What is a dedicated carrier and why should I care?

Something I hear often when approaching new customers is, “I use the same carrier(s) that I’ve used for the last ten years because they’re reliable and do a good job.” Typically, that’s just a way for the customer to kindly decline further conversation about their freight needs. My usual response is, “That makes perfect sense. I operate the same way. All of the carriers we use at Legion are dedicated carriers and it’s simply my job to keep them rolling without fail.”

This often raises some questions. “What are you talking about? What’s a dedicated carrier? Why should I care?”

Many brokerages implement the strategy of “posting and praying” when covering freight. This usually involves the use of one or several online freight load boards. They will “see if they can find you a truck” because they are literally looking in the online ether for random folks who have trucks near your pickup shed. While this may cover the freight, it’s being done through a third party you may or may not know…by a person driving a truck that they don’t know.

Does this often result in a transportation solution? Sure does. Is it ever a permanent one? By virtue of the process itself, no.

At Legion we are Problem Solvers®, not brokers. Our team is not paid commission and not compensated based on margins. As such, there’s no purpose in solving our customers’ problems temporarily. Thus, we do our best to use dedicated carriers for virtually all of the freight we manage.

A dedicated carrier is vetted via a probationary period during which they’re only permitted to haul loads of a certain nature and complexity. During that period, the relationship between the carrier and Legion develops, allowing us to determine if they may join our dedicated carrier base.

This creates regular work for the carrier and regular coverage for the customer. This results in the same faces showing up weekly to the same shipping and receiving locations until the managers and drivers are on a first-name basis. Respect and professionalism become inherent simply because it is the standard between two parties working together so regularly. This also means SOPs need not be reiterated on every transaction because a different driver is showing up to that customer’s dock every time.

A dedicated carrier understands market fluctuations as well. Load board solutions tend to treat peaks and valleys in capacity as opportunities to gouge anyone they interact with. A dedicated carrier is depending on their Problem Solver® to keep them rolling in that same lane, week in and week out for the entire year. This means that regardless of the market speaking to the customer’s favor, a dedicated carrier’s prerogative always does.

A dedicated carrier is loyal to their Problem Solver® AND their customer, because they understand all three parties are needed to make this transportation symbiosis really work. A Problem Solver® nurtures the relationship with that dedicated carrier to ensure long term success for all. A customer sees the value of a Problem Solver’s dedicated carriers in consistent service, reliability, and pricing.

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