As a broker or 3PL do you know what product you’re hauling? Is it paper cups? Or are they paper cups for the World Series? Do you take the time to research your customer’s web site? To learn everything you can about your customer so that when you speak with them, they know that YOU are their expert? If you’re not, you should be. Your competitor is.
I have always thought of it like this. I’m not hauling “stuff” or “palletized freight”. I’m hauling people’s jobs. Their livelihood. I’m hauling the research and development department’s newest creation. The marketing department’s budget. The legal department’s disclaimer. The advertisement that the customer just saw on TV. That’s what I’m hauling. And it’s very important.
Take Nucor as an example. We don’t do business with them, but they have an excellent web site that can provide you with a wealth of information about 1) what they do and 2) where they do it. Their interactive map http://www.nucor.com/products/locations/us/ allows you to click on any plant location and know exactly what products are produced there.
Interested in Eufaula AL freight? They produce steel for metal building systems there. How about Wallingford CT? Carbon steel reinforcing bar, wire rod, wire mesh fabrication, structural mesh fabrication, rolled wire and deformed wire are what are produced there.
Silgan has similar information on their website: http://www.silganholdings.com/plant_locations/index.shtml. You can see exactly which locations produce Metal Containers, Closures, and Plastic Containers.
If you’re going to be in the transportation industry, make sure you’re working each day to prove to your customer that you warrant their business from your knowledge and hard work. They’ll recognize that and have much more interest in a long term relationship. Get back to work!