We live in a world of instant gratification—one world where Americans are always searching for ways to make shopping faster than before. For example, you can now make purchases with your smartphone just by scanning your fingerprint.
This instant checkout works well in many cases, but when it comes to other items, there’s no way to shorten the shipping time. This can leave customers feeling a bit frustrated. It can also push them to search for faster businesses (hence the popularity of Amazon Prime memberships).
The Toll on Freight Brokers
Unfortunately, freight brokers are under constantly increasing pressure as they try to meet expectations and provide support when things go wrong. Even the most advanced and reliable company will have issues from time to time. Inclement weather could halt travel, or a mechanical failure may leave a truck stranded.
As the liaison between shipper and carrier, the broker is responsible for easing any concerns and providing updates. There are two aspects to solving transit delay problems: planning ahead to prevent them and being ready to work when they happen.
Planning Ahead Saves Time and Money
It’s inevitable that each broker will see delays at some point, so the most effective agents work ahead of time. For example, paying attention to the weather could allow a driver to be rerouted and avoid storms or snow. Likewise, having an in-depth knowledge of traffic patterns can get trucks around congestion, road work, or accidents. Although it’s not the broker’s job to manage the trucks, a close relationship could be crucial for the best shipping times. Every freight broker should work closely with the carrier to keep them informed about their options.
Offering a slightly wider shipping window can help too, although it isn’t an actual responsibility of the broker. When they deal with the shipper, they can add some time to the estimate. This leaves room for error or incident, and if nothing happens, it will make the client happier if the item arrives earlier than expected.
Finding Proactive Solutions Is Important
An experienced broker will work quickly to contact the shipper as soon as a problem is identified. They should have all the necessary information and answer any questions as quickly and courteously as possible. In some cases, brokers will choose to offer some sort of incentive as redemption. It could be something as simple as a gift card or as big as a discount on future services.
Freight brokers have numerous responsibilities, and making decisions like this is another part of the job. Staying diligent and practicing good customer service techniques can mean a world of difference whenever there’s a delay.