Hours of operation, communication are hallmarks of Shipper of Choice Availability winners

Increased hours of operation and open communication with carriers are hallmarks of top shippers. The companies that named as winners of FreightWaves’ Shipper of Choice Availability Award winners are among the best in the nation in meeting these criteria.

The Shipper of Choice Awards are sponsored by Transflo. Winners were announced this morning during the FreightWaves LIVE@Home virtual conference.

The winners of the Availability Award are (in alphabetical order):

  • Agri-Mark
  • Beam Suntory
  • Cargill Inc.
  • Commercial Steel Corp.
  • Giant Tiger
  • HNI Corporation
  • Kraft Heinz
  • Nestle Purina PetCare Company
  • Nestle Waters
  • Target Corporation
  • The Home Depot
  • Tyson Foods
  • Whirlpool Corporation

Six companies were also named as honorable mention winners. They are:

  • Arauco North America
  • Costa Farms
  • Mars Wrigley Confectionery
  • Schreiber Foods
  • Weston Foods
  • Zummit Plastics

Shipper of Choice nominees were solicited from FreightWaves’ readers and fans from social media. Nearly 400 shippers were nominated. Each company was sent a survey with questions on operational data, including dwell times, overages/shortages and damages, hours of operation, communication protocols, and facility attributes including the availability of showers, bathrooms, and break rooms for drivers.

In addition to the Best Overall Shipper of Choice winners, winners were also announced in the following categories – Efficiency, Facilities, Availability and Driver Appreciation.

In a report issued earlier this year, Uber Freight found that drivers rated certain facilities higher based on delivery times and communication.

“Carriers and their drivers favor facilities that treat drivers well and provide the right amenities,” Sameer Dohadwala, head of central operations for Uber Freight, told FreightWaves. “Exhibiting respect, helping during pickups and deliveries, and friendly, clear communication can go a long way in earning driver favor.”

Drivers are regulated by federal hours-of-service regulations, not to mention traffic congestion, weather and other obstacles they face on the roadways. The result is that while deliveries and pickups can be scheduled – often within small windows – sometimes drivers need some flexibility. Arriving at a facility 10 minutes after it closes because it has limited hours could mean sitting for 12 hours or more, impacting future deliveries or pickups.

Increasing hours of operation provides the necessary flexibility that can minimize these impacts. The Shipper of Choice Availability award factors in hours of operation as key criteria. To be eligible for the Availability award, shippers need to be open for at least eight hours on all weekdays and weekends, and on most holidays, giving drivers the most flexibility.

Communication with carriers and drivers is also a key attribute of the Shipper of Choice Availability award.

Speakers on a shipper of choice panel sponsored by Convoy at the 2019 Mid-America Trucking Show noted that communication is crucial. For many, it comes down to the ability to secure capacity, and by communicating with drivers and carriers, and providing flexibility in delivery, ensures strong working relationships.

“When the market is tight, [carriers] will help you and when the market becomes loose, [as a shipper], you need to remember that and help them,” one speaker noted.

Click here to learn more about Transflo’s new Electronic Bill of Lading for Shippers.