Increase Driver Efficiency to Become a Preferred Shipper

The shipper-carrier power dynamic is a cyclical one. As shippers, we enjoy times when there are a large number of carriers, each vying for our business. While it’s tempting to use this as leverage to get as much as possible out of the carrier, the tables eventually turn. When there’s a shortage of carriers, the carriers enjoy a large number of shippers to pick and choose from.

Whether you want to prepare for a driver shortage or you want to negotiate better rates, it’s to your advantage to be a favorite among drivers and carriers. It all comes down to helping the driver increase efficiency.


Fast Loading and Unloading

Make it your goal to get the driver in and out of the yard quickly. Use drop and hook whenever possible. According to, a live unload takes 48 minutes longer than drop and hook, on average. With limited Hours of Service, this adds up quickly.

Don’t wait until the last minute to get the trailer loaded, either. Loading the next trailer early allows for flexible appointment times. If a driver makes it in early, having a load ready to be picked up can eliminate time spent waiting for an appointment.

Consider the Driver’s Schedule When Booking Loads

Put yourself in the driver’s shoes when scheduling loads. Are you asking a driver to drive downtown on a weekday during rush hour? He’ll be stuck in traffic.

On the other hand, drivers tend to be more available on weekends. As discussed on Talking Logistics, one shipper made a point to give carriers longer hauls later in the week. They were a favorite shipper among carriers.

Stay Open Late

Making your warehouse available at night and on weekends is becoming more and more important. This allows drivers far greater flexibility in driving. It also helps to reduce dwell & detention times when your warehouse staff are available to load and unload 24 hours a day, instead of trying to squeeze the same number of trucks into a 9 or 12 hour window.