Working with an Expedited Courier: 5 Key to a Successful Partnership During a Crisis or Global Pandemic
Whether you need to get your products to the other side of the world overnight, or your suppliers are stuck in another country, or you needed to shift inventory from one facility to another yesterday, an expedited courier should be one of your trusted business partners—and not just when you’re in emergency mode.
Amid COVID-19 now more than ever, It’s important for all companies to incorporate express or expedited shipping into their logistics plans, and to have best practices in place to get the best possible results from an expedited courier. While it’s our job to get your shipment where it needs to be on time, there are ways you can help to ensure success.
Here are five elements our best client relationships have in common:
1. They don’t make decisions based on panic
When you need an emergency shipment, it’s easy to insist on whatever it’ll take to get the product where it needs to be as fast as possible. Often, clients want a private charter or On-Board Courier (OBC)—but in many cases, Next Flight Out (NFO) is about 80% cheaper and often the better option. When you contact your expedited courier, be as clear as you can about when the shipment needs to be at its destination. The fastest possible option may have it arriving at 3:00 am to a facility that doesn’t open its doors until 7:00, and you pay a premium to have it sit there for four hours.
2. They maintain strong communication throughout the year
The sooner we know our clients’ needs, the more options we can find for them. The more information we have about inventory and distribution networks, the exact shipping times and how those will affect their production—the better the service we can provide. This means that whoever is working with your expedited courier needs to be in constant communication with operations managers, suppliers, and anyone else who’s critical to shipping and logistics.
Having the accurate cargo description ASAP such as weight, dimensions, the value of goods, clearance instructions, etc. will expedite the shipping process.
3. They stay well-informed
Over time, the more we get to know our customers, the better we can anticipate their needs before they call us with an emergency. We develop personal relationships, as talking to people one-on-one is invaluable.
We not only study the common lanes and track occurrences but also keep up with the industry trends, sponsor worldwide conferences and events, follow the press releases and piece together all the factors relevant to our customer’s line of work that can help to predict potential threats—and opportunities.
4. They expect surprises, stay open-minded and are creative
From severe weather to a workers’ strike that closes customs offices to canceled shipping routes to worldwide supply shortages—we’ve seen it all. Our clients who know this and understand they can trust us to come up with a solution to any shipping need, even if it doesn’t look anything like they initially requested or expected.
5. They are clear and transparent
Expedited couriers should not hold anything back from customers and work hard to establish a relationship based on transparency and genuine care. They should clearly state the delivery plan and give prompt updates along the way.
When challenges arise, it is critical to have an open channel of communication with an expedited courier partner you trust to look at every possible solution for solving the problem.
Once you find an expedited courier that is reliable, you’ll want to make that partnership as strong as you can. By adopting these practices, you’ll be able to lay the groundwork for a long-term, successful partnership.