Shippers regained the upper hand as capacity loosened and spot rates plummeted throughout the first half of 2019. Despite this resurgence of power, Land O’Lakes Inc. remains dedicated to building a positive relationship with its transportation partners.
The Minnesota-based food producer took home 11th place in FreightWaves’ inaugural Shipper of Choice Awards last month. FreightWaves teamed up with Convoy to recognize top-notch manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
The first-of-its-kind award was created to call out shippers committed to eliminating inefficiencies from the supply chain and aiming to be excellent partners for their carriers. Members of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) voted on the winners from a list of nominees. The voting was managed by Katz, Sapper & Miller to ensure a credible and independent process.
“We’re excited to see the great work of our supply chain team, our shipping facilities and our warehousing partners being recognized by our inclusion on this list,” Land O’Lakes Senior Manager of Transportation Nicholas Najjar said about the win.
Land O’Lakes rose to the top because it emphasizes collaboration between its carrier partners and the company itself. Najjar said the company aims to maintain its existing partners and involves the carriers in pricing discussions on an ongoing basis.
“No matter which way capacity swings, we try to leverage our incumbents,” Najjar said. “We want to minimize carrier turnover and avoid additional disruptions in our supply chain.”
When capacity was tight and shippers were seeing their transportation costs soar last summer, Land O’Lakes Chief Supply Chain Officer Yone Dewberry spoke to the crowd at eft’s 3PL and Supply Chain Summit about the steps Land O’Lakes was taking to weather surging prices.
Those steps included implementing visibility and tracking, running pilots with Uber Freight and Convoy and aiming to partner with private fleets, according to an article by Forbes. The company’s goal was, and continues to be, innovative problem-solving.
Najjar said that Land O’Lakes continues to value the companies that haul its freight and the drivers that show up to its docks, even as the state of the market shifts.
On top of encouraging collaboration, Najjar said Land O’Lakes takes the more traditional steps toward being a shipper of choice, like improving the driver experience at their docks and reducing turn times.
At a time when detention times are climbing once again, that alone makes Land O’Lakes a standout shipper.