Mergers and Buyouts are swearing words in the LTL world. Recently we have seen several of these happening: Of course the most notable these days are YRC- Yellow- Roadway- USF Companies; Dependable Highway has purchased Matheson Fast Freight; and Roadrunner has purchased Bullet Freight. There is always a method to the madness for the Carrier Company, but inherently the reasoning and logic behind the moves often times don’t pan out immediately, and can cause pain and heartache for the innocent by-products of these changes- the Customer.
I bring this point up because just yesterday one of my customers sent me an email stating that he had sent several shipments with Dependable Highway, and since ALL the shipments were destined for customers not even 30 minutes from his location he was expecting news of its delivery within 1-2 days. Well it was going on the 4th day and his customers had not yet received their products. Amongst the debacle were missed pickups, lack of communication on the carrier’s part, and plain old bad service. I work with my clients on making sure they stay up to date on what’s going on in the Freight world, and to stay active on their education and knowledge of what’s happening. Unfortunately, this particular customer missed out on my Newsletter update, and hadn’t had a chance to look in his newest logistic periodical.
In the Transportation and Logistics arena the pace is fast, and furious. Carriers don’t send notices out to their customer base announcing changes, but in fact leave that to the customer’s to figure out. Of course if you have a good salesperson that would be an added advantage, but if you’re considered to be a smaller customer there’s a very good chance that you will get overlooked. Whether you’re using a 3PL or direct with the carrier it doesn’t matter at this point because there’s a good chance that you will get affected with any downfalls of the given merger-if you allow it to happen. You see, it’s not that Carrier’s want to provide bad service, or fail their clients but most of the time when you merge entities, different cultures clash, it takes awhile for the “big wigs” to come to grips with: 1) There’s a problem… 2) The Depth of the Problem… 3) And last but not least how to rectify the problems.
No one wants to admit that they made a mistake, or didn’t allow for certain factors so people suffer. At the end of the day you have to understand that there are personalities and attitudes at the other end of the phone, behind the wheel of those trucks, and sending out your invoices.
When all is said and done, you as the customer have to stay proactive on your knowledge of the industry. I don’t mean having to go to boring seminars or getting on teleconference calls to hear the latest minutes- that is cruel and unusual punishment. But I do mean for you to subscribe to a periodical, magazine, or newsletter program that provides relevant content. When I allude to “relevant content” I am referring to things that will affect your company’s success in the Logistics Department. In shipping things happen no matter what you do, but if you maintain awareness you can stay aware, informed, and knowledgeable allowing for better follow up and continued efficiencies in your Logistics Department.
Earl White is a National Account Manager, with One Stop Logistics a Third Party Logistics company based out of Watsonville, Ca. He has been in Sales for over 15 years and works with many sales reps to help them gain better footing when it comes to the elusive practice of working with clients. He enjoys being able to pass on many of the skills he has learned from Top Salesman in the Industry.