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Size doesn’t matter when it comes to being a FourKites Premier Carrier

Quarterly listing helps shippers understand which companies are the best at providing freight tracking visibility

Scaling up scarce assets to drive LTL acquisitions, Pitt Ohio executive says (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)I

A great deal is written about becoming a Shipper of Choice, but what about carriers? For the sixth consecutive quarter, FourKites has released its Global Premier Carrier List that recognizes those carriers – across all modes – that truly excel in providing best-in-class service to brokers and shippers.

The second quarter list features nearly 275 brokers, carriers and third-party logistics (3PLs) companies that have achieved the “highest standards of visibility-related operational excellence across all modes of transport,” FourKites said.

To be included on the list, carriers must be assigned to at least 300 loads across all FourKites customers and achieve a minimum of “75% tracking consistency.” According to the company, consistency varies by mode, but some of the data points that are inputted into the calculation are arrival and departure at each stop, time, distance or number of location updates, and delivered status.

The list covers carriers in North America, Europe and Latin America.

The first installment of the list included primarily asset-based carriers, but Kevin Taylor, vice president of carrier operations at FourKites, said that 33% of the Premier Carriers on the second quarter list service multiple modes of transportation and 20% are based outside of the U.S.

“I personally find it interesting that the size of the provider has never really factored into whether or not they make the list; we have seen providers of all sizes make the Premier Carrier list,” he told FreightWaves.

Carriers on the list are among the most sought-after carriers by the 380-plus Fortune 1000 shippers in the FourKites ecosystem. According to the company, Premier Carriers that have been on the list for consecutive quarters have seen a 15% annual growth in load volume. While being in the list is not the only reason for that growth, Taylor noted that Premier Carriers typically have built-in visibility metrics that allow them to score higher in this area.

“We have also seen several customers that have made being a Premier Carrier a requirement for new carriers entering their network,” he said.

A Premier Carrier tends to have higher overall volumes than a non-Premier Carrier, Taylor added, noting that when FourKites removes all carriers with fewer than 300 loads in the quarter (the minimum for being on the list), a Premier Carrier has about 10% higher overall volumes.

The full list of Premier Carriers is only available to FourKites customers, but the company has released a public list of carriers that have agreed to be featured. That list can be found here.

New carriers that have qualified for the list for the first time include Ocean Network Express, Hub Group, Estes Express Lines, Costa Teixeira Transportes LTDA, Roos Spedition GmbH and PITT OHIO.

“PITT OHIO is a less-than-truckload industry leader in the area of digital communication,” Geoff Muessig, chief marketing officer at PITT OHIO, said. “Digital communication enables PITT OHIO to reduce costs and improve service. Most importantly, it enables our shippers to provide more value to their customers. For that reason, PITT OHIO is pleased to qualify for FourKites’ Premier Carrier List for the first time. Our inclusion sends a clear signal to customers that we are committed to a transparent, collaborative and digitally driven business model.”

Inclusion on the list gives carriers free access to consistency and sustainability dashboards via FourKites Insights Suite, which provides information on total greenhouse gas emissions, emissions by mode and emissions over time.

“Qualifying for the FourKites Premier Carrier List is a ‘must’ for our business,” said Lucas Brown, CEO at Reliable Transportation Solutions. “The supply chain challenges of the past several months have made it clear that tracking and sharing real-time logistics data is no longer a ‘nice-to-have.’ It’s the foundation for strategic collaboration between carriers and shippers, and increasingly our prospects and customers are telling us it’s a requirement.”

FourKites provides real-time data to help shipping customers and the broader supply chain community gain insights to streamline operations, accelerate shipping dock turn times, reduce inventory levels and better manage labor costs.

“Our Premier Carrier List can be used to find providers across the globe and across any mode capable of meeting their visibility demands,” Taylor said. “And with recent enhancements we’ve made to the list – more detail on modes, equipment types, regions serviced and other carrier capabilities – we’ve made it easier than ever for shippers and carriers to form and cement deeper partnerships.”

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected]