Relationships Still Key to LTL Success

Relationships Still Key to LTL Success

Copyright 2008, Traffic World, Inc.

I found your comparison between the past and present in Traffic World''s Guide to LTL Trucking interesting. Yes, the players have changed, but the needs haven''t.

Even with sophisticated technology, increased transit times, international gateways, efficient equipment, acquisitions and a supply chain focus, our industry is still plagued by billing errors, missed pickups, delayed claims and poor customer service.

I''ve spent 30 years in the less-than-truckload environment, including 10 years with A-P-A Transport. Today, 3PLs are having a great impact on shippers and distributors. Why? Because they cut through the red tape.

This is still a simple industry that even in this time of advanced technology requires one little thing, relationships. 3PLs become the advocate, the voice, for the shipper.

The 3PL staff is poised and ready to assist in customer-related issues that otherwise become a thorn in the side of the shipper. They can create networks of shippers, build alliances, to reduce freight costs.

Freight billing errors are the No.1 complaint from shippers.

I remember being asked by the then-president of A-P-A if there was one single thing he could do to dramatically increase business. My response was 100 percent guaranteed accurate billing. Fifteen years later, it still cannot be accomplished.

At GMG Transportation, correcting freight bills consumes the time of one of our full-time customers services representatives. Our logistics shipment planners spend a considerable amount of time resolving missed pickups from the previous day or following up to ensure pickup service is accomplished well into the evening hours.

We all strive to grow, we all strive to prosper. Whether your company is big or small, personalized services built on strong relationships will always survive.

Debra A. Pluchino

Vice President

GMG Transportation

Deer Park, N.Y.