

Paying attention to detail and ensuring staff members are well-trained can keep shipping processes running smoothly while you meet each client’s needs. If you can establish yourself as a frontrunner in the shipping industry, clients will be loyal.

Why Being A Shipper Of Choice In A Competitive Industry Matters

The global shipping and logistics industry is massive and ever-expanding. Projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.57% within the next five years, the current market is worth a staggering $6.3 trillion and is well on track to reach $7.45 trillion by 2029.

All this growth within the logistics industry is bolstered by a rise in shipping companies and swelling product distribution needs, both driven by a steady increase in consumerism across the globe. In such a busy and competitive marketplace, being a front-runner is crucial, which is why shipping companies must strive for preference among their carrier clients.

Being a shipper of choice means you can access a wider variety of local and international clients, expand your business, and offer a more comprehensive list of services to clients as you grow.


Becoming a shipper of choice isn’t an overnight process. It involves many small changes and systematic improvements that contribute to a better experience and increased efficiency for all parties involved.

Treating carriers and truck drivers with respect will help you attain “shipper of choice” status and enhance the overall efficiency of your business from the inside out.

Maintaining strong relationships with your carriers is vitally important to your company’s success – and every measure you take to improve it will help you get closer to becoming a shipper of choice for the clients on your rotation.

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