That time my freight pickup was missed. Remember that moment when you needed to get to the store before it closed, but just couldn’t make it in time? It’s not fun for anyone but sometimes things happen in life that are just out of our control. Unfortunately, it’s not much different in the world of freight and freight pickup issues. Missed freight pickups are especially common on the LTL side of this industry and there could be a multitude of reasons as to why. The most common reasons are: driver tardiness, driver / dispatch miscommunications or simply the truck was filled with freight sooner than expected. Although they can plan their route flawlessly before leaving their terminal, a driver can never fully plan for what the road has in store for them. Dispatch may call the driver while they are on their current route asking them to make a few more stops along the way, thus causing a delay in the pickup of other shipments scheduled for later that day. When pickups are missed, we all lose a little. Your freight isn’t moving, the carrier has to try again another day, and depending on your broker, there’s a lot of back-end work going on as well. At FreightPros it’s not so much just about the missed pick up, but more importantly, it’s about what happens next and how we deliver a quality freight experience to our customers. We run a PRO report every morning to find out which LTL shipments from the previous day did not get assigned a PRO (also known as a tracking number). From there, our operations team will reach out regarding all shipments that have not been assigned a PRO to find out why it missed pickup. If the shipment misses pickup for reasons such as: they were told “there was no freight” or because the packaging was an issue, we will reach out to the customer to try to resolve the issue. If it was purely because the carrier could not make it to the location in time or the truck was full we will go ahead and put the shipment back on the carrier’s schedule for pick up. When your freight misses pickup there is no need to panic, we will get that shipment back on board for you the following business day. If ever you have a time sensitive shipment, I do highly suggest you express urgency when discussing shipment details with your freight provider, as this will allow them to find an option that best suits your needs.
At FreightPros we take pride in being different than your average 3PL. Our vision is to set the standard for a quality freight experience, and one of the ways we work to accomplish this is through the way we manage our accounts and customers. Most 3PLs operate under a “cradle to grave” model. In freight terms, this means that one individual is responsible for every key factor throughout the lifecycle of a shipment. As we all know too well, there are a lot of moving parts for every shipment, big or small. We understand how important all of these intricacies are, and for that reason every one of our shipments receive the support they deserve from at least one member of our six job families.
Technology and the freight industry don’t always go hand in hand. The reasons behind this are complicated, but technology-trusting freight brokers like FreightPros are making progress. We’ve invested heavily in our customer’s Transportation Management System, as well as software such as SalesForce and Bloomfire for many of internal processes and documents. Electronic Data Interchange, commonly known as EDI, is another way in which the freight industry is pushing into the 21st century. Electronic Data Interchange is the computer-to-computer exchange of information in a standard electronic format. EDI is hardly freight industry specific, and you can find its use in the finance industry, as well as many others. But that’s not our topic today. Today, we’re going to talk about using Electronic Data Interchange in the Freight Industry. The most common use of EDI in shipping is the scheduling of pickups. At FreightPros, we schedule a lot of pickups. Hundreds a day. That means phones ringing off the hook, emails blowing up, and interminable hold times. And the same thing happens on the side of the carrier dispatchers! It’s a process that requires excellent skills in multi-tasking. By using Electronic Data Interchange when scheduling pickups we can save time and limit mistakes. For example: Let’s say that FreightPros is scheduling a pickup at 3338 W Mulberry Street, between 3pm-5pm. Mind the two-hour pickup window! Our solutions team makes the phone call, waits on hold, and finally gets in touch with the dispatcher, Mary. Mary is understaffed and hectic. She’s got people calling her about freight tracking, scheduling pickups, damage claims — the works. She doesn’t have time for small talk. So we supply the details of the pickup, the address, the time, the pallet count, total weight, etc. But because of all the crazy going on, she misses a digit on the address. 338 W Mulberry instead of 3338 W Mulberry. Fast forward to the pickup, the driver looks around for the wrong address, and not finding it, moves on to the next one. That’s a missed pickup, and those can cost time and money. Using EDI in freight helps remedy that scenario. By processing the documents electronically, you’re removing the human error. That means our Pros can save time and help our customers with the myriad of problems that can’t be solved using ones and zeros. It’s easy to be distrustful of technology in the freight industry. We get it. The majority of our service is all human. But by utilizing technology in certain areas, Electronic Data Interchange among them, we can avoid problems for our customer’s shipments, and that’s our ultimate goal.
What does it mean to deliver a quality freight experience? It’s a question we get a lot, and a valid one at that. As a (relatively) new team member, I often think back to my first days on the job, when I asked that very same question. What exactly does it mean to deliver a quality freight experience?
On my first day at FreightPros everyone was nice, smart, but most importantly, every single person I met was eager for me to be there and be a part of the team. Driving home that day my brain was racing just to process the influx of new terminology such as liftgates, PRO numbers, and freight class. But one aspect I was excited about included the opportunity to play my part in setting the standard for a quality freight experience.
Our vision statement (to set the standard for a quality freight experience) is something everyone at FreightPros lives by, whether we are helping a brand new client or providing service to a client of 3+ years, the strategy is the same. We are here to put the customer’s needs in full focus so we can find how best to provide top notch support throughout every stage of the shipping cycle. As every industry is adapting to the fast-paced, technology-driven marketplace, it is more important than ever to be there for each and every customer whether they ship just once or 20 times a week. Our company is built not to react to what our competitors are doing, but to proactively develop better systems that make our customers feel less like clients and more like partners. It would be virtually impossible for this company to provide exemplary customer support without first providing that support to each other in the work place. We believe with such passion that our vision statement rings loud and true due to the fact that we are providing the quality freight experience to each other on a daily basis. FreightPros is a growing company, one that is punching well above our weight in delivering success for our customers as well as ourselves.
Anyone who has spent hours reaching out to providers for LTL and volume quotes know how time consuming and stressful that process can be. Time spent waiting for an emailed response to your quote request can make you feel like there’s just not enough time in the day. You’ve got other things to do! While having FreightPros assist with your shipping needs puts you ahead of the curve, if you are frequent shipper, you know that freight is, above all else, time sensitive. What if you could take freight shipping into your own hands? That’s where TMS comes in, and it’s why Transportation Management Systems are the best. Period. There are so many benefits to incorporating a transportation management system into your current processes that I can only scratch the surface in this short blog. But among the many perks: