SUNTECKtts Q2Market Update

Stay informed about freight market conditions and other factors that can impact your supply chain. In this Market Update, we cover the following: Truckload, Less-Than-Truckload, Intermodal and International (Ocean & Air).

MARKET UPDATE OVERVIEW

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) threw a level of uncertainty into 2020 for the transportation industry with ongoing constraints into 2021.

Although our economy is poised for growth this year, the acceleration we have experienced over the last six months has impacted the timeline of capacity and the ability to meet demand is a continuous challenge across the transportation market.

We continue to see a decline in the service sector with growth in the durable goods sector. As the service sector begins to normalize, we anticipate a rebound for this sector within Q3 and Q4.

The overall common theme for 2021 as it relates to the transportation industry is capacity will remain tight and it will have an impact on cost constraints and cost increases.  In the remainder of this blog, we will take a deeper dive into the core services by SUNTECKtts to gain a better understanding of market impacts.

TRUCKLOAD UPDATE

Truckload volumes were strong at the start of the year with tight capacity. In mid-February, we had a significant weather event causing volumes to shoot up quickly and the demand has only increased throughout Q2.

As a reminder, carriers reject loads on contracted pricing for two reasons. They either truly do not have capacity, or the rates have climbed to a point where they are servicing other shippers at high spot market rates vs contracted rates. It would appear that things were starting to calm down until the weather event in February. Although tender rejections were trending down, carriers were still at an extremely high rejection rate of 20%.

What we have discussed thus far is what has already occurred, let us now review a few items to be aware of. It is clear weather has had a huge impact; however, the Truckload market was already struggling with capacity due to driver shortages and changes to insurance requirements.

One of the primary reasons we keep hearing about driver shortages not improving is The Drug and Alcohol clearinghouse rules. They are now preventing drivers from going to a new carrier to get hired immediately after being fired for drug and alcohol issues from their previous employer. Last year there were over 56,000 violations and of those violations 45,000 lost their jobs. The drivers are given an opportunity to complete a return-to-work program to begin driving again. The most concerning stat that we are seeing is 75% of drivers who lost their jobs have not completed the program. While we agree with the clearinghouse rules, it has resulted in a high number of drivers being removed from the market within the last year.

Another item to be aware of is insurance changes.  The cost of insurance for owner-operator and trucking companies is high and still rising. The minimum insurance requirements are being reviewed and could potentially increase from $750k to $2 Million.  If that passes, it could cause a number of trucking companies to shut down and rates to go up immediately.

LESS-THAN-TRUCKLOAD UPDATE

As you can imagine, the truckload market tends to impact what we see in the LTL market. When truckload costs spike, shippers will start to push the envelope on larger LTL shipments to avoid having to pay higher rates. Sometimes it is simply a capacity issue where they are unable to locate a truck in a given lane, so they look to LTL.  Additionally, LTL is directly impacted by purchased transportation. Carriers will look to the linehaul network for purchased transportation to keep from getting their equipment out of balance, or simply when volumes spike, they have additional options.

When we see service issues with LTL carriers it is important to keep in mind just how vastly different the amount of capacity is from Truckload to LTL.  Due to the barriers to entry, there are no new LTL carriers of size entering the market.  Occasionally you may see a startup with a consolidation model, however, most are brokering LTL freight to carriers with capacity.

LTL rates are currently on the rise.  The LTL blanket pricing programs are used by carriers as a dial to turn volume up in a given market when they want it and turn it down when they don’t.  One way they do this is by adjusting the pricing. This year we are expecting national carriers to take sizable price increases. This can vary by lane and depend on the carrier.  Some carriers are standardizing the base rates across all blanket programs. When this occurs, lane rates often double.

The other method to reduce volume would be to put embargos in place.  The hot spots are Southern California, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Chicago, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey – and as discussed when one carrier makes a change it impacts others quickly.  One part of purchased transportation that many large LTL carriers have historically relied on is Intermodal for their linehaul capacity.

