5 things to ask a transport and logistics company before hiring them

Knowing exactly which company to make use of for the transport and logistics needs of your business can be tricky. You may even spend a lot of time weighing up the many options. And no one blames you. If you’re going to put your trust in a company to securely transport your goods to and from where they need to be, without a scratch, you’d want to know you made the right decision.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of goods being stolen while in transit or the transport vehicles being attacked and damaged while on the road. As a business owner, you want to know how to prevent this from happening to you – and if it does, what do you do?

Here are the top 5 things you should ask a transport and logistics company before hiring them:

1. What sort of insurance do they have?

If you’re going to trust a company to transport your goods, insurance should be the first thing on your mind. As much as we want to believe that things will go smoothly, we also know that anything could happen.

There are usually multiple insurance options to choose from, depending on the parcel or load that needs to be delivered and the business’s unique requirements. To ensure a peaceful night’s sleep, rather opt for a transport and logistics company that can offer you the type of insurance that will best suit your specific needs.

2. How will you be updated on the location of your goods?

Technology has made the tracking of your parcel or load’s location so much easier. Due to stringent security measures employed by good transport and logistic companies, you might not be able to get the exact, live location of your parcel. Your logistics company should, however, give you an update at certain points throughout the journey.

Whether it’s via email, SMS or phone call, a good transport and logistics company will let you know, without you having to nag them, when your parcel or load has passed a certain location and at least provide you with an estimate of its arrival.

Receiving regular updates at key points of the journey of your goods will give you peace of mind and help make communication with your own potential customer a lot easier.

3. Can you contact them after hours in case of an emergency?

Okay, maybe not an emergency. But let’s say the location of the delivery suddenly changed, or you need an urgent update on the whereabouts of your parcel, can you contact the transport and logistics company after hours?

Knowing that you’re able to contact your service provider whenever you need to says a lot about the personal relationship and customer centricity of the company. This is another advantage of using a smaller business instead of your large, well-known brands. To read more about this, go check out this article: Why hiring a more personal logistics company is better for business.

4. How often do they travel the route you require?

Let’s say your parcel or load needs to go to a location that not everyone is familiar with traveling, like Zimbabwe. Does this logistics company travel this route often, or not at all?

If the driver of the cargo is familiar with the route your parcel or load needs to take to arrive at their destination, your goods will be much safer—as the driver will have an idea of all the twists and turns that may come about. This lessens the possibility of surprise obstacles or unknowns that could hinder the delivery process, ensuring a smooth, timely and efficient journey.

5. What additional services are offered?

Except for just transporting your goods from A to B, what other services can the company provide? There are many transport companies out there, but not all of them offer a full-stack service that completely takes care of the entire end-to-end logistics process.

If your parcel needs to be delivered somewhere that crosses the country’s borders, do they help with customs and clearing to get your goods into the country, or is that completely up to you to handle? Can they provide additional advice or recommendations on the transportation of your goods, to ensure a smoother transit?

By asking these questions to the transport and logistics company you want to hire, you’ll be better equipped to make the best decisions for your business and ultimately ensure the successful transport and delivery of your goods.

If you have any other questions you think would be worth asking a transport and logistics company you may want to hire, feel free to comment them below!

Why hiring a more personal logistics company is better for business

Would making use of a smaller, more personal transport and logistics company be better for the success and future of your business?

As people, we tend to gravitate towards things that make us feel satisfied or give us a sense of importance or self-worth. The careers we pursue, the homes we live in, the cars we drive, the restaurants we enjoy a meal at, and even the companies we take our cell-phone or internet contracts out with—we tend to go for products or services that make us feel the most satisfied and the least frustrated. Most of the time, at least.

Making the right choices

When it comes to selecting products and services, most people make their choices based on a feeling they get regarding the level of service they expect to receive. These feelings are sometimes indirectly made clear through previous experiences with the same or similar types of companies, or directly through other people’s reviews or comments about a specific product or service provider. Either way, the choices we make have an impact on the quality of our lives and so the pressure’s on to make the right ones.

The choices you make in your personal life can sometimes be compromised based on cost, comfort or convenience because the only person that will be affected, most of the time, is you. However, in your business, you need to ensure that you make the best choices to ensure the success of your business and the people involved. Your choice is not only impacting your life, but on the entity that is your business and all the employees involved. Let’s take a look at two common scenarios when it comes to making a choice regarding your transport and logistics company, and how they could impact on your business:

Choosing the big, reputable brand:

You have decided to make use of a large, well-known transport and logistics company to handle an urgent delivery to one of your newest clients. You want to ensure that this delivery goes smoothly, to make a good impression on the client. Even though this logistics company had some rather disturbing reviews on Hello Peter, you still decided to give them a try. Besides, everyone’s a critic, right?

You get the company’s number online, give them a call, and get transferred through to a national call-centre. After choosing the applicable options to go through to the correct department, you’re informed that you’re number 79 in the queue. You continue to listen to a distorted version of that one popular song from 2014 being played on repeat, while an automated voice keeps you updated on your position in the queue.

After fearing that you’ve chosen the incorrect option and have now wasted what felt like an eternity waiting in the incorrect queue, you encounter a call-centre agent reciting their greeting tone for the 50th time that day. On completion of your query, you’re given a reference number and assured that someone will give you a call to confirm collection and delivery details.

Hours pass and no-one has been in contact with you. You can’t remember the agent’s name that logged your query. Your client is frustrated, because this delivery needs to be made urgently. Your reference number is sitting on your desk, daring you to dial that call-centre number again. Come on, number 79 with some nine-digit reference number, what’s another hour or so of the day worth anyway?

The above scenario is not only frustrating because of the time it takes to get the delivery done, but also because you don’t feel like your query is being made a priority. This delivery is one of the biggest factors in establishing a relationship with your client and ensuring future interactions, but to this service-provider you are merely another number.

Choosing the more personal logistics company:

You have an urgent delivery that needs to be made to ensure a large sale. You immediately know who you’re going to call – no, not Ghostbusters. You pick up the phone, start dialling the almost memorised number, and get greeted by a familiar voice. You’re on a first-name basis with your trusted logistics provider who you’ve been working with since that large, supposedly reputable company let you down. You engage in meaningful small talk before getting to business. Your order is placed, collection and delivery is scheduled, and you feel an immediate weight being lifted off your shoulders. You wished you would have opted for the more personal logistics company in the first place!

One of the biggest reasons people prefer smaller, more personal transport and logistics companies, rather than going for the larger, more well-known and established brands, is because of the valued and engaged interactions. You have personal relationships with the people assisting in the success of your business, and you can trust in your products arriving where they should be in a safe and timeously manner.

You have a service-provider that you can count on, ensuring that you can focus on other aspects of your business’ success. They’re in your corner, from start to finish.