“The freight industry definitely is back,” says Clum, whose company works with transportation providers and 3PLs to develop new strategies for growth. “All the different LTL and TL carriers that we work with are having record days.”
Clum expects this trend to continue into next year, which means carriers need to look more carefully at which freight they choose to carry, selecting opportunities that allow them to optimize their networks and operate at the highest possible level, he says. Getting that right “is not a simple equation. It takes time and an evolution in thought,” says Clum.
Many trucking executives have evolved in their thinking and have quite progressive ideas about their industry, Clum says. “Their challenge is more on the execution side, figuring out how to tap into those ideas.”
CarrierDirect typically works with trucking companies with revenue between $30m and $500m. “Using data in a way that matches a clients’ cost structure and network in order to help them find the kind of customers they want – that’s our biggest challenge,” says Clum. “We do a lot of white boarding and analysis of freight profiles of different businesses. It takes a little time to get the mix exactly right, but when you do, it can be phenomenal.”
Clum says among the most positive trends in the market are more truly strategic partnerships between trucking companies and 3PLs, with the common goal of providing great service to shippers. These partnerships are picking up as there is more freight to go around, he says. “The right combination of asset owners with providers with strong technology and marketing arms can create great results in terms of finding and targeting the freight business of small to mid-sized shippers.”
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