INTERMODAL UPDATE

As with other modes, intermodal demand has been very strong since early summer of 2020 and will continue well into 2022.  Intermodal services are experiencing challenges with a surge in domestic and international volume.  The large increase in volume has created an environment where majority of North American railroads are at capacity.  Within all rail networks, to allow trains to effectively move each week, it is critical to keep operations fluid.  To do so, many railroads have implemented changes to their intermodal operations. One change we have seen is precision railroading. Precision railroading allows longer trains to continue running from one origin to the next with limited stops.  This is an effort to streamline processes to ensure consistent transit. While the current service can be seen as less then desirable, these efforts will lead to much more consistent intermodal service in the future.

The job of intermodal marketing companies (IMC) has become much more complex over the past two years.  Railroads are now requiring the IMC to execute the following:

  • Reserving equipment
  • Reservations to bring a shipment into an origin rail ramp
  • Have a shipment depart a destination ramp within 24 hours of arrival (regardless of if the railroad was on time)
  • Manage a seamless product to customers

Because of these changes, it is taking a significant amount of time to execute a proficient intermodal shipment.

Throughout 2021, we have seen upward pressure on rates from all intermodal providers, in linehaul increases and accessorial increases. Additionally, we are seeing some carriers exit lanes altogether simply because the lanes do not match their network. As we move forward into Q2, we expect pricing will continue to increase. Price changes will have more of an effect on new users than long-term users of intermodal services. You can also expect accessorial costs to increase to assist the railroads in improving the utilization of containers and keeping the terminals operating fluidly. Some railroads have already instituted their Peak Season Surcharge and those charges will most likely remain in place throughout 2021.

Shippers should expect that there will conversations about potentially changing transit times to ensure more consistent on time performance and that the North American rail network will continue to see increased volume.  The high volume leads to challenges, but with planning and dialog, service issues can be minimized.

INTERNATIONAL: OCEAN & AIR UPDATE

When it comes to the current international market condition, there are two primary drivers – extremely high demand from US importers and the ocean carrier’s collective reaction to elevate rates to record high levels.

Fueled by consumers being at home more during quarantines and government stimulus money, the retail segment has seen incredible sustained volume demands starting in Q3 2020. Retail volume forecasts are expected to be up nearly 25% YoY in the first half of 2021. Some are predicting similar levels extending well into the second half of the year.  The vast majority of these high demand retail items (home furnishings, furniture outdoor items, fitness equipment, electronics, etc.) are sourced by US importers from Asia. This huge spike in demand has put a serious strain on the Trans-Pacific container trade.

The ocean container trade has struggled to handle this volume increase and has reacted by pushing ocean rate levels to record highs, which have remained high for several months. Although Trans-Pacific Ocean spot rates have stopped climbing, and in some cases pulled back slightly, the rates remain at record high levels.

As a result, three categories of ocean carrier rates have emerged in the market and are being offered by carriers to handle volumes. Contract rates, FAK (Freight All Kinds) spot rates and now “premium” rates. These “premium” rates which are thousands higher than FAK spot levels are essentially rates based entirely on shipper’s urgent need to move more volume and a willingness to pay whatever it takes.

Importers have shown no slowdown in their demand for more volume even in the face of these unprecedented rate levels. Available capacity is extremely tight on all Asia to US services. Booking delays and cargo rolls are significant. Empty equipment shortages in Asia are also a serious concern as many US importers are holding containers longer and carriers struggle to get empties loaded on vessels to get back to Asia.

One ongoing threat is port congestion and slower throughput at most major US ports to handle volumes coming in faster and with larger vessels. Ports of Southern California has suffered the worst congestion it has ever seen. Vessels waiting for a berth at port are being staged (at anchor) outside the port in record numbers. One key distinction compared to other congestion years is the larger size of vessels deployed now. The average size of vessels at anchor in February were ships that could hold 14-15,000 TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent) containers. In 2015, the last major congestion, the largest vessels sailing was 10,000 TEU. The challenges we are facing are amplified by the larger vessels in the trade today.

