In a Digital World, Relationships Matter More than Ever

Posted by Jeff Miller
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We’re back from the Food Shippers of America 65thAnnual Conference. This years’ event was held at the J.W. Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando from February 23rd– February 25th. The conference is THE must-attend event of the year for the Select Carriers team. It’s the one place that we get to spend quality time with both our shipper and carrier partners. 

The theme for the conference was 2020 – Vision For The Future. The sessions included motivational speakers along with the usual panel discussions on relevant industry topics. 

One of the sessions that really speaks to the Select Carriers business model was titled: “Shipper, Receiver And Carrier Relationships: Can’t This Just Be Done Digitally? Not!” The panel discussion was moderated by Rick Blasgen, President and CEO CSCMP and included, Dean Hill, Global Logistics Manager-Fresh Foods at Meijer, Steven Stein, Senior Transportation Manager, Danone North America and Russ Gottemoeller, President of Continental Express. The discussion centered around some challenges that were occurring at one of the Meijer distribution centers with delays receiving Danone product that Continental Express was delivering. Through the collaborative efforts of all three parties, they were able to convert the deliveries to a drop trailer program, thus eliminating the delays and getting Continental’s drivers back out on the road so as to maximize their hours of service as well as creating efficiencies on the dock at the Meijer d/c. This type of face-to-face strategizing is not an option in the digital freight environment, where everything is transactional and void of any human interaction. So the answer to the question posed in the session title is a resounding NO!

At Select Carriers, our business is to provide asset-based capacity solutions to shippers, primarily in the food and beverage industry. We represent 40+ asset-based carriers in a business development and sales support role. We bridge the gap by providing our carrier partners access to direct relationships with our over 60 customers. By fostering and continuing to grow these relationships, we are creating long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships between our carriers and shippers. This allows both our shippers and carriers to limit their exposure to the volatility of the spot market. In the case of our customers, we develop and negotiate fair, year-round pricing and capacity commitments in collaboration with our carriers to provide safe, compliant and reliable service. For our carriers, we work hand in hand to develop consistent freight in their areas of need that helps to improve their network yield, all at a fraction of the cost that broker would be taking as a typical margin. This is only possible by developing a thorough knowledge of both our carriers’ and shippers’ networks. This allows us to quickly identify opportunities that add value and provide a solution for both carrier and shipper. This type of knowledge and understanding takes years to develop. Our team at Select Carriers has a total of over 150 years of industry experience in both operations and sales. This experience has provided us with the ability to identify opportunities and create solutions that benefit our shipper and carrier partners.

All of this brings us back to the point that relationships still matter tremendously in the transportation and logistics industry. None of the aforementioned results are possible without constant collaboration and face-to-face meetings with all of our stakeholders. It’s what sets us apart from the digital freight/brokerage world and in our opinion provides the best value to both our shippers and carriers.