Why it’s important to choose a local carrier

A local freight carrier offers a wide range of clear advantages you just can’t get with an out-of-town (or out-of-state) trucking company.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a freight carrier, including pricing, capacity, convenience, loyalty and more. But none of those are guaranteed to get you closer to the service you deserve. After all, some things are out of the freight carrier’s control — especially if its terminals are far away.

Choose a freight carrier with a local terminal for distinct advantages, including:

Timely Service

It’s a lot easier to schedule pick-up or delivery when the driver is coming from across town and not across the state. A local terminal may have dozens of available tractors and trailers — and local drivers — ready to go at a moment’s notice.

  • Have a last-minute shipment? A local driver can be at your dock within the hour.
  • Want to get started early? It’s easier for local drivers to schedule early-morning pickups and deliveries. There’s less planning — and fewer things that can go wrong along the way.
  • Are you behind schedule? Instead of paying a driver for detention rates, you can schedule a local driver once the freight is ready and save significantly on costs.

Flexibility

Moving freight from Point A to Point B starts long before the trailer pulls up to your dock. There’s scheduling, strategizing, negotiating and constant communication with vendors, drivers and customers. A breakdown along the way can cost you money, and even goodwill with customers. Use a local terminal to keep freight moving consistently.

  • Locals know the area. They know what makes it unique and challenging, so they know how to avoid many potential pitfalls that could derail a shipment.
  • Community support. Many find work is more fun when you’re connected to coworkers, customers and the community. A freight carrier with a local terminal knows that going the extra mile to understand your business and meet your needs may lead to long-lasting loyalty. Maybe it’s meeting more often over lunch to discuss capacity and rates. Maybe it’s just the confidence you’ll have knowing that local contacts are nearby when you need them most.

Familiarity

You’ve been in business long enough to know that the best plans, schedules and strategies can be ruined at any time without warning. But that doesn’t mean you’re without options. A local terminal can help you overcome ill-timed and unfortunate challenges, so you can still reach your customers quickly and economically.

  • React and recover. A quick call to the local terminal can either trigger drivers and rigs into action or put them on hold. Either way, you can match resources to needs more accurately to save time and money.
  • Store less freight at your dock. Your shipping/receiving crew is busy enough. There’s no need to put extra pallets in the way. Many local terminals can stage freight for you in a highly secured, monitored yard until it’s time to ship to your customers. For example, you can use drop-and-hook trailer service at the local terminal over the weekend for faster delivery Monday morning.

There’s no secret formula to choosing your next freight carrier.

But there are advantages for having access to a local terminal with local drivers, freight experts, tractors and trailers ready to jump into action for you.

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Jared Moore, Vice President of Traffic and Logistics, AMX