The takeaway from this situation is loaded containers will be delayed coming into the US, but the larger challenge is vessels will quickly get out of rotation in their regular schedules, thus creating missed sailing opportunities back in Asia.

The long-term forecast for 2021, is that until demand for imports slows substantially, not much is going to change in ocean trade. Capacity will remain extremely tight into Q4 of 2021 and equipment imbalances could also add to that scenario. Contract ocean import rates for 2021 (established on May 1st) could be as much as 60-100% higher compared to 2020 rate levels. In conclusion, for much of 2021, most import customers are going to struggle to find capacity and they will be paying significantly higher rates compared previous years.

ABOUT SUNTECKtts

With over 200 offices throughout North America, we solve a vast array of domestic, international, air, and ocean transportation challenges. Our shipping expertise encompasses small parcels, LTL, truckload, intermodal, air, ocean, and supply chain solutions to ensure every need is met.

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MODE TransportationAnnounces Appointment of Lance Malesh as President & Chief Executive Officer and Jim Damman as Chairman

DALLAS, TX November 4, 2020 — MODE Transportation (“MODE” or the “Company”), a leading multimodal third-party transportation and logistics provider, announced today that Lance Malesh has been appointed President & Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Jim Damman, who has led the Company as President & CEO for over 15 years, has been appointed Chairman of the company.

These actions are the result of a carefully planned leadership succession process undertaken by Damman and the Board to ensure the continued success of MODE for years to come.  Damman and Malesh will be working closely together to execute a comprehensive transition plan. Following the transition, Damman will continue to work with Malesh and the Board to drive the strategic agenda for the business. 

Jim Damman was named President of MODE in 2004. “On behalf of the entire MODE organization, we want to thank Jim for his leadership and dedication to MODE’s agent, customer and carrier partners over the last 16 years,” said Daniel Gluck, Managing Director at York Capital. “During his tenure, the Company consistently expanded its agent and customer relationships, more than tripling revenues to over $2 billion. We are excited to welcome Lance to the company and look forward to him perpetuating MODE’s strong growth and leadership in the transportation and logistics industry.”

Lance Malesh is an accomplished senior executive with 20 years of experience in technology, operations, sales, and marketing. Combining his extensive experience, along with a hands-on management style, he has helped companies implement new technologies and business strategies that have driven growth and profitability. Malesh most recently served as Chief Commercial Officer for BDP International and previously was President / CEO of BridgeNet Solutions.

“I am pleased to announce Lance’s appointment to the President & CEO role following a comprehensive search,” said Jim Damman, “It was important to me to find a strong successor to lead the great people at MODE Transportation into the future, and I am confident that Lance will accomplish great things at MODE. I look forward to working with him and the Board in my new role.”  Lance Malesh said,“Jim and the MODE organization have a rich history, and I look forward to working with the team and partners to help build upon the strong foundation that is in place.”

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We areClosely Monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As a valued member of the MODE Transportation (MODE) family, we appreciate the trust you place in us and our people for your transportation services.

At MODE, the safety of our Customers and Employees is our uncompromising priority, and we are closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are actively engaging the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other government agencies as the situation evolves.

We understand the importance of your operations and are working diligently in effort to minimize disruptions associated with COVID-19.   You can rely on us to quickly announce any necessary adjustments to procedures or operations.  Information is more important than ever. We commit to share updates with you quickly, with full transparency and, as always, with your freight’s safety foremost in mind.

Personal Safety Recommendations

We recommend the CDC’s website as a resource for ways that our Customers and Employees can best protect themselves from becoming ill. Most importantly, Customers and Employees are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and use hand sanitizer and/or anti-bacterial wipes if handwashing is unavailable.

Ongoing Updates

MODE is committed to taking care of our customers. In the event we implement changes to operations or procedures, including requiring MODE employees to work remotely, we will work expeditiously to keep you updated with the most current information. Important details will remain available via social media.

