Three Carrier Performance Measures that Affect On-Time Delivery and Damages3 min read

Having freight delivered on time with no damages is extremely important for shippers. Unfortunately, obtaining that combination is not always possible and one cause can stem from unreliable carriers. Identifying a qualified carrier to transport your freight might appear complicated at first, however, knowing what to look for in a carrier can help alleviate some levels of complexity and add stability to services.

Below are three performance measures you can use to better assess carriers you are looking to partner with.

1 – Unsafe Driving – This is a pretty obvious measure, but with carriers trying to stay within the delivery window, unsafe driving does occur. This, however, does not make it acceptable to put the safety of others and company products in jeopardy. Looking at the details of a carriers unsafe driving record can shed light on the actions your driver may be accustom to. Higher unsafe driving scores can indicate a pattern of actions that have gone uncorrected in a group of drivers, resulting in continuous violations. It is important for you to receive freight when it is needed, but putting the safety of those on the road in jeopardy is not necessary.

2 – Hours of Service – The hours of service for commercial drivers have experienced fluctuations in recent years while the industry tries to find the sweet spot for promoting safe travel and providing a competitive work environment for drivers. Violations in the hours of service category can be the result of false hour recordings, no hour recordings, or driving more than the allowed hours. While some violations only result in a ticket and a driver having to wait for their hours to renew, other instances can result in a severe consequence such as loss of life or serious injury. The hours of service restrictions are implemented to keep the driver and all others on the road out of preventable, dangerous situations.

3 – Maintenance – How will your freight arrive at the destination on time if the truck you are using is stranded on the side of the road? What if you are waiting for a repair that may take days to complete? The maintenance your carriers are putting in their trucks and the reoccurring inspections can be just as important as complying with safety regulations. Checking with your carriers on the regular maintenance they perform to keep their fleet compliant is important. This allows you to know what your partners are doing and can ultimately lower the number of breakdowns that could occur.

These standards are a lot to keep up with, and the best bet is to outsource to a 3PL company that deals with carrier performance 24/7.  

However, if you choose to source your own carriers, choosing a carrier to partner with should be based on standards both parties can adhere to. Knowing that the people who are helping transport your freight are going to put safety and regulations ahead of reckless measures can help create stability in your logistics operations. Asking questions and evaluating the performance measures that matter can help you identify which carriers you would prefer to partner with.