Why is it so hard to get REAL LTL Carrier Performance Stats?

Posted by Hank Newman on Sep 24, 2018 8:48:00 AM

"The carrier missed the pickup yet they still count it delivered on time?"

Can you rely on carrier stats? What are your real and most meaningful LTL carrier performance stats?

Most LTL carriers tout high-90 percentile "on-time" performance statistics, but are they real? Who is actually capturing and reporting on this data - you or the carrier? Let's say you schedule an LTL pick-up today, but the carrier doesn't arrive until tomorrow to pick it up. Then they deliver it within the transit days they've listed. According to the LTL carrier the shipment is on-time, but to you it's not because it did not ship on the day it should have. While Recon's TMS captures this as a "Missed Pick-Up" and notes the exception, the fault is often lost in performance reporting.

So what are your REAL LTL carrier performance metrics? On-time delivery is certainly near the top of shippers’ minds, but how does it rank among other performance metrics like:

  • Damagestruck driver
  • Shortages
  • Missed pick-ups
  • Late deliveries

What LTL carrier is really performing the best for your business?

Recon's TMS captures specific LTL carrier performance data including all of these exceptions which allows clients to make intelligent decisions based on real metrics that are impacting THEIR business.

Is your sales department screaming that we have to find better carriers? Or your customer demanding, “never use that carrier again!”

Are you using data to respond intelligently to the question? Responding emotionally or without data behind it, you may be making a costly decision. Sure, the carrier could have failed terribly, but is that a regular occurrence or only 1 time in 40 deliveries? Maybe it’s going to double the cost to deliver to that customer… is that ok?

We are all keenly aware of the capacity shortage in the marketplace right now. It only increases the need for actionable data. Consider Recon's LTL performance chart as it relates to Carrier Capacity in the market (as measured by DAT's Van Load to Truck Ratio). Have you seen deterioration in LTL performance? The data clearly demonstrates capacity’s impact on performance.  
Carrier Stats1

Let's look at Carrier Performance as it relates to distance traveled.

LTL carrier performance can vary substantially by length of haul. Customer service reps or purchasing folks need data analysis to understand that relationship and can plan around it. Consider this sobering graphic indicating historical LTL performance by distance vs. what the industry is experiencing since capacity shortages started getting really serious in mid-2017.  

Carrier Stats2

What would you do if your customer (or sourcing point) was over 1,000 miles away and you HAD to have it arrive on time?

Would you bet your job on 87% performance with an LTL carrier who was lagging the market?

Comparing carriers can be difficult. It’s not uncommon for Carrier A to outperform Carrier B in one market, and the roles reverse in another. Of course, to make a meaningful case, you have to have meaningful (plenty of) data. So maybe we look at Carrier A vs. the Market like in the demonstration below.

Carrier Stats3

There isn't much room for debate in 2018 - data analysis is critical to the success of any business. You need to have the right systems and technology in place to capture meaningful freight statistics, ones that have a profound impact to YOU specifically.

Are you utilizing all the resources available to you? Struggling with Carrier management? We are here to help!
Request a Carrier Performance Review

Tags: LTL, Freight Management, Ship Smarter, Freight Data, Logistics, LTL Service, LTL Carrier, transportation management, Carrier performance

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