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Check Call: The circle of trust

Check Call the newsletter brought to you by Logistically

I know just what you’re thinking, we didn’t get enough claims content on Tuesday. Good thing I have just the fix. In all seriousness though, there will never be a shortage of claims. Getting ahead of them so they’re easier to resolve and work through is the best-case scenario. No one wants to be the guy holding up a claim resolution for three months. (I’m looking at you people who wait a month to respond to an email.) 

Training obviously is step No. 1. Train everyone on the information to collect the second someone says there’s damage or a problem. That training starts before getting an email saying chicken that should have stayed fresh got frozen and now has a pitchfork sticking out of it. Have those annoying but necessary conversations with carriers and drivers that say if you show up to take a load and something isn’t right, walk away. Building relationships with carriers so they know they are able to be honest and upfront with your company can save you all the trouble on the back end. Granted, that is sometimes easier said than done. 

If a driver is sitting there watching freight get loaded in an unsafe/insecure way, he or she needs to feel comfortable enough with a carrier sales rep/broker to call and say, “This isn’t loaded right, I’m not hauling this freight till it’s loaded correctly.” Creating an environment that breeds honesty and trust gets ahead of so many issues. By taking the initiative to call and say, “I need to be reloaded,” and working with the shipper to properly secure its freight has just saved the shipper money, the carrier money and your money — money that you don’t have to pay the claims team to deal with it. 

3PLs and freight brokers have to advocate for their shippers and carrier partners. Be the ally who actually helps, not the one who immediately blames the driver (even though sometimes it can be the driver’s fault).

That’s an idea. Remember that one time when the White House was like “we’re gonna help the supply chain issue with a task force”? Yeah, me too. So we all thought it would never see the light of day, but it turns out we all might have been a little wrong. That task force is alive and well and has an official acronym, FLOW (Freight Logistics Optimization Works), so you know it’s serious business. Personally, I’m all-in on a solution that makes it so I never have to see another “due to supply chain shortages” ever. For now, I remain doubtful that anything of note will come from this. 

Data sharing has begun. Major players across all avenues of the supply chain have started the data exchange. Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, Procter & Gamble, J.B. Hunt and the list goes on have all begun participating in the data sharing component. The end goal is to have end-to-end visibility for every link within the supply chain. Whether we get past this phase and into some real-life problem-solving and actionable items has yet to be discovered, but like all government task forces, it’s off to a strong start with a catchy acronym. And if you want in on the data sharing, I’m sure they’d love to hear from you, ya know once that website is built. 

TRAC Thursday. This week’s TRAC Thursday lane is from Baltimore to Allentown, Pennsylvania. This shorthaul lane is just under $6 per mile. This is just over two and a half times the National Truckload Index of $2.70 per mile. Capacity in Allentown is loosening, which is ideal for those looking to get to a bigger market. Outbound tender rejections are rising out of Baltimore, indicating there could be the beginning of a blip of tight capacity as the OTRI is up four index points in the first week of August. Ultimately, an all-in rate of $928 should get this load covered. Don’t forget to add margin on top!

Movin’ on up. In a surprise to probably no one, Michael Lohscheller will take over as president of Nikola after Mark Russell retires in January. Lohscheller was previously the president of Nikola Motors. Seeing as how Lohscheller has already been a part of the extremely profitable Nikola family, I think the company is only going to continue to have success as 48 trucks left the production floor in Q2. 

Quotable takeaway from Alan Adler’s article: “In his six months since joining our company, Michael has continued to bring an increased sense of urgency, high level of accountability, improved lines of communication and accelerated decision-making to Nikola Motors.” — Chairman Steve Girsky

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Mary O'Connell

Former pricing analyst, supply chain planner, and broker/dispatcher turned creator of the newsletter and podcast Check Call. Which gives insights into the world around 3PLs and Freight brokers. She will talk your ear off about anything and everything if you let her. Expertise in operations, LTL pricing and procurement, flatbed operations, dry van, tracking and tracing, reality tv shows and how to turn a stranger into your new best friend.