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 min read.|3 Jul 24

Top 5 challenges facing shippers today – and how to solve them

As a shipper, you want to ensure your goods are delivered quickly, cost-effectively, and safely. Unfortunately, there are many potential obstacles to watch out for. To streamline operations, reduce errors, and improve efficiency, it's important to use one centralized system instead of many different ones. Below, we tackle the top five challenges facing shippers and offer practical solutions to help keep your customers happier and gain an advantage over competitors.

Shipping challenge #1: Finding the right carriers 

It’s crucial to find reliable carriers with experience handling your type of goods who can offer the support you need. Yet, the carrier market can be hard to navigate. Tracking important information like business registration, VAT numbers, liability insurance, and transport licenses is time-consuming. You also have to watch out for fraudsters posing as legitimate carriers.

How can I ensure my carriers are reliable to avoid fraud in the complex carrier market?

Instead of navigating the carrier market alone, look for a broker who gives you access to a closed network with verified carriers. Brokers handle due diligence for you, pre-screen carriers for safety and compliance, and verify their business details, so you avoid can fraudsters and work with trustworthy companies.  

Shipping challenge #2: Complex price negotiations and high transportation costs

Any time you post a load on an online marketplace, you can expect a series of lengthy email exchanges with bidders. A single load often takes up to two hours of hunting for carriers and juggling emails before you find the right carrier for the right price. 

How can I simplify price negotiations and reduce the time spent finding the right carrier at the right place?

Automated tendering software helps you find the best prices while also simplifying negotiations. Alternatively, if you’re working with a broker, you can book transport with them and let their automated system select the best option. Or try a managed transportation service, which enables you to tender the load within your own carrier network. Services like these slash your workload to just a few minutes per load instead of hours. 

Shipping challenge #3. Lack of shipment visibility 

Keeping track of shipment status can become challenging once your goods are handed over to the carrier. You may need to call the carrier to obtain details such as the estimated arrival time. Without full, up-to-date visibility over each milestone your shipment clears, you may lose control and be unable to respond swiftly to changes or disruptions. 

How can I ensure I have complete visibility and control over the status of my shipments to manage any disruptions effectively?

You no longer have to struggle with poor or no visibility over your pending shipments. Choose a partner that provides a fully up-to-date system that is updated directly by drivers. This allows you to continuously monitor your goods and stay informed of any delays or route changes.

Shipping challenge #4. Unpredictable delivery delays: keeping up with customer demands 

Extreme weather and geopolitical tensions are just a few factors that result in unexpected delivery delays for FTL transport. Driver shortages are another ongoing challenge. According to the International Road Transport Union, 7% of truck driver positions are currently vacant – a number they say will double by 2028. 

Whatever the cause of a delay, the inevitable result for shippers is an increase in costs and dissatisfied customers. Late deliveries hurt your business and strain customer relations. 

How can I manage unpredictable delivery delays and maintain customer satisfaction?

While delivery delays are sometimes unavoidable, proactive monitoring is critical to managing them effectively. Many delays occur due to repetitive mistakes that can be prevented with proper data availability. For example, a truck might not be set to the correct temperature in time, causing delays in loading. This is where a shipper transport management system (TMS) becomes essential. Choose a TMS that offers continuous monitoring and reliable, communicative human support.

Shipping challenge #5. Decentralized performance tracking  

Many shippers still rely on Excel sheets, emails and phone calls to order and manage their shipments. They lack a system for tracking and analyzing key performance metrics, which results in missed opportunities to optimize their operations. 

How can I centralize performance tracking to optimise operations? 

Turn your shipment data into valuable insights and optimize your operations. Advanced tracking systems let you generate detailed reports to monitor performance, identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions. Research shows that investing in data-driven logistics performance tracking delivers key benefits, including a 50% increase in safety and 43% increase in revenue. 


The right solutions for any shipping challenge 

If the shipping issues above sound familiar to you, CtrlChain can help. Our all-in-one shipper transportation management system (TMS) tackles all the challenges described above and more. Contact us now to learn how our shipper TMS can help you improve your operations, reduce costs and enhance customer satisfaction with our powerful combination of cutting-edge technology and human expertise. 


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