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Tips for Choosing a Local Trucking Service

September 09, 2019

In terms of weight, semi trucks are responsible for moving roughly 71.5% of the entire nation’s freight. It’s no wonder we see them on the roads constantly, whether we’re traveling across the country or driving around our own neighborhoods. Trucking is a really big business -- and a big responsibility.

When you need to find local trucking and freight services for your supply chain logistics, there are certain questions you’ll want to ask the company’s representative. You want to be sure an express trucking company has the right qualities before signing a contract with them. Reliability, speed, and price are all easy factors to remember, but there’s a lot more to the overall picture. To help you find the best local trucking company for your needs, keep the following tips in mind.

Guarantees

Clients of trucking services are always concerned about time. And for good reason -- deliveries need to happen on time and on schedule, or you and everyone else involved could stand to lose a lot of money.

So when you’re interviewing companies about hiring them, be sure to ask them about any guarantees they offer their clients. What guarantees can they give to assure you that all deliveries made with them will be completed on time? If there’s a delay in delivery and it’s the driver’s fault, how will they handle that scenario? What will they do if unpredictable circumstances cause a delay?

Procedures and Services

You should also ask about the trucking service’s overall process. What happens between getting order forms signed and dropping off parcels at their destination? What stages does a shipment have to go through before the package is on its way?

Ask about late orders. What happens when orders arrive after office hours? Will those be processed the same day, or queued for the following morning? Are round-the-clock services provided so that later orders are given same-day delivery guarantees?

Finally, what is their policy regarding expedited shipping services? What is the shortest delivery time possible for them, and how much area would such a request be covered for? How much is the additional charge for urgent deliveries if they are provided?

Offshore and International Coverage

Depending on your business model and customer base, you may need deliveries to be made to places outside the continent or country. Does the trucking service you’re considering accept offshore deliveries? How much do they charge for offshore shipping, and how long do deliveries take? How do they handle time differences between the receiver and sender? What kind of package protection is used to ensure the safety of shipped products?

Similarly, do they accept international deliveries? What kind of international coverage do they have, and what countries or continents can they deliver to? Are there restrictions involving certain nations they won’t deliver to because international agencies consider them dangerous? Finally, do they employ or outsource to people who speak the native language of wherever you would be shipping to?

Employee Training

You want to feel comfortable with the people the trucking company employs. Ask about any special standards that drivers and handlers are required to meet. Do their employees undergo special training of any kind to improve their performance and safety?

Rates

Once you understand the features and benefits offered, and you’ve made sure they offer all of the services you will need, it’s time to ask them about their rates. Find out if they offer discounts or promotions for high-volume deliveries, and ask about any terms and conditions that could affect their service rates.

Signing a contract with any major service can be stressful, but if you walk into the situation with the right questions, it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. Follow these tips to make sure you find the local trucking company that meets your needs.

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