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MODE Transportationand SunteckTTS have Combined, Creating a Leading Multimodal Logistics Provider with over $2 Billion of Revenue

DALLAS, TX December 10, 2019 — MODE Transportation (“MODE” or the “Company”) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of SunteckTTS Inc. (“SunteckTTS”).  The two companies are leading multimodal third-party transportation and logistics providers that combined will facilitate more than 1.5 million annual customer shipments and generate over $2 billion of revenue.

The combined Company will offer a broad range of capabilities across all major modes of transportation including truckload, less-than-truckload, rail intermodal, drayage, air, ocean and parcel freight. The Company will leverage its increased scale and resources to continue investing in technology and innovation for the benefit of its agent, shipper, and carrier communities.

“MODE and SunteckTTS together will create one of the strongest and most customer-focused multimodal 3PLs in the industry,” said Jim Damman, CEO of MODE Transportation.  “We are excited to leverage our combined talent and expertise to bring an enhanced suite of capabilities and creative solutions to our customers, agents and carriers.”

“Since the announcement of the combination of MODE and SunteckTTS, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our employees, agents, carrier partners and shippers. We are excited about our new team and capabilities and look forward to integrating our platforms and gaining the benefits of this industry changing transaction,” said Ken Forster, President and COO of MODE Transportation (formerly CEO of SunteckTTS).

MODE is a privately held portfolio company of funds affiliated with York Capital Management. MODE received legal advice from Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. SunteckTTS is a portfolio company of funds affiliated with Comvest Partners, who will continue to own an interest in the company following the completion of the transaction. SunteckTTS was advised by Piper Jaffray and McDermott Will & Emery.  

About MODE Transportation

Founded in 1989, MODE Transportation is a leading North American third-party transportation and logistics company. MODE serves more than 3,500 customers across a diverse set of end markets and modes of transportation. MODE has relationships with over 35,000 carriers and operates from over 100 offices throughout North America. The Company is headquartered in Dallas, TX.

About York Capital

York Capital Management is a global private investment firm that was established in 1991.  The firm manages approximately $18 billion in assets across public and private investment strategies, including its private equity platform, the York Special Opportunities Fund.  York Capital employs approximately 60 investment professionals and 200 total employees globally, primarily in New York, London and Hong Kong.

About Comvest Partners

Comvest Partners is a private investment firm providing equity and debt capital to middle-market companies across North America. Since its founding in 2000, Comvest has invested over $4.7 billion. Today, Comvest’s funds have over $3.7 billion of assets under management. Through our extensive capital resources and broad network of industry relationships, we offer our companies financial sponsorship, critical strategic and operational support, and business development assistance.

For more information about MODE Transportation, visit www.modetransportation.com

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MODE Transportationand SunteckTTS to Combine, Forming a Leading Multimodal Logistics Provider with over $2 Billion of Revenue

DALLAS, Nov. 18, 2019/PRNewswire –MODE Transportation (“MODE” or the “Company”) and SunteckTTS Inc. (“SunteckTTS”), two leading multimodal third-party transportation and logistics providers, announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. Under the terms of the transaction, MODE will acquire SunteckTTS, with both businesses operating under the MODE brand name going forward. The Company will facilitate more than 1.5 million annual customer shipments and generate over $2 billion of revenue.

The new Company will offer a broad range of capabilities across all major modes of transportation including truckload, less-than-truckload, rail intermodal, drayage, air, ocean and parcel freight. The Company will leverage its increased scale and resources to continue investing in technology and innovation for the benefit of its agent, shipper, and carrier communities.

Following completion of the merger, Jim Damman, President & CEO of MODE, will serve as CEO of the Company and Ken Forster, CEO of SunteckTTS, will serve as President & COO. The expanded leadership team will include senior executives from both MODE and SunteckTTS.

“In today’s increasingly competitive logistics market, the importance of scale, service diversity, and technology cannot be overstated. The combination of MODE and SunteckTTS provides new and existing agents, shippers, and carrier partners a significantly enhanced platform positioned for the future,” said Ken Forster, CEO of SunteckTTS.

