Ask AFS – Our Experts Weigh In On Your Most Pressing Questions

Last month, FedEx temporarily cut service for 1,400 LTL customers in order to protect its service levels for other customers. How can I guarantee something like that won’t happen to my business and what can I do if it does?

Unfortunately being a freight shipping client doesn’t come with guarantees right now, unless you count the guarantee that it will be incredibly stressful. 

The best defense you have is diversification in carrier sourcing – namely making sure that you have a broad universe of approved carriers and that you make more frequent use of all of them. It was a strategy that served many companies well after the recent FedEx service suspension.  

However, be aware that even this strategy has its limits. Most smaller carriers aren’t hurting for business either, which means they can also afford to be more selective. So if they’re kind enough to help you out of a bind when one of your other carriers drops a bombshell, think about returning the favor by giving them more of your business going forward. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if they’re not quite as anxious to bail you out the next time around.

I’d like to employ the carrier diversification tactic you mentioned above. But right now, there don’t seem to be any carriers who are taking on additional volumes or new clients. Any suggestions?

Check with your 3PLs and supply chain consultants. They may already have long-term relationships with these carriers, and that could be all you need to get your foot (and freight) in the door.

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