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Is One Freight Carrier Enough?



Australia is a big country and this can make things challenging for any businesses that sends goods back and forth. You need to have the right freight provider on your side, but the fact is that not every carrier is suitable for every job.


At Effective Freight Services, we usually start our relationship with our clients by reviewing the systems, processes and providers they use. Often, we can identify ways to save time and money by expanding the number of providers.


Freight in Australia: Is one carrier enough?


In a word, no. It makes more sense to have a range of freight providers in your contact list.


The first reason for this is that different providers can cater better to different needs. Some have ‘last mile’ deliveries nailed… others specialise in cross-country shipping and have a more cost-effective way of providing this service. The one you use day to day might not be equipped when you have an above-average size delivery, or if you need to send items somewhere remote at short notice.


The other reason to work with more than one carrier is that building relationships with multiple freight companies enhances reliability and reduces the risk of disruptions. In the unpredictable world of logistics, unexpected challenges like weather conditions, strikes or equipment failures can disrupt supply chains. By spreading your deliveries across different providers or at least having backups to call on, you can mitigate the impact of these disruptions on your small business. It helps if you have an existing account because you’ll have a point of contact to reach out to.


Having multiple freight companies on call will also be helpful as your business grows. You may start to find that a single carrier can’t meet all your needs as you grow.


Then there’s customer satisfaction; do you have buyers who are willing to pay extra for same or next-day delivery? In this case, you’ll need a provider that can make this happen. This can pay off by improving your customer satisfaction rates.


Lastly, when you work with multiple providers, you can compare quotes and negotiate on price (or do so with the help of a knowledgeable freight consultant).


Don’t feel like you have to be disloyal; having different providers on call doesn’t mean you can’t have a contract with one provider and rely on them for the bulk of your freight and logistics. This is still a good way to get good value and have some certainty around prices.


The only reason you may decide to ‘pick and stick’ with a single provider is if your business has very limited freight needs, with the same goods going back and forth between the same locations at the same time each week. In this case, there’s less need to have an alternative, although it doesn’t hurt to have backup for emergencies.


So, which freight providers are best?


Having a few carriers in your contact book makes sense, but defining who is the ‘best’ is a much harder question to answer as it depends on your business, your budget and your timeframes.


This is why you need a freight consultant who can help you by recommending the couriers and freight carriers that meet your specific needs. At EFS, we have a range of contacts within the industry and we also have our ear to the ground for feedback, so we know which providers are getting the best reviews.


We generally recommend our clients have a key freight provider and a few backup companies that can help manage overflow and special deliveries. If you’d like to know which providers are best for you, get in touch today!

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