Last year our own Jason Dubois attended the Surface Transportation Summit 2015 and participated in the Carrier Shipper panel discussing transportation capacity.

Shippers and carriers have many issues to deal with on a daily basis to fulfill clients’ expectations. Shippers and transportation managers are dealing with a decline in shipping capacity in the transportation industry. This puts pressure on carriers and shippers to come up with solutions to effectively move freight in our just-in-time supply chain.

There are a lot of great points made and some useful approaches discussed on this panel. Driver supply and equipment investments are essential for both shippers and carriers. This has been an ongoing concern for a while in the industry. But its not all about stats and numbers. The importance of good old fashion business relationship building and communication are discussed.

Here are some of the highlights. See the full video below.

Relationships, Communication, and Planning Between Shippers & Carriers

Alex Boxhorn, Logistics Manager of Loewen Windows (Located in Steinbach, MB), was asked if there are concerns with some small fleets pulling back on equipment investments. “Slightly concerned. But not overly concerned because of a good relationship with the carrier and being proactive.”

He continues about the proactive approach with carrier partners, “Not giving short notice and

[giving] time to plan their capacity.” Mr. Boxhorn adds, ”I think its important to have this open and transparent communication with the carrier about the volume their expecting.”

Jason Dubois, President of Len Dubois Trucking, has a proactive approach to fulfill clients’ needs. “Communication, trust, and commitment with carriers by shippers who want to work with the carriers and be proactive and want to help the solve some of these problems we come upon each day, each week and share information are the ones who are going to benefit.” He adds, “The ones based exclusively on price are the ones who are left with the left overs. You have to have the trust.”

Equipment, Investment and Drivers for Shippers and Trucking Fleets

The panel participants point to several challenges and solutions to maintain appropriate capacity. Ginnie Venslovaitis, Director Transportation Operations of the Hudson’s Bay Company, says freight volume consistency and driver supply are important in their operations. “A carrier can have all trucks and trailers. They’re all sitting up against a fence without a driver in the seat.”

It’s a point well taken. As baby boomers approach retirement the trucking industry is trying to replace them with younger drivers.

Dan Einmechter, Founder & CEO of Challenger Motor Frieght, aggress with Mrs. Venslovaitis that driver supply are important and adds investments in equiptment are necessary for a prosperous future. “We’ve purchased 425 trucks and 400 trailers this year. We believe in the future & capacity is going to tighten up; and he who has the trucks and the drivers will win.”

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