The trucking industry shipped almost 15 billion tons worth of cargo in 2013. The Bureau Of Labor Statistics believes that this number is going to steadily increase, until by 2040 it will be well over 18.5 billion tons. There’s so much being shipped all across America that expedited freight companies are a booming business. There are a lot of choices when it comes to expedited freight service, so it’s important to consider several factors when choosing an expedited freight company.
A Well-Maintained Fleet
The first thing to be looking for in expedited freight companies is a well-maintained fleet. Without this, you can expect constant delays due to broken-down vehicles. Should a vehicle break down and have to be repaired with your shipment in it, your shipment then starts passing through more hands and the risk of damage or theft increases. While some expedited freight companies may seem like a bargain, it’s no bargain at all if they don’t have the quality vehicles to get your goods where they need to go on time.
A Reliable Record
Again, it’s possible to scrape the bottom of the barrel and find transportation companies that will quote you amazingly low prices. It’s important to check out their reputation, however. Do they have a proven track record of keeping deliveries safe? Of getting them where they are supposed to go on time? It should be possible to find satisfied customers to talk to with any shipping company that you’re considering using.
A Broad Network
The best expedited freight companies have an extensive network to keep all the shipments moving smoothly through all the different channels of transportation. Building up a network such as this takes time and effort, so companies you don’t have a serious reputation in the field and good experience in transportation may not be able to offer the kind of seamless integration of delivery channels that you need for your shipment.
Another thing to look for in expedited freight companies is an excellent tracking system. These days, any reputable company should be able to provide customers with the ability to track their freight. That way, if a delay does arise, you’ll know about it in real time and be able to adjust things on the receiving end immediately. Robust tracking systems also help to cut down on theft and increase reliability across the board.
Care For Logistics
Look for freight companies that are interested in talking to you about everything from third-party logistics to contingency plans. If they only want to talk about pickup and drop-off deadlines, they might not be planning well for breakdowns, delays in loading, or any of the other contingencies that can affect a shipment.
Of course you want to save money. Everyone does. But this is last on the list of things to look for in expedited freight companies precisely because the primary purpose of expedited freight is not to save money: it is to get shipments where they need to go on time as efficiently as possible. It costs money to do things well, and in expedited freight services, as in many other areas of life, you certainly do get what you pay for a lot of the time.
When your shipment needs to get there fast and seamlessly travel across multiple channels, expedited shipping is the way to go. Look for companies that offer carefully thought-out logistics, real-time tracking systems, a broad network within which to move, and a fleet that is reliable and up-to-date on repairs and maintenance. Then you can be sure your shipments will get where they’re going.