TOPIC 3  (Continued)

What you really need to know to optimise your operation

It demands strict workspace compliance

The significant difference between road freight and most other businesses is that it is performed externally and therefore compelled to share workspace with the general public, including those of clients i.e. Shippers and their Consignees. In other words, Carriers function almost entirely outside their place of business; deploying a public road, entering Shippers’ premises for loading, and Consignees’ premises when offloading their freight.

 

Carriers should therefore appreciate that their services are performed almost entirely in a workspace outside of their jurisdiction, so it is imperative to factor in these responsibilities when reckoning cost and performance commitments when pricing.

While what has been said, is an obvious deduction, it is so easily taken for granted and often ignored when tendering, only to later create almost impossible customer relationship situations resulting in either a loss of business, money or both, especially in short-haul, multi-drop operations.

Obviously, the situation varies in intensity and frequency or a combination of multiple negative factors including:

  1. Suitability of vehicle (multiple reasons)

  2. Vehicle availability/performance/reliability

  3. Seasonal changes in demand for services

  4. Traffic congestion delays on lead and backhauls

  5. Admin/communication delays

  6. Drivers unfamiliar with Route,Shipper and Consignee time slots

  7. Access to loading and off-loading facilities

  8. Queuing delays at arrival/departure points

  9. Load placing and securement

  10. Labour: strikes and rioting.

 

No doubt, on-board driver communication and vehicle Telematics provide a huge range of options to monitor the challengers, however, these developments only provide information, and unless management constantly peruses the information, with a commitment to rectifying these costly situations, they will be borne either by the service provider (Carrier) or its customers.

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Johannesburg, South Africa