When seeking an expedited transportation solution, shippers need assurance that they’re choosing a zero-fail option — one that will get their high-value, high-risk, time-sensitive freight where it needs to go, safely, securely and fast.
While a number of transportation providers offer expedited services, they are not all equally capable. If the freight is truly high-value, high-risk or time-sensitive, delays and insufficient security are not acceptable.
Choosing a High-Quality Provider
Here’s what to look for in a worthy expedited transportation partner:
Expedited transportation is not for rookies. It requires a complex set of must-haves, from qualified driving teams to enhanced truck maintenance and security protocols.
For example, communication about the load and schedule should be handled in person or by phone to avoid any misunderstandings or security issues. Driver teams must be seasoned, compatible and familiar with the white-glove service necessary to manage these types of loads. Teams must be ready and willing to manage limited stops, continuous monitoring and extra security procedures. Plus, they’re on the move nearly constantly.
All of this adds up to challenging requirements for the logistics provider and its driver teams, so experience matters.
In addition to these enhanced transportation protocols, an expedited solution must be 100% reliable, with a freight planning team that can accommodate a round-the-clock schedule 365 days a year, including major holidays.
Look for a fleet with a high number of seated drivers, 24/7 dispatch capability and maintenance protocols that can keep trucks running up to 20 hours a day. Partner with a provider that has an internal team dedicated to expedited freight — technology, touch points and tracking to ensure success. Covenant, for example, has an expedited incident response team that tracks every expedited load, checks in frequently with drivers and customers, and quickly manages any issues that might arise.
Service-oriented drivers who are satisfied with their work make all the difference. Paying fairly, honoring schedules and treating drivers with respect leads to a flexible, dependable workforce that’s fresh, work-ready and focused on meeting customer needs.
A large, well-trained and satisfied team driver pool fosters a consistent solution that shippers can count on. But maintaining this type of workforce requires a specific recruiting, fleet management and retention process. Be sure to ask potential partners how they manage this aspect of their offering.
Look for a transportation provider that’s in the expedited business for the long-haul, literally and figuratively. There’s a lot of infrastructure, planning and expense required to make expedited work. Without that investment and commitment, you can bet the transportation provider isn’t fully engaged in expedited service.
Remember, a company that’s committed to providing this type of service and creating a long-term relationship with its customers will be a better, more flexible, devoted and enthusiastic partner than one that’s not as committed to the business.
Choosing an expedited partner is no time for a gamble. Be sure to carefully vet providers — including speaking with references — when failure is not an option.
Covenant has specialized in expedited transportation for 37+ years. Let’s talk about how we can help you move your critical freight quickly and securely.