Navigating the Summer Rush

This time of year, I’m always approached by a ton of beverage shippers looking for capacity. Let’s face it, the summer rush happens every year. Nearly every water, soda, sport drink and many snack companies are struggling to find the trucks to bring their goods to market.


  1. Remember, you can’t make a carrier do something they don’t want to, no matter how much you are willing to pay.

  2. Work with your carrier by spreading out your shipments. Instead of sending out 50 loads in one week and none the next, work with your operations team to even it out to 25 loads per week. Your carrier partner will appreciate it and be much more likely to cover.

  3. Be carrier friendly by keeping your facility open 24 hours per day (or as close to that as possible). If you are only open during the 9-5 work day, you’re going to both make it difficult for your carrier AND bottleneck your facility.

  4. Don’t tie up equipment. When a trailer comes in, unload it and keep it moving. Your carrier will love you.

  5. Provide a spot for a driver to park and rest if need be. Hours of service rules really make tough on today’s drivers and there is simply not enough parking out on the road for these folks.These simple things will lead to a happy driver. Trust me, happy drivers will go a long way in making your life better.

  6. Utilize equipment. Idleair is a great way to let a driver park without having to burn diesel.

Why do all this? It’s simple. When you take care of your carrier, your carrier will take care of you. It’s all about relationships in this business. If you make your facility friendly for drivers, your carrier will notice.

And the next time you’re in a pinch, they’ll be much more likely to make sure their trailers are where you need them.

To all my carrier readers out there, remember to use proactive communication. Let your shipper know when you’re late and when you’re early. Make sure you don’t mess up the program, but if you do, make sure to let them know it’s happening.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to communication. This is a relationship business. In order to have a great relationship, both parties need to look out for one another and maintain constant communication. It won’t be perfect, but it will be worth it.