Top 5 Signs it is Time to Switch Carriers

Posted by Posted date 3PL logistics 12 comments

Top 5 signs it is time to switch carriers:

1.  Financial Warning Signs

With many carriers reporting first quarter losses in 2012, now might be a good time to check the financial health of your current carrier.  While a one-time quarterly loss isn’t a reason to immediately run for the exits, a string of quarterly losses most likely has deeper considerations than just the state of the global economy.

2.  Uncompetitive Rates

Let’s face it, it is always easier to stick with an incumbent provider than bringing in a new partner.  The reasons are many, including I.T. connectivity, customer service and sales familiarity, and knowledge of your business to name a few.  However, if your current carrier is simply not market competitive it might be time to either have a rate conversation or take your services out to bid.  The term uncompetitive will largely be defined within your own corporate culture and how much you are willing to spend to remain with a company that provides good service is a personal decision.  It is not always about the lowest rates…just market competitive rates for a fair competitive service.

3.  Service Standards 

With many carriers offering similar services (ie moving boxes from A to B), one huge differentiator is the level of service that is provided by your carrier.  If the level of customer service offered by your incumbent carrier has slowly deteriorated over the course of your business dealings, it might be time to shop for a carrier that is eager to provide you with stellar service.  Also pay close attention to the level of support you are offered from a commercial perspective.  There is something to be said about having consistency in sales support.

4.  I.T. Dark Ages

In today’s modern world, knowledge is power, and no more so than in today’s competitive supply chain environment.  The days of monitoring your supply chain via spreadsheets are over.  If your carrier does not have the tools necessary from an I.T. perspective to assist in managing your business on a day to day basis, then it is time to take a look at alternate options.  One of those options might be to research I.T. connectivity methods with your carrier through a third party supply chain platform.

5.  Internal Changes

As your company (hopefully) grows, it is important that your existing carriers grow with you.  If you have outgrown the service capabilities of your carriers, whether it is in I.T. requirements or shipment volumes, then now is a good time to start identifying any current shortfalls.  Once identified, start looking for ways to address those needs in preparation to take your supply chain to the next level and increase your competitive advantage.

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  • RFX, Inc. May 29, 2012 2:24 pm edit

    The good thing now is that the buyers have the power which allows the providers to get competitive and flexible. I think we are going to see much more negotiating power.

  • 3plwire May 31, 2012 6:36 am edit

    RFX, Inc. I think you are right. If I was a 3PL owner I would focus on IT systems and customer service as much as possible to gain a competitive advantage.

  • Logistics July 6, 2012 1:34 am edit

    At this time, these top 5 signs to switch carriers are perfect. out of these 5, “the service standard ” is the 1 which has to be maintained in each and every business to reach at the top. Like in the logistics company team work, coordination and punctuality is the first and foremost thing. One has to adopt it in his business also to achieve a rapid growth.

  • Logistic Company July 6, 2012 1:55 am edit

    The aim of transport is to physically move supplies in a reliable and safe manner, on time, cost effectively and efficiently to its destination. The selection process adopted for the acquisition of all services is covered by the organisation’s approved procurement policy, processes and procedures.
    Contracting should be done in a competitive manner, on market terms, and negotiations undertaken in an open and transparent fashion, thus ensuring cost effectiveness and equal opportunities for the appropriate commercial entities.

  • jazzy July 6, 2012 2:29 am edit

    i think service standards is the major reason.due to many options user ca anytime shift to anyplace

  • EestiBoss August 14, 2012 11:37 pm edit

    I totally agree with logistics, customer service is key,but as a reminder customer service doesnt mean give your business away, just means you retain business through team work, coordination and punctuality.

  • 3plwire August 15, 2012 2:40 am edit

    Thanks for the comments…

    EestiBoss, I agree with you in that providing stellar customer service doesn’t mean you have to give away the shop. There are times when a service provider needs to say no if the contrary will negatively affect their business.

  • Navdeep Sidhu September 10, 2012 10:06 am edit

    It might be a bit of a hassle to work out the kinks with a new carrier, but sometimes it’s worth the switch. Ask yourself if you’re sticking with a less than great partner simply because it’s less work than switching. It might be well worth your time in the end to find a new carrier and make change for the better.

  • Vanessa June 20, 2013 12:59 pm edit

    I’d like to add another potential reason to switch carriers: too many lost or damaged products. Depending on how much you’re spending on claims with them it’s often worth paying with another more careful carrier.

  • Cimetra September 5, 2013 11:29 am edit

    A good source of “insider information” is the drivers. It’s not hard to get drivers to spill the beans on the information not made public yet. They often know well before anyone else in the company that trouble is on the horizon.

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