“We are very excited to announce this transaction with SunteckTTS. Our two companies are built on a similar culture of outstanding customer service. The addition of SunteckTTS’ robust agent, product and customer base further strengthens MODE’s broad diversity of service offerings, while continuing to position MODE as a premium provider of technology-driven logistics,” said Jim Damman, CEO of MODE Transportation.

“This transaction represents an important milestone in MODE’s history,” continued Damman. “A year ago, we launched an initiative to identify strategic acquisition opportunities that would strengthen the MODE platform and enable us to continue to improve the best-in-class service and capabilities we provide to our customers. We look forward to welcoming SunteckTTS as we continue to execute on this strategy going forward.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to close by the end of December.

MODE is a privately held portfolio company of funds affiliated with York Capital Management. MODE received legal advice from Kirkland & Ellis, LLP. SunteckTTS is a portfolio company of funds affiliated with Comvest Partners, who will continue to own an interest in the company following the completion of the transaction. SunteckTTS was advised by Piper Jaffray and McDermott Will & Emery.  

About MODE Transportation

Founded in 1989, MODE Transportation is a leading North American third-party transportation and logistics company. MODE serves more than 3,500 customers across a diverse set of end markets and modes of transportation. MODE has relationships with over 35,000 carriers and operates from over 100 offices throughout North America. The Company is headquartered in Dallas, TX.

About SunteckTTS

SunteckTTS operates as a multi‐modal transportation solutions provider through a network of sales, operations and capacity specialists. The company offers a business process outsource program through which independent agents represent SunteckTTS in the freight transportation marketplace. This agent network services shippers throughout the United States and Canada.

About York Capital

York Capital Management is a global private investment firm that was established in 1991.  The firm manages approximately $18 billion in assets across public and private investment strategies, including its private equity platform, the York Special Opportunities Fund. York Capital employs approximately 60 investment professionals and 200 total employees globally, primarily in New York, London and Hong Kong.

About Comvest Partners

Comvest Partners is a private investment firm providing equity and debt capital to middle-market companies across North America. Since its founding in 2000, Comvest has invested over $4.7 billion. Today, Comvest’s funds have over $3.7 billion of assets under management. Through our extensive capital resources and broad network of industry relationships, we offer our companies financial sponsorship, critical strategic and operational support, and business development assistance.

For more information about MODE Transportation, visit www.modetransportation.com.

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Training Tuesday:Tips for a Great First Impression

The initial approach to a prospect is the most crucial part of the sales presentation.  All the selling skills in the world won’t matter if you don’t get your foot in the door. First impressions are lasting impressions. You can’t win everyone over with a single script designed to handle the first few minutes. Below are some of our top tips for the initial approach.

1.Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe you can win the prospect’s confidence, you’ll self-destruct in the opening moments of your first sales call. You also must believe in your company and the services you sell. If you don’t have a belief in your services, how can you expect your prospect to believe in what you’re offering?

2. Develop and maintain a positive attitude. Give the prospect a nice, warm, genuine smile. Show that you appreciate their time and willingness to meet with you. Be sincere. Sincerity wins customers – insincerity loses customers and prospective customers.

3. Be professional. Dress professionally and maintain a clean appearance. Shake hands firmly, but don’t overdo it. Make an impression of strength and steadiness, but don’t use an obnoxious amount of force, or shake for an overly long time, as that can make the prospect uncomfortable. Part of this consistent and professional front is also being prompt. Lateness tells the prospect you don’t respect his or her time.

4. Be likeable. Be conversational and use humor early. Likeability is the key to building a connection with your prospect, and that will help you make more sales.

5. Qualify the buyer early, preferably before your first face-to-face meeting. Know the prospect’s industry and business before you make the call. It is important that you know who the decision maker is and make your presentation to

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LTL 101:Reconsignment & Fees

Reconsignment – Here’s a shipping term that you might be familiar with if you’ve ever had a change of plans with your freight. A reconsignment happens when freight that is already in transit is re-directed from one delivery location to another. This charge can vary based on how far apart the delivery locations are. For instance, if the new location is just down the street, the charge will probably be minimal. However, if freight was heading to California and is being reconsigned to Florida, you will be in for a hefty reconsignment fee.

