These days hiring a trucking company is not easy. With so many trucking providers and truckers providing shipping services it can be a daunting task to find the right refrigerated trucking services company to help you with your time-sensitive shipment.
Here are a variety of ways you can narrow down your list of trucking service providers:
Utilize a Load Board
If you want the trucking community to bid on your refrigerated trucking needs drop your shipment on a load board and have the trucking community bid on your project. It can be quick and effective and help you find the right company that can satisfy your shipping needs.
Extremely easy and the opposite of time-consuming searching online for a trucking services company can be very easy and quick. Keep in mind that the search results could render heaping amounts of data but once you have had the time to sift through the search results you can narrow down some companies to contact about your shipping request. Search industry and federal databases such as Transcore CarrierWatch® or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to ensure motor carriers are deemed fit to perform transport services.
Trucking Magazines & Publications
There are numerous trucking magazines (online & offline) to help you identify your refrigerated trucking source. If you are not new to the trucking industry you probably are already familiar with many of the trucking industry magazines. Use their offline version or hop online to find additional information about reputable trucking service providers.
Listen to your peers! Contact trucking industry sources and see if you can locate the different refrigerated trucking companies in your area. You might over hear a situation where someone worked with a motor carrier that executed the task at hand perfectly, or in some cases, you may hear about a carrier's service failures. For example, the Transportation Intermediaries Association offers a Watchdog service in which intermediaries report negligent carriers that double-broker, back-solicit or cancel on loads at the last minute. This serves as an excellent tool to avoid reporting a service failure to your customer.
Implement a Carrier Qualification System
Especially for refrigerated carriers, a carrier qualification team is absolutely necessary to avoid cargo claims and service failures. That being said, not all service failures are within your control. For example, your carrier setup team may take measures to ensure that your refrigerated motor carrier has enough cargo insurance to cover your load as well as "reefer breakdown" coverage. But it would be nearly impossible to pour through the pages of each carrier's insurance policy to learn their policy exclusions and still cover your customer's shipment in a timely manner. Calculated risk is always a part of our industry, but necessary nonetheless. The Transportation Intermediaries Association offers template contracts and carrier qualification guidelines to ensure you have practiced due diligence in selecting your refrigerated carrier, or any carrier for that matter.
Look them up on the Better Business Bureau
The BBB is still a great way to identify whether a business has been good to its audience. Not every business is a member but it sure doesn't hurt to take a look. If they are on there it will show you their value. This doesn't mean they are not a good trucking company to work with if they are not on the BBB but it is one extra location to find out their skill set.