Before you do anything, you should develop a sales pitch that will sell the carriers on working with you. A good sales pitch should include the following:
– What is unique about your furnished facility?
– Why carriers should work with you (i.e. “I’m new, but I am eager”)
– Your personal email/phone number (no spam please)
The right carriers for your business will depend on what kind of products you are shipping, how much you are shipping, how often you ship. Also of importance are what carriers serve your area, and even who’s available to work that day. The first step is finding carriers that match your products.
– What type of carriers are there?
There are three different types of carriers: LTL, TL, and Full Truckload (you can read about what these mean here). These carriers all serve different areas, have different minimum freight volume thresholds, and charge different rates.
While there are many different carriers out there, not all carriers will be a good fit for you. The carriers that are a good match should provide the best service in your area, have competitive rates, and allow you to track your shipments easily. Not every carrier offers the same services. Some carriers only offer Air Freight, for example. Others carriers have more capabilities. Search carriers by their type, services, or location.
– Is this carrier available to service my locations?
– How much space in their fleet is required to service my shipments?
– What is the minimum volume required for carriers to service my shipments?
There are carriers servicing multiple areas, carriers servicing a single area, carriers with fleets of multiple sizes, and carriers that work only with others to provide the entire shipment. There’s a carrier out there that will be a good fit for your business. Don’t settle for less than what you need or more than what you can handle.
Not all carriers serve all areas. If carriers do not serve your area, they may recommend a freight forwarder who can service you. The best thing to do is start by searching for carriers by location. When carriers provide you with quotes, they will let you know if they service your location and whether or not they require a minimum volume to do so. If carriers don’t service your area, freight forwarders often do.
Many carriers have schedules which you can view. You want to work with carriers whose schedule fits your shipping needs best. Some carriers have lower minimums, some carriers have higher minimums, some carriers have no minimums at all. Find carriers that match your shipping volume.
– How much will it cost to ship with them?
When it comes time for carriers to provide quotes, you should always receive the rates by weight, not size/volume. Carriers charge different prices based on several factors, including distance and commodity. Request carriers to provide you with quotes here.
If carriers have any questions about working with you or shipping your product, they can contact you directly using the personal email/phone number at the top of your sales pitch.
-What do I do once I’ve found my carrier?
Once carriers are ready to work with you, your next step is getting an account set up. As a new company, carriers may require less documentation than older companies, but there are still documents that carriers must see before getting your account started.
Carriers may require less documentation, but they still need to see some sort of proof that you are legit. This requires interaction with your company (i.e. filling out carrier profiles, uploading documents). There are carriers that don’t require you to fill out any forms at all, but be cautious of these companies. There’s no way around it: carriers need a little information about your business before getting started, but carriers who don’t require any information are worth looking into.