Last year, we moved an entire rock-crushing plant that was situated on a mountainside in California to its new home in Texas. If it sounds complicated, it’s because it is. As you can imagine, much of the equipment was oversized and needed to be shipped breakbulk. To manage everything, we had an employee onsite for three weeks to oversee the job and ensure that trucks were available when and where they were needed. This type of job requires a lot of planning, managing and problem-solving– a set of skills referred to as \”project logistics.\”

Communication is crucial when it comes to project logistics. There are a couple of things you and your broker can do to keep a complicated project from turning into a nightmare:

  • Work with your broker to make sure everyone is 100% clear on what’s included in the price, down to how quickly they expect trucks to turn at the job site.
  • Both parties should carefully review the scope of the project and use their expertise to anticipate and address potential problems.
  • Your broker should provide you with additional prices for any à la carte services that might be needed and add-ons to the original bid if the scope of the project changes.
  • Put all terms in writing upfront.

Most providers don’t slow down enough to complete this step properly. If expectations aren’t clearly communicated and discussed, things are likely to go wrong and end in disappointment.

When it comes to complicated projects, there are a couple of good reasons to hire a broker rather than a motor carrier. A carrier might offer to run their whole fleet \”back and forth\” until the project is done. This sounds good, but the luster wears off when the customer gets a bill for roundtrip rates instead of one-way. Shippers are also vulnerable to mechanical issues, breakdowns and other unexpected events that might crop up when using a carrier. In contrast, brokers have access to a large network of providers. If one link in the chain breaks, brokers can bring in other providers to compensate.

Some providers will even bid the lowest scope possible– their best-case scenario– to win your bid. But if the price is overly optimistic, it sets everyone up for failure.

At Able Transport Solutions, we may not bid the lowest price, but we will give you the most accurate, trustworthy and headache-free price.

Until next time,

Liz Wayne