How do people really choose which company to take care of their cargo logistics needs? For many business people especially with loads to deliver and goods to move, the first question is whether or not to go with a large network or a small independent firm (or more than just one independent, if necessary.
Of course, this is based on what shipments they really have to move. Often enough, big corporations prefer the multinational networks. On the other hand, many cargo logistics requirements of small and medium enterprises do not fit the specific standards of the big multinationals, ruling out the big networks for their transport needs.
What Do Customers Look For?
Whether we’re talking about big customers or small ones, standards hardly vary, although of course, priorities may differ. For instance, a small company looking to move furniture may be more concerned about price than number of vehicles. On the other hand, big manufacturers will require fleets of certain sizes at a minimum and of course, documentation and other paperwork. Here are just a few of the points of comparison.
Routes and Coverage Areas. Cargo logistics is primarily a transport job, which is why specific routes are important, but in varying degrees based on the nature of business of the customer. Many importers operate in specific areas, while others only require single or few points of delivery. Still, a small-scale, limited coverage independent haulage company can still compete– affiliations, partnerships and connections can be made with others in different areas, forming a “network”–something that today’s telecommunications advances have made easier.
Speed and Agility. As with any sector of the delivery industry, speed of movement is vital in cargo logistics. The ability to finalise bids, respond to requests, speed of submitting requirements and of course, the speed of delivery are definitely vital in making the choice for many potential customers. Often, the smaller players have the advantage on this one– large companies tend to have more steps and standard procedures when it comes to responding to client needs, unlike independents that can react quickly.
Price. For many customers, costs and price definitely play a part in the decision-making process. However, remember that absolute figures are the most important thing– it is still value for money that clients will be looking for when choosing their logistics provider.
For instance, while many big firms can offer logistics contracts that amount to the lowest cost per trip, it’s a luxury that cannot be afforded to smaller businesses who will not have the same volume of requirements. In this case, independent haulage companies come out less expensive because of their lower overhead, expenses and carrier options. What’s more, there are options such as backloads and return loads that are definitely priced lower than regular runs.
Dealings, Negotiations and Service. What’s more, independent companies not only have highly competitive pricing, they can also be easier to negotiate with– on top of the close personal service they offer. Unlike big business with many layers and departments that clients need to deal with, independent hauliers are usually streamlined operations where customers only deal with one or two people. It’s easier to build the kind of relationship that ensures one-on-one communications, making the independents more flexible in giving concessions when needed. What’s more, independent companies rely strongly on repeat business and word-of-mouth, which is why smaller companies and businesses that are often overlooked by big multinationals find them a better choice for cargo logistics.
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