Cheap or Thrifty?

Cheap or Thrifty?

Copyright 2003, Traffic World, Inc.

Thank you for your good work on the Nov. 3 article on the freight payment industry ("Cheap or Thrifty?"). The article offered a good appraisal of the cost justification of a freight payment outsourcing solution. As a member of the freight payment industry, I was glad to have such a clear point raised for the transportation public regarding the outsourcing decision.

However, I take issue with some of the comments made by the people featured in your article. Bob Delaney seemed to imply that the freight payment industry is stagnating. I have found quite the opposite to be true.

Most of Mr. Delaney''s comments seem to be "sour grapes" about customers aggressively shopping for the most cost- effective and highest-value freight payment solutions. I agree simple "price shopping" can be overdone and have the adverse effect of selecting an unethical provider if due diligence is ignored.

However, the fundamental value proposition of freight payment is that the service is trying to empower customers to save money. The service is all about delivering the highest value to customers by improving their own logistics cost management.

Why should freight payment companies argue when such value management happens to them?

The job of freight payment companies is to make the argument as clear as possible about the service they offer. If a freight payment customer cannot incorporate the value of outsourcing benefits - such as European processing centers, web-based analysis tools, electronic funds transfers capabilities, web-based invoice resolution, or any other benefits - then the failure may lay not only with the customer but with the company presenting the solution.

Even in these lean economic times, AIMS Logistics and other companies have found new customers who understand the tremendous value of outsourcing solutions and are willing to pay the price. I do not wish to be clich? but these customers are more "partners" than just buyers off the street. If the partnership can work, then freight payment companies can deliver high value for the money spent. If there is not a true partnership, then perhaps the buyer and seller need to go their separate ways.

Ross Harris

Executive Vice President

AIMS Logistics