FAQ: How To Start Working With a New Parcel Carrier & Become a Shipper of Choice

Developing a good relationship with a new parcel carrier isn't just a congenial thing to do. In fact, working respectfully as mutual partners can help you save money and increase efficiency in your small package shipping. Moreover, creating a positive relationship with carrier drivers is particularly important since they are the ones you will have the most face-to-face interaction with at your facilities.

It might seem like a bunch of extra work that isn't needed, but becoming a shipper of choice with your parcel carrier should be a vital part of your shipping strategy. Check out the FAQ below and get answers to common questions that many shippers like you ask about carrier relationships and becoming a shipper of choice!

Be Easy To Work With

You may be one of many customers on your parcel carrier's route. Do your part by having your shipments ready for pickup before your driver arrives. Understand that even a few minutes of delay can have ramifications for the driver's on-time performance. Not only might your package get delayed, but all their other customer packages could be affected, too.

Worldwide Express Pro Tip: Provide carriers easy access to your building, restrooms and parking area. Ensure your packages are properly packaged since old boxes and flimsy packaging can get damaged on the conveyor belt or cause jamming issues and slow distribution. Plus, be available if the driver has questions.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Even the promptest parcel carrier can occasionally be late for a pickup or delivery. Traffic congestion, road construction and closures, or a shipment delay from a customer before your stop, can create timing issues. Being a shipper of choice means understanding delays can happen and forgiving the driver for being late.

Worldwide Express Pro Tip: If a pattern of tardiness evolves, talk with the driver about your concerns. If the problem persists, share your concerns directly with the carrier and collaboratively come up with solutions.

Show Appreciation and Gratitude

Parcel carrier drivers are constantly on the move. Offering beverages, snacks and a few kind words are gestures that will put you on the top of their shipper of choice list.

Worldwide Express Pro Tip: You should also allow them access to your breakroom, restroom and a clean area for them to check their email as a courtesy. They are trying to do their job just like you and occasionally need a break.

Keep Your Business Promises

Just as you depend on your parcel carrier for accurate invoicing, on-time delivery and reliable service, your carrier expects you to fulfill your contractual agreement. That includes paying your invoices on time, staying on track for scheduled pickups/deliveries and providing accurate and timely forecasts on shipping volumes.

Worldwide Express Pro Tip: If you find it challenging to stick to your agreement, let your carrier know early so they can work with you on supportive solutions.

Be Open To Change

Your parcel carrier may need to adjust part of your agreement or shipping schedule on occasion. If these changes don't adversely affect your business, show your willingness to compromise. Even rate changes may be acceptable in a volatile economy. Just remember, finding a new parcel carrier could be more costly and time-consuming than making adjustments to an existing relationship.

Worldwide Express Pro Tip: If you are flexible, your carrier may be more willing to reciprocate when you need changes made to your part of the parcel delivery service agreement.

Share Data Using High-Performing Technology

Your parcel carrier relies on data and technology to measure your performance as much as you do to measure theirs. Agree on shipping technology that offers real-time rates and quick and efficient shipment tracking that enables a simplified shipping process.

Worldwide Express Pro Tip: Ask yourself the following questions: Does the carrier use tracking technology that notifies me when shipments are delayed? Can I access the system online so I can proactively communicate deliveries and delays to my customers in real time? Work together on the type of technology that will suit both your needs.

Use a Mutually Respected 3PL for Logistics Guidance

Working with a 3PL to help manage your parcel shipments has advantages for both the shipper and the carrier. A 3PL expert will analyze your parcel shipping needs against current trends and can advise you on services, timing, strategy and parcel price negotiations. They'll act as a liaison if issues arise that are outside of your comfort level or take up more time than you can afford.

Worldwide Express Pro Tip: Using a 3PL that the carrier works with — and respects — can help when it comes to securing carrier capacity and moving you up the ladder as a shipper of choice.

Keep an Open Communication Policy

Problems are rarely resolved if no one knows they exist. Additionally, positive feedback can get overlooked if it's not shared. From the start of your relationship with your 3PL, explain your expectations for open communication and include them in your agreement.

Worldwide Express Pro Tip: Schedule regular meetings with your sales rep to go over concerns and accomplishments and use data and technology to share reports and key performance indicators (KPIs). Encourage open dialogue and active listening and promote a culture of collaboration where both parties work to achieve goals.

Worldwide Express Can Help You Become a Shipper of Choice

Worldwide Express has more than 30 years of success in the logistics industry and helps thousands of shippers of all sizes move products with great efficiency. We are also part of WWEX Group, alongside GlobalTranz and Unishippers. Combined, these three companies make up one of the largest and most diverse 3PLs in the industry, providing shippers with top solutions and financial stability that helps them succeed.

Between our freight and small package shipping solutions, we service more than 48 million plus shipments annually, and have the resources and expertise to work with companies of all sizes in nearly every industry. We also are part of the largest non-retail authorized reseller of UPS® in the nation and provide shippers with best-in-class UPS parcel shipping services at discounted prices.

See how Worldwide Express can help you strengthen your carrier-shipper relationships and become a shipper of choice. If you are ready to talk to an expert about our parcel delivery service solutions, reach out for a free consultation today!