We get a lot of groans when we have to quote people for the cost of a reconsignment so we wanted to highlight the process so you can educate your customers as well:

  1. We have to send written authorization to make the change to the carrier. A Bill of Lading is a legal contract, so any changes made must be in writing. Authorization must be made by the shipper or paying party always.
  2. The carrier will enter the information into their online system and image your authorization.
  3. A rating analyst reviews the request, verifies that we have authorization to make the change, and completes the request.
  4. Notification is sent to the terminal who currently has, or if it is in transit, who will have the freight.
  5. New labels have to be generated and put on the freight.

Typically, your charges end up being broken down into the cost from origin to reconsignment point, and reconsignment point to new destination, and fees for marking and tagging of the freight. If your freight has to backtrack, you will pay for every mile it has traveled.

GREAT EXAMPLE: If it was originally to go from NY to CA, but then once it reached Chicago you turned it back around to PA, you are paying NY to Chicago and Chicago to PA, not just NY to PA.

Important points to note as well:

  • If you are not the shipper or paying party, you cannot use your authorization to make changes to the BOL.
  • If your name doesn’t appear anywhere on the BOL, see #1 above.
  • If the driver arrives and you say that it needs to go to a different address across town, this constitutes both reconsignment AND redelivery. And it can’t be done without authorization, as above.

This process actually represents a significant amount of labor time and fuel. Even a local reconsignment (change in address within a local terminal service area) requires these steps.

All carriers want to make money on this deal. Nothing is done at cost. But time is money, and the cheapest option is to always do it right the first time.

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Training Tuesday:Tips for Stress Management

Selling offers more highs and lows than most other professions. Most salespeople suffer through periods of stress that are direct results of their sales jobs, but salespeople who succeed in the long run never let disappointments get the best of them. They know rejection goes with the territory and learn not to take it personally and instead, they view mistakes and failures as lessons that will help them improve. On the other hand, some very promising sales careers have died premature deaths due to stress. Stress sometimes causes sales people to lose confidence and then fill their day with nonessential activities and hide from their customers or prospects. We’re also faced with lots of rejection on our daily search for success. If you dwell on the negatives, they’ll bury you. You have to lighten up and look for ways to lessen the stress caused by your job.

Below are our top 10 tips to reduce stress:

1.Focus. Focus on what’s truly stressful to you about a situation and why – the idea being that understanding the stress lessens it and gives you some control over it.

2.Put stressful situations in perspective. Is this situation going to matter in 1, 5, or 10 years? If not, try to worry about it in the current time. Don’t allow the problem to feel bigger than it is, and remember that at the end of the day, it is just work.

3. Establish boundaries. Postpone thinking about problems until an appropriate time. Successful people learn how to compartmentalize their thinking. It is important to establish healthy work-life boundaries and stick to them. Don’t allow a stressful moment at work to ruin your off time.

4. Take a deep breath. Size up stressful situations and decide which are worth worrying about. Techniques like meditation or other mindfulness exercises can have a powerful effect on stress levels and general mental health.

5. Take vacations and occasional time off. Having a break from the stresscan allow you to recharge and feel more emotionally or mentally ready to tackle the challenges at work.

6. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Your reaction to a situation is just as powerful as the situation itself, and your reaction and attitude have an enormous impact on your overall mental health and wellbeing.

7. Talk to others about job pressures.  Talking to others who have been in your situation can be cathartic and help you discover new techniques to manage the stress or can just provide a change in attitude that can help put the stress in perspective. It can also be helpful to talk to your supervisor, as they may be able to offer advice or help with a particularly stressful situation.

8. Expect the unexpected. Allow time and reserve energy to deal with the inevitable stressful events that occur daily.

9. Do something for yourself. Take a break from the constant push to be productive and take a walk or enjoy a cup of coffee without constantly refreshing your email. Make the effort to find something small that you can do each day to create a peaceful moment for yourself.

