For many consumer product manufacturers, the Northeast is a critically important market. It makes sense to develop close partnerships with carriers that can provide superior service to grocery chains and mass retailers in this market. Let’s look at some advantages of regional carriers, with a particular focus on Northeast regional trucking companies.
More truck capacity
Any discussion of trucking services these days starts and ends with constrained capacity. Carriers are trying to catch up with demand and orders for new tractors and trailers are up significantly. But production delays have led to backorders of close to a year, leaving shippers scrambling to secure reliable freight capacity.
When shipping from a regional distribution center, the best place to find that capacity is at regional trucking companies that pass near your DC regularly. Kane Logistics, for instance, serves many CPG companies with a regional DC centrally located in Northeast Pennsylvania, close to KANE’s multiple terminals in this area. In contrast to long-haul carriers, the quicker, shorter routes of regional carriers provide greater opportunity for your load to be included in the carrier’s existing network.
More driver capacity
Despite unprecedented freight demand, some carriers’ trucks sit idle because there’s no one to drive them. This is another huge advantage of regional trucking companies over long-haul carriers: better driver retention rates.
While long-haul drivers spend most nights away from home, their counterparts at regional carriers are out and back in a day and sleep home most nights or every night. Regional drivers also appreciate the greater schedule flexibility. According to KANE’s Vice President of Transportation, Larry Catanzaro, because of the density of trips running every day by regional carriers, dispatchers can switch out runs between drivers to, for instance, accommodate a driver’s request to end at 3 pm one day to meet a personal obligation.
“With long-haul, that’s not possible,” he says. “You may have 60 trucks, but only 10 that return for a next-day run.”
The latest figures from the ATA indicate that there is 92% driver turnover rate at large truckload carriers and a 74% turnover rate at smaller truckload carriers. At Kane Logistics, which operates a Northeast regional trucking company, Kane Freight Lines, the driver turnover rate is less than 15%.
Greater delivery flexibility
Because regional carriers are doing faster, more frequent runs, they are able to work a variety of pick-up and delivery times into route schedules. That puts less pressure on you to meet the inflexible pick-up and delivery windows of national carriers, who have more ground to cover and, therefore, limited wiggle room on time.
Let’s take freight deliveries at night as an example. Regional carriers have many trucks returning at the end of the day and have plenty of equipment to handle night runs. KANE has many full-time and part-time drivers that actually prefer to run at night.
With regional trucking services, the same drivers often run the same routes and visit the same customers. They know the roads and how to avoid delay-causing congestion. They get to know customers’ preferences and even develop relationships with the retailers’ receiving teams. Because of this, deliveries are handled more efficiently and retail customers are happier.
If a Northeast regional trucking company knows, for example, that you’re going to send the company a steady stream of freight for the same Allentown-to-Boston lane, it can market for backhauls to reduce deadhead miles. As the carrier’s route density improves, those efficiencies are passed on to you in the form of lower rates.
Road congestion can be particularly punishing in the Northeast. But a regional trucking company is better able to manage routes to avoid traffic snarls. For instance, KANE ideally wants drivers delivering to New York City drop points between 5 am and 7 am – when roads are relatively traffic-free. Most times, shippers and receivers will work with you to accommodate preferred drop-off and pick-up times since delays hurt them as much as carriers.
Regional coverage, and beyond
A Northeast regional trucking company offers bigger reach and capabilities than hyper-local carriers, and more personal service than national lines. Whether your priority is capacity, cost or service, regional carriers can fit the bill. To learn more about Kane Logistics’ Northeast regional trucking service, contact us today to start a conversation.