Executive Briefings

How Smaller LTL Carriers Can Level the Playing Field

Smaller, regional less-than-truckload motor carriers need to leverage technology to remain competitive with larger competitors, says Rick Berryman, vice president-business development for ROADVision Systems. Using the internet to enable shippers to perform such self-service actions as making pickup and delivery appointments, requesting quotes and tracking shipments is something all carriers can do with minimum investment, he says.

"Smaller carriers need to focus on their core competency because it is a very tough market out there," Berryman says. "Focusing on their core competency and becoming more efficient at what they do best gives them the ability to stand out in the marketplace. A lot of small, regional carriers are very good in local markets," he says. "They tend to be little more nimble and more flexible than larger carriers and have better local knowledge of the marketplace."

However, to remain competitive with larger carriers, smaller players need to invest in technology "and to look at their IT department more as a strategic center than a cost center," Berryman says.

Visibility is one key capability that these carriers need to acquire, he says. "Customer service departments at these carriers need more visibility to data in order to provide better customer service - things like being able to track a shipment using various shipment details and being able to quickly retrieve proof of delivery images," Berryman says.

Even better is giving customers the ability to go online and make these inquiries themselves. "Enabling self-service via the Web gives smaller carriers a lot of advantages," he says. "And the tools to do that are readily available."

But can a small carrier afford such tools? Berryman says yes. "A lot of offerings out there, especially software-as-a-service require very little upfront costs and operate on a pay-as you-go or monthly subscription basis," he says.

To view this video in its entirety, click here.

"Smaller carriers need to focus on their core competency because it is a very tough market out there," Berryman says. "Focusing on their core competency and becoming more efficient at what they do best gives them the ability to stand out in the marketplace. A lot of small, regional carriers are very good in local markets," he says. "They tend to be little more nimble and more flexible than larger carriers and have better local knowledge of the marketplace."

However, to remain competitive with larger carriers, smaller players need to invest in technology "and to look at their IT department more as a strategic center than a cost center," Berryman says.

Visibility is one key capability that these carriers need to acquire, he says. "Customer service departments at these carriers need more visibility to data in order to provide better customer service - things like being able to track a shipment using various shipment details and being able to quickly retrieve proof of delivery images," Berryman says.

Even better is giving customers the ability to go online and make these inquiries themselves. "Enabling self-service via the Web gives smaller carriers a lot of advantages," he says. "And the tools to do that are readily available."

But can a small carrier afford such tools? Berryman says yes. "A lot of offerings out there, especially software-as-a-service require very little upfront costs and operate on a pay-as you-go or monthly subscription basis," he says.

To view this video in its entirety, click here.