MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — The term collaboration, as it applies to the relationships between shippers and carriers, has been “overused and misused in our industry,” but there are finally signs that shippers are truly interested in working with their carrier partners to gain efficiencies.
That was the message from Jacquie Meyers, president of Meyers Transportation Systems, when addressing more than 300 carrier and shipper executives at the Surface Transportation Summit.
Meyers said there has been a commoditization of trucking services in recent years, with many shippers issuing RFPs and making decisions based solely on price.
“What I’m seeing is, that’s changing,” Meyers said. “And it needs to change. Change is often coming from customers who were burned from the tender process or by a low-cost carrier.”
Meyers said progressive shippers are now inviting their transportation providers to engage in meaningful discussions on how to improve efficiencies to the benefit of both parties.
“Customers are now calling in their strongest carriers and working with them to make their supply chain stronger and more resilient, and to drive out costs together,” Meyers said. “We have so many problems facing us, we need to be working together to overcome some of these challenges and we need to find win-win solutions. The conversation is changing, and I’m so thankful it is.”
Meyers issued a call to action to shippers and carriers in the room. To shippers, she urged “Please invite us to the table. We want to come to the party. Let us be a strategic partner.”
And to carriers, she said “When invited to participate in the tender (process), start the dialogue. Talk about how you can impact their bottom line without being the cheapest. Invest in collaboration, show up to meetings, bring your A-team and find ways to do better.”
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