According to Pro*Act’s The Source, California and Arizona trucks are plentiful and should be that way for the near future, and Washington’s truck supply is steady. An important question that carriers should be asking themselves when the supply in the market is plentiful is: what can I do to set myself apart from all the other trucks on the road? One of the best ways is to have a predictable and reliable delivery schedule. One thing that puts carriers at a disadvantage is when they are rated for late deliveries, even if the circumstances are out of their control. There are some key tips that will help carriers create a predictable service schedule, which will make them a sought-after supplier for freight transportation.

Communication

If you have any issues while on the road, you must communicate these to all interested parties. You never know, someone else might have the key to solving your issue so that it doesn’t affect your on-time delivery. But, if you don’t tell, they won’t know. If everyone knows what is happening, they know what to expect. Timely and consistent communication by all interested parties leads to better planning and implementing solutions that can reduce delays or other issues with deliveries.

Data Analysis

The only way to get better at something is to evaluate how you’ve done it in the past. By keeping track of your deliveries, you can see what if any issues are present, what trends emerge, etc. Key analytics to keep track of and report on are scheduled vs. actual pickup and delivery times, in-transit issues, truck update times, claims, additional charges. These are just a few samples of some of the parts of your trips you can measure: the more elements you measure, the better off you will be able to adjust to ensure on time deliveries for future loads. This will allow you to make better data driver decisions regarding what type of loads you accept and who you work with.

Plan Ahead

Road Closures and weather issues are elements that we often call “outside of our control.” But there are sources that can assist you in planning your driving route so you don’t get stuck, and then end up delivering late. The DOT Mountain Passes is probably the most important resource to check. Each state’s DOT site will give you information on any restrictions, conditions and weather. The National Weather Service has a great forecast maps, winter weather safety info, and lots more. Finally, Google maps has some handy overlays that can help, specifically live traffic. Check these sources early and often!

Control the unexpected

Regular vehicle maintenance is the only way to control the most unexpected part of life on the road: truck breakdowns. Driving a refrigerated truck naturally puts you under pressure, as you are hauling perishable product that requires on time delivery. If your either your truck or reefer malfunctions, you could end up with a claim, rejection, or significant additional charges. Check out our post on The Only Preventative Maintenance Checklist for Diesel Trucks – it will give you tips on how preventative maintenance will help you control and reduce unexpected breakdowns that might affect your delivery.

Communication, planning, making informed decisions, and preventing unexpected issues are all markers of creating a good relationship. Working closely with a broker you trust will enhance all these areas, and lead to more successful deliveries and more profit for you!

How to Create Predictable Service Schedules for Over the Road Transportation was last modified: by