By many reports, the trucking industry is facing a driver shortage. "The American Trucking Association figures companies need about 60,000 drivers, a number that could top 100,000 in just a few years" (MPR News).
These conditions can prompt trucking companies to hire whomever they can find - and shippers to unknowingly partner with carriers that are unqualified to move their freight. This poses major risks in safety, quality, and liability for all parties involved.
Making an effort to qualify and monitor your carriers for specific risk factors can go a long way toward building a stronger fleet of partners.
Here are three ways to improve your carrier risk management:
Put a simple contract in place. This legally-binding document will establish the shipper's minimum requirements for that carrier, such as: operating authority, insurance, and freight claim liability. Once a carrier signs this, it alleviates liability from the shipper's side.
Have an active monitoring system. Companies like SaferWatch can help automate this process online, saving you time and complexity. These systems monitor carriers' minimum requirements established in your contracts, and can provide real-time data on more risk factors including:
- Safety ratings
- CSA e-percentile scores
- Carrier complaints and fraud reports
These systems can also help you procure carriers and regions with specific capabilities.
Integrate carrier monitoring processes with your transportation management system (TMS). By doing this, you can be immediately alerted to issues with your carriers, and automatically prevent tendering loads to those with red flags.
While there will always be hazardous road conditions and other variables out of one's control, having a process in place (or using a 3PL to do so) to properly vet drivers and carriers is in the best interest of shippers everywhere.
Posted by LeanCor LogisticsFacebook LinkedIn Twitter Google+