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Uncovering what you need in an intermodal and logistics partner - 10 things to consider

Mar 07, 2017

On-time delivery: You want to work with a drayage provider that is committed to reliability and the resources that keep your supply chain running smoothly.

Safety: Commitment to environmental, health and safety standards.

Value added services: Work with an intermodal transportation partner that offers a broad scope of solutions such as: port and rail terminal services; warehousing, transloading, cross docking and pool point distribution; and a dedicated truck network for a single source solution that’s your supply chain advantage.

Compliance: Should be a major focus of your intermodal partner; they’re responsible for maintaining compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.

ELDs, electronic logging devices that electronically measure a drivers’ time on the road (HOS – Hours of Service), go into effect December 2017. It’s important to determine if your drayage carrier has invested in ELDs and whether or not they’ve evaluated the capacity and driver impact of ELDs on their business.

Coverage and capacity: Do they have the network, coverage and staff to ensure timely distribution of your shipments.

Customer service responsiveness: Are your calls picked up? Are your questions answered? Timely, responsive carriers are what you need when your business depends on effective supply chain management.

Technology: You want to know where your shipments are at all times. Determine if your intermodal partner has the advanced logistics planning technology solutions to deliver end-to-end visibility. Look for these capabilities: data capture - confirmation of receipt and POD – proof of delivery; KPIs; real-time driver status updates; facility arrival, departure, and detention times; Geofence-based status updates on every move; and facility and traffic delay information.

Environmental sustainability: Environmentally friendly transportation is a major focus today. Reducing the carbon footprint of truck transportation is being accomplished with more ecologically friendly rigs. If you work with an intermodal provider dedicated to implementing carbon reduction programs and addressing ongoing environmental requirements, such as ‘clean truck initiatives’ at port areas, these plans will help reduce the carbon footprint of your supply chain.

Business continuity planning partner: Determine if the drayage provider has knowledge of local markets and infrastructure challenges. Are they monitoring the weather, labor issues, and other occurrences that may impact your cargo in transit? You’ll want a partner that offers timely communication advisories and alerts when there are significant challenges and updates that impact your supply chain.

Ongoing driver recruitment program: Ensure your provider has the resources to keep your freight moving as planned.

Billing: Clear and consistent communication of unexpected events that result in additional charges to your original price quote reduce unwanted surprise costs at invoicing time.

Author Photo
Kendall Kellaway III
RoadOne IntermodaLogistics
VP Commercial Strategy & Development
After graduating from Babson Business School in 2011, Kendall helped lead key marketing initiatives at both Bluedrop Water , a water purification company, and E*Fill America, a national leader of distribution solutions, prior to joining RoadOne. Kendall handles many of RoadOne’s national accounts, providing strategic solutions through RoadOne’s portfolio of service offerings.

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