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What to Look for in a Full Truckload Provider

Posted by James Williams on October 2, 2020 - 11:47 AM
Multiple FTL shipments moving down the highway

Choosing the best logistics provider for your truckload shipments 

Have more shipments than your current truckload providers can handle? Not satisfied with the performance you’re getting from the ones you use now? Need extra capacity in a new market? Whatever your reason for searching for a truckload carrier, there are a few things to consider before using a new company to handle your freight. Explore the five most important factors below to make sure you’re onboarding the right partner. 

Five things to look for when evaluating an FTL provider   

Capabilities and service area 

The first thing to look for is if the company you’re considering offers what you need — now and in the future. The ability to scale with your business is especially important because it ensures you won’t have to onboard another company when your business expands into new markets or needs to utilize different technology.  

Know the answers to these questions before talking to FTL companies: 

  • Are your truckload lanes consistent or do you ship to and from multiple locations? 

  • Does your freight require special handling or equipment? 

  • Do you have needs beyond standard truckload service? 

  • Will you be expanding into different markets where you’ll need additional capacity? 

  • Do you need cross-border service? 

Understanding freight requirements up front can help you focus on providers that will add true value to your supply chain. The last thing you want is to find out a company you’ve invested a lot of time in doesn’t offer a service that’s vital to your long-term success.  

Capacity to handle your freight volume 

Once you know a truckload provider offers the right services, it’s time to find out if they have access to enough equipment to keep your freight moving. Consider freight volumes during standard and peak times and ask about the provider’s capacity to handle it. Companies that have multiple sources to pull from can often offer the most dependable service.  

Experience in your industry 

Every industry has specific guidelines for how freight needs to be handled — whether it’s the temperature it needs to be, the speed it needs to move or the equipment it needs to travel on. Using a truckload provider with experience meeting those requirements can ensure your freight is delivered on time and in optimal condition.   

Ask for testimonials, case studies or specific examples of how they’ve helped a company with similar needs to yours. This will help confirm that they’re equipped to provide what you need.  

Customer experience processes 

Even the most technologically advanced logistics companies have a human element to their service, and it’s critical to the experience they offer — both to you and to your end customer. Pay attention to how you’re treated throughout the evaluation process to get a good feel for what the company truly cares about.  

It can be beneficial to ask how the company uses feedback from customers, what processes they have in place for evaluating performance, and if you can set specific operating procedures to fit your needs and expectations. A focus on customer experience is a good indicator that the company will provide excellent service and do what it takes to keep your operations running smoothly.  

Supporting technology  

Though human interaction is incredibly important, you’ll also need to know that the company you’re considering has the technology to support your business. Check on details such as: 

  • Integrations. Can your systems seamlessly communicate with their systems?  

  • Tools and software. Do they offer technology solutions your business doesn’t have?  

Overall, you’re looking to make sure that it will be easy to do business with this company. The smoother the process, the better your experience.  

Let’s talk about your needs 

ArcBest offers full-truckload services to meet the needs of any supply chain. Get to know our truckload service to learn about our service area, equipment and technology offerings.  

Want more information about finding a logistics partner? Read our whitepaper on reducing your transportation spend to learn why it’s important to have a collaborative relationship with your logistics provider.  

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