When the shipping market is soft and trucks are widely available, services are often taken for granted. When capacity is tighter, budgetary concerns—including on-time delivery—become a heightened priority. Like beauty, on-time delivery is often in the eye of the beholder.
For shippers and carriers, delivery data may be tracked or recorded differently, leading to two separate points of view on what exactly it means to be “on time.” In these cases, what may seem like a timely delivery on paper to the shipper may come into conflict with what the carrier has on their books. In a perfect scenario, everyone would have matching data that reflects the true timeliness of a delivery. In reality, whichever party is best positioned to record this information accurately should be relied upon as the proper source for on-time data.
What makes “on-time” delivery so difficult to define? The answer to this question and more can be found in Episode 6 of the Stay In Your Lane Podcast from Triple T Transport.
Thanks to new digital technologies, tracking delivery times accurately is easier than ever. Still, disagreements or differences in tracking methods can lead to issues between various stakeholders. This conflict often comes down to exactly how “on time” is defined in the first place. For some carriers, an on-time delivery could mean arriving any time during the agreed-upon calendar day. Obviously, a policy this loose could cause problems for receivers working under a tight hourly schedule.
The usual hang-ups associated with delivery further complicate the on-time picture. When a truck must wait for security clearance to enter a lot or a driver is stranded at the mercy of a late unloading crew, the shipment may appear late even though the driver technically arrived on time. These inconveniences not only impact on-time delivery, but an already difficult situation is made worse with the introduction of late fees. These fees generally create countless wasted man hours as carriers and shippers argue over shipping data in an effort to enforce or escape the charge.
Is there any profit in deliveries arriving late? Find the answer in Episode 6 of the Stay In Your Lane Podcast from Triple T Transport.
To help facilitate smooth and timely deliveries, brokers can work with shippers and carriers to set realistic expectations that take the policies of both parties into account. The broker’s mediation can introduce consistency into the conversation of on-time delivery, which can vary as widely as “same day” to “down to the minute” depending on point of view.
Some acceptance of an industry-wide definition for what exactly “on time” means would go a long way toward mitigating conflict. Until then, stakeholders must work to establish efficiencies in their processes, produce quality shipment data, and determine a system for how that data is measured.
For a broker that truly understands the importance of on-time delivery and will work hard to ensure the best outcome for all stakeholders, look no further than Triple T Transport. Contact us today to find out what our award-winning 3PL services can do for you.