We've been talking about the capacity crunch we're currently in for a good while now. And, it's not slowing down anytime soon. We'll be crunchier than Doritos long into 2019.
This might put a strain on the relationship with your customer due to raising rates. I surveyed some of our logistics managers on how to maintain great carrier-customer relations throughout this tumultuos crunch.
Here are their tips:
- Maintain constant communication
- As soon as an issue arises, contact your customer. Keep them in the loop. That way when you do have to talk to them about a rate increase, they're more receptive considering you've kept them updated on why they're increasing.
- Just be honest with them.
- Most good companies stay up to date on what is going on withtin the supply chain. They're probably expecting your call to raise rates any day now.
- Be flexible but firm.
- Let the customer know what it will take to get their freight moved. But, be willing to negotiate. It may not seem like you get very far but to them it's a big difference.
- Have patience.
- They are dreading this meeting as much as you are. Their job is to keep costs low so this isn't exactly their favorite time of the year.
Here's why capacity is so tight in 2018:
- Continued driver shortage
- Increased gas & diesel prices
- Tonnage up 9.9%, year-over-year
- Manufacturing boosts up 2.8%
- Goods hauled by truck up 3.4%
- ELD mandate in place
- Good ol' population growth
The capacity crunch the freight industry is currently in isn't going to get any better in 2018, in fact it's getting worse. But, we're all in this together so let's work to make things a little less stressful all around.