How to become a preferred carrier

Many truckload carriers opt for “preferred carrier” status with select shippers at some point in their business’s growth.

But what is preferred carrier status, and how and why should you seek the flexibility it provides?

First, running dedicated lanes helps to ensure a steady freight cadence. You’ll know where your truck is going week after week. And shippers needn’t worry about getting their freight covered.

Second, as a preferred carrier, you can think beyond the next load and plan for long-term success, establishing long-term customer relationships based on mutual carrier/shipper benefit—regardless of market conditions.

Preferred carrier status has many additional benefits:

  • Improves asset utilization. Preferred carrier status reduces operational costs, helping you extend your equipment life and enhance its performance.
  • Ensures better staffing and scheduling and reduces driver turnover. By sharing your information about your compliance and regulatory expectations (i.e., CSA, Hours of Service, ELD mandate), you’ll not only keep your shippers informed but keep your drivers moving, paid, and happy. The result? More drivers, readily available, plus capacity when you need it.
  • Enables better planning. When you work with shippers who tender loads in advance, you can plan accordingly and leverage analytics and optimization software for everything from freight forecasts to getting loads faster. You’ll often gain flexible appointment times with shippers that accept trucks during “off” hours like evenings and weekends, so you can avoid picking up loads at busy times.
  • Gets trucks loaded/unloaded quickly. With preferred status, your drivers can easily get in and out, load in advance, if possible, and may have other loading options (live load as well as drop-and-hook programs).
  • Avoids late fees for retail shipper customers. Having a more regular cadence at specific DCs means you can help brands meet strict must arrive by dates (MABDs) more efficiently, providing better service and delivery on retailer-specific demands.

Once you become a preferred carrier, shippers will choose you over other transport operations to ship their loads. You can help brands meet strict customer requirements more efficiently with a regular cadence. The Axele TMS helps carriers become “preferred” by improving efficiencies within transport operations, so that on-time fulfillment is always met. Contact Axele today.

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