Would you sink your entire retirement fund into just three or four stocks? Of course not. Smart investors spread their money across many different companies, in different industries, to soften their risk as stocks move up and down. That’s the same approach you should take when you choose which bulk tank trucking companies should get your business.
Just like a high-performing stock, a carrier that’s done good work for you might look like a sure bet. It has the equipment you need, its rates are good and, so far, you’ve been happy with the service. It’s easy to get in the habit of giving all your freight to just a few reliable transportation partners. But that’s a mistake.
The bulk tank trucking company you rely on today could be gone tomorrow. The freight industry has been consolidating for years. As big companies absorb smaller players, they’re devoting a lot of that new capacity to major shippers that need lots of trucks. When the carrier with 25 trucks that’s been serving you for years suddenly disappears, what’s your backup plan?
Shipping patterns change. Maybe you acquire a new customer in a region you haven’t shipped to before. Maybe one of your suppliers falls behind in production and you need to source a crucial commodity from somewhere else. Can any of your current bulk carriers give you good rates on those suddenly-important new lanes?
Emergencies happen. Say you don’t ship a lot of hazardous materials, and the one hazmat carrier on your list has always handled those loads really well. Then you get an unexpected order from Wyoming for 5,000 gallons of a hazmat liquid. Your tried-and-true hazmat carrier doesn’t have a truck available to go in that direction. How fast can you find a backup bulk tank trucking company with the necessary certifications and insurance to handle that freight? You need a solution for emergency freight solutions.
Not every carrier can take every commodity. Say you start producing a product that’s not rated as hazardous, but that contains just a hint of a poisonous chemical, at a plant in the Midwestern grain belt. Many of the bulk tank trucking companies in that region operate only food-grade trailers, and they won’t touch your load. That leaves you with limited capacity to handle your shipments from that region. You’d better have a deep field of qualified carriers to call upon.
Finding and vetting enough carriers to create a diverse transportation portfolio takes a lot of work. It takes even more work to maintain solid relationships with those carriers. You need to give them loads they really want, and do it often enough that when you get in a jam, they’ll go out of their way to help you.
An experienced broker like Bulk Connection already has those relationships in place. When you work with us, you gain access to a wide range of tanker truck carriers, enough to find you the right equipment, with the right certifications and insurance, at the right price, for just about any situation.