7 Tips to Picking the Best Cleveland Trucking Service for Your Business
Just as no two business operations are exactly the same, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the best Cleveland trucking service that’s going to meet everyone’s needs and price point. That said, there are some common considerations that just about every company should weigh before deciding which trucking & delivery service to hire for contract transport services.
Whether your business is domestic or global, it’s fairly certain strategic freight transport plays at least some role in your success. Service industries rely on the tools and products they need to get the job done. Manufacturers need to move products fast to meet ever-increasing customer demand.
The transportation industry is what makes it all possible. Trucking moves nearly three-fourths of all tonnage carried by all domestic freight transport.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) reports the for-hire truck tonnage index has risen nearly 3 percent just over the last 3 months, and has steadily grown each month since last year. (The index is a measure of gross tonnage of freight transported by U.S. motor carriers in any given month.) The ATA estimate that as overinflated stocks begin to dissipate, freight volumes will likely even out a bit – possibly in summer.
In the meantime, that means any Cleveland trucking service you contact is likely to be in high-demand, so you may see higher-than-average prices – something to take into account as you’re weighing your transportation needs – whether that’s LTL trucking, long-haul interstate transport, or last-mile delivery.
If you choose a 3PL trucking company, they may be able to help you identify savings with more streamlined logistics that could help offset some of these costs.
Still, given that trucking services may still be a significant expense for your firm, here are 7 tips to help you make an informed choice:
- Safety Record. Safety should be your top priority when selecting a trucking company. Increasing demands for same-day and next-day deliveries unfortunately have some operators cutting costs by purchasing run-down equipment, failing to maintain equipment, or pressing drivers to work longer than they legally should. Such practices are incredibly dangerous – a risk not only to your bottom line, but the drivers and others with whom they share the road. Look for a trucking provider with a strong safety record and a commitment to maintaining safe driving practices.
- Reputation. Check the truck company’s experience as well as their reputation online by reading customer reviews, asking for references, or checking their ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Also, ask about driver turnover. Trucking is hard work – between the long hours, stress of traffic, and time away from family (for long-haul truckers). So it’s not surprising that turnover rates of truck drivers is generally higher than in most professions. However, a Cleveland trucking company that cares about its workers will foster a strong culture of caring and fair compensation. This translates to drivers who are more experienced and safer – and service that’s ultimately better.
- Equipment Quality and Maintenance. The condition and age of the company’s equipment can significantly affect the quality of service they provide. Run-down fleets compromise safety, as well as your goods and deadlines. Look for a trucking business that prioritizes well-maintained and up-to-date equipment.
- Type of Freight and Freight Routes. Some operations are searching for basic trucking services, while others need trucks to transport their goods to shipping yards or airports -which means they need a freight transport company. Some need local, last-mile deliveries, while others need cross-country transport. This is going to be a factor in which Northeast Ohio trucking company you settle on. Not every firm offers the exact same services or routes.
- Pricing. Many factors go into trucking service pricing, and of course you want to lock in the best rate possible. As mentioned before, having a package deal with third-party logistics services and/or warehousing may help you save time and money that can offset some of your transportation budget investment. Identify a Cleveland trucking service that offers competitive pricing for the services you need without compromising on quality. Be wary of companies that offer extremely low rates – particularly with trucking services currently in such high demand. It’s an almost sure sign they may be cutting corners or using unsafe practices.
- Customer Service. Good customer service is essential when it comes to trucking. How reliable and responsive is the company? What sort of transparency do they have to allow for real time monitoring of deliveries? Look for a company that has a reputation for being responsive and easy to work with. Check their online reviews, testimonials, and referrals.
- Insurance. Ensure that the trucking company has adequate insurance coverage – and review the terms of what they cover (and what they do not) carefully before agreeing to a contract.
If you have additional questions or concerns, we’re ready to discuss them. We’re committed to giving our clients straight answers and fair deals on all trucking services. Contact us today or request a quote!
For more information on Ohio Trucking Services in Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio, you can reach On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or by sending us an email.
ATA American Trucking Trends 2022, American Trucking Associations
More Blog Entries:
Cleveland 3PL Trucking & Transportation Services Can Reduce Your Liability Risks, Feb. 28, 2023, Northeast Ohio Trucking Service Blog