10. Volunteer or do something in the community that is rewarding to you.

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Training Tuesday:Handling Unhappy Customers

Even the best company, with the best service, will occasionally make mistakes. What matters most is how you handle the situation when issues arise. Your response to a crisis or to your customer’s unhappiness can make or break your relationship with that customer.  Below are some of our top tips to best help a dissatisfied customer.

1. If there’s a crisis, make sure you inform the customer as soon as you can – they’re going to find out one way or another – and no news travels as swiftly as bad news. Contacting them first allows you the opportunity to set the tone and break the bad news in the most productive way possible. This also allows you to maintain control of the situation and offer ways that you’re already willing to help fix their issue.

2. Listen first, react second. You can’t solve the problem if you don’t fully understand it. Listening to the customer also makes them feel understood, and that you care for them. If your customer approaches you with a complaint, don’t interrupt. Don’t become defensive or make judgements until you’ve heard all the facts as the customer sees them. Take them seriously, even if it seems trivial to you, and try to empathize with them.

3. Apologize sincerely. A sincere apology will go a long way with most customers. A simple, but genuine apology can prove that you’ve really listened to them, and you understand how frustrating or upsetting the situation is for them, and you’re going to try to remedy it.

4. Find a way to fix their problem that also works for you and your company. There’s no point in playing the “blame game,” because the customer has already decided to blame you and your company, which means it’s time to take responsibility for the problem and solve it. Let your customer suggest solutions or alternatives. Find out their expectations for a solution and follow that if it is reasonable.

5. After resolving the initial situation make sure to follow up. You should always follow up with the customer to make sure that they are truly satisfied with your efforts and the resolution. It can also be nice to do a little something extra for your customer. It shows that you recognized that they were inconvenienced and you’re acknowledging that with something tangible.

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LTL 101:Drop Trailers

From time to time you may run into a drop trailer with one of your LTL shipments.
 
A drop trailer is a trailer that is left at a location for an indeterminate amount of time. It’s “dropped,” and picked up later. Most of the time, a drop trailer is used at locations that ship or receive often enough to fill up or unload a full trailer in a week or even a day, depending on production. The location doesn’t matter as much as the amount of freight that is moving in or out of the specified location and the agreement in place with each LTL carrier.
 
Think about it like this: Let’s say you have a shipment going to a warehouse that multiple manufactures ship to as well. This warehouse has pre-established relationships with a handful of LTL carriers. In order to save time and money they will consolidate and reduce traffic flow to their receiving docks by collaborating with LTL carriers and advise them to only “drop” a trailer at their location when the LTL carrier has a full trailer. This could potentially delay your expected delivery date.
 
There are numerous ways in which the LTL carriers can handle a drop trailer situation, but the main thing to keep in mind is that your shipment may not deliver on time due to it being a drop trailer which may also change the way in which the PODs are received from the consignee. Due to the nature of drop trailers, PODs are usually handled differently and will almost always take longer to receive considering the consignee is unloading a full trailer of shipments from multiple shippers.      
 
Though the use of drop trailers isn’t exactly common, it’s not something to be afraid of when it comes to your LTL shipments. A little understanding goes a long way. Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with drop trailers:

Drop trailers can sometimes lead to delays. Before you panic about delays, remember that the manufacturer is often very aware a drop trailer is being used, and so should the buyer. Don’t be afraid to ask if the shipper or consignee have any drop trailer processes in place so you can educate your customer as well. Most drop trailer situations do not revolve around freight that is time-sensitive. If your freight is on a tight schedule, make sure to use a different carrier.

Not all carriers do drop trailers. Just because one carrier uses a drop trailer at a certain location doesn’t mean that EVERY carrier uses a drop trailer there. Trailers belong to carriers, so if you can’t afford to have a drop trailer on a shipment, simply look at using a different carrier. It may not be the cheapest of the bunch, but there will always be options available.

Stay away from perishables. For obvious reasons, if you’re shipping perishable items, make sure you’re not dealing with drop trailers.

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