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Customer Service:Shippers continue to find ways to keep their supply chains streamlined and well-optimized. Reliable service, just-in-time and on-time deliveries continue to be critical – elevating the importance of service by their providers.
Operational Excellence: Shippers see their carrier’s operational strengths as a way to strengthen their own supply chain competitiveness. Operational excellence offers carriers an opportunity to increase quality, reliability, flexibility, speed to market and value on behalf of their customers.
Pricing: Given the current sluggish economy, shippers are challenged by their management and the general marketplace to maintain (or even reduce) prices. Unfortunately, while so much progress was made in the last two decades to squeeze costs out of the supply chain, industry challenges such as the driver shortage and the capacity crunch are placing added pressures on pricing. Carriers interested in long-term relationships continue to work hard to maintain competitive pricing for their shipper customers.
Business Relationship:Many shippers say this is a key factor in whom they do business with – today and tomorrow. Naturally, if the provider partner is responsive, effective and easy to work with, these factors become a primary competitive advantage.
Leadership and Technology:Carriers heavily involved in industry associations, such as NASSTRAC, are likely to have a more solid reputation and higher levels of credibility with shippers. In addition, carriers who continue to invest in technology (like transportation management systems that can aid in transportation planning and decision-making, and load and route optimization) tend to win the business.
In fact, these factors are so critical to shippers that NASSTRAC has used these criteria to identify the highest-performing carriers in its awards program for nearly a decade. Each year, NASSTRAC’s shipper members identify the highest-performing carriers using these criteria in the truckload, LTL, expedited and parcel market segments.
To that end, NASSTRAC announces the 2012 NASSTRAC Carrier of the Year Awards Program:
U.S. Xpress in the Truckload category;
FedEx Services in the Parcel category;
FedEx Custom Critical in the Expedited category.
In LTL, the following are receiving awards:
YRC in the National category;
FedEx Freight in the Multi-Regional category;
Duie Pyle in the Regional-Northeast category;
Southeastern Freight Lines in the Regional-Southeast category;
Dayton Freight Lines in the Regional-Midwest category;
Oak Harbor Freight Lines in the Regional-West category.
As all carriers continue to operate in a slowly-recovering economy, carriers that focus on performing well in these key areas will be the most successful. wt