What to Ask When Hiring a Cleveland Trucking Company
Contracting with a Cleveland trucking company is necessary for many business owners looking for multi-level services, reduced shipping costs and loss mitigation. The price tag is usually the first and foremost consideration, but bear mind the cost will only tell you so much. To ensure you’re maximizing value, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting for that price. Skimping on quality service is a mistake most businesses can’t afford to make.
Begin with some internal assessments that will provide a clear picture of your current trucking service needs, and then analyze those that may arise in the future. Finding a trucking company prepared to accommodate growth and change in the months and years ahead will spare you the time and money of a future assessment.
Once your business needs and priorities are outlined, you can begin searching for area trucking companies that fit the basic criteria. There are hundreds of Cleveland trucking companies listed on YellowPages.com, so you’ll have your pick. However, there are ways to narrow your choices and find the one that will be the best fit.
Questions for Cleveland Trucking Company Contenders
Some pertinent questions you may want to ask to get started:
- What type of services does the trucking company offer? (Hot shot service? Same day & next day service? Local pickup and delivery? Liftgate deliveries?)
- What truckload size capacity does the firm have? (Full truckload? Less-than-truckload/LTL? Less-than-container-load/LCL?)
- What type of fleet/equipment does the company have? (Box trucks? Trailers? Flatbeds? Forklifts?)
- Does the company have the necessary certification for the job? (Hazmat-certified? Customs bonded? TSA certified?)
- Does the firm have warehousing capacity, or will you need to purchase that separately?
- Does the company have qualified freight handlers? (Domestic? Import/Export?)
- What type of a reputation does the Cleveland trucking company have? (Customer reviews? Safety record? Word-of-mouth recommendations?)
Much of this information is likely discoverable on the company’s website or with a quick phone call.
Once you have selected your top contenders, inquire about staffing and equipment. You need trust that the trucking firm you hire is going to be adequately staffed and have the right tools and equipment to ensure your product is not only shipped safely but properly stored and timely delivered. For example, if your loading is palletized (generally quicker and more secure compared to loose loading), your trucking company will need access to a forklift or a similar piece of equipment. Without this, they won’t be able to deal with palletized loads. However, if your goods require loose loading, it’s going to take longer unless your trucking company has the manpower to manage it safely and efficiently.
Of course, you will want to know more about pricing too. Ask specifics about what the cost includes, whether it fluctuates, whether certain contingencies are included and what type of insurance plans the company maintains.
Finally, ask, “How long has your Cleveland trucking company been in business?” Although trucking is vital to our economy, it’s also notoriously competitive and marked by abrupt fits and starts. Newer truck companies can be very aggressive with their pricing when they’re trying to lure in new business, but those savings often come at a steep price when you realize the firm doesn’t actually have the infrastructure, business acumen or experience to ensure your products will be delivered on time and intact – every time. Trucking companies that have staying power have managed to remain ahead of market downturns, regulatory curve balls, technological advances and competitive crunches. On Time Delivery & Warehouse, for example, has been in business nearly 40 years. Working with established industry professionals gives you some assurance that the business you hire will have the equipment, people and experience to get the job done right.
If you have questions about our Cleveland trucking company services, contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
Growth in long haul freight will drive tighter trucking market in 2020, Feb. 22, 2020, By Zach Strickland, FreightWaves.com
More Blog Entries:
Cleveland Trucking Companies “Cautiously Optimistic” About 2020, Jan. 27, 2020, On Time Delivery & Warehouse Cleveland Trucking Company Blog