Load Boards are a great way to get started in the trucking industry but they don’t give you the most pay for your work. The loads posted offer incredibly low rates and have a lot of competition.
As soon as you get a load you better start planning and looking for the next one! To make it as an owner-operator or fleet owner you and your drivers might be much better off by building quality relationships with shippers, so we have a few tips on how to do exactly that.
Building Quality Relationships With Shippers
It’s time to be a shark and find the shipper you want to deliver for. They don’t necessarily have to look for drivers because other owner-operators are also looking for work. However, don’t just pick the first shipper you see, research your options.
You will want to work with the same shipper for a while, so look up their company reviews. Make sure their previous employees left positive comments to get an idea if you will be happy working there for a while or not. The transportation industry has a high turnover rate, so if you have a history of staying with shippers long term then that will give you a leg up.
If you contact a shipper and don’t hear back from them right away then don’t give up. Follow up within the next few days. Also, make sure your pitch is clear, organized, and to the point.
Present yourself well. When picking up and delivering loads make sure that you wear something a little nicer than sweatpants and flip-flops. Make sure you’ve showered recently and combed your hair. Grocers will report back to your shipper about you, so it’s important that you make a good impression.
Also, speak well. Use your manners and be polite. You have no idea how far a few please and thank yous will go. If you get frustrated try your best to stay calm and keep your language clean.
Speaking of speaking, it’s also a great practice to have good communication. There are many hands-free ways you can contact your shipper. They will appreciate being kept up to date on your progress.
It’s really important to contact your shipper as soon as you know your delivery is going to be delayed. That will give your shipper time to notify the grocery and make arrangements. Waiting til the last minute could cause tensions to rise.
You are responsible for yourself, shippers won’t make excuses for you. Communication will solve a lot of issues. If you are nervous about facing a shipper you could text them, but it’s much better to call.
Remember shippers are also trying to get loads delivered at the lowest rate possible, so be aware of the supply, demand and current market rates when it comes to your pay. Don’t be afraid to negotiate rates, but don’t get upset when you get offered a lower rate. As you spend time in the business getting experience to build a good reputation you can get higher rates.
Build Those Shipper Relationships
If you’re ready to take your trucking business to the next level then it might be time to move away from load boards to build quality relationships with shippers. Go get ‘em, tiger. Be smart, responsible, and respectful and you will quickly be on your way towards earning more for your work.
Please share any tips you have towards building relationships with shippers in the comment section below.