Patriot Freight Group

5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Trucking Service in Houston

Are you interested in learning more about how to choose the right trucking service for your shipping needs? With so many options out there, it can be hard to determine which service is right for you.

Finding the right fit starts with asking the right questions. If you know enough about the trucking industry, then you can inquire about each service and see how they apply to your business model.

Below are several questions that you can ask when choosing a trucking service for your company. Be sure to ask each of them to all services that you’re considering for the job.

1. How Long Have You Been in Business?

As with any other business that you’re looking to outsource to, it’s always important to ask how long a trucking company has been in service. Finding one that’s been in business for a while ensures that you’re lining yourself up with one that you can trust.

The more years they have under their belt, the more experience and know-how that they have within the industry. No problem seems too large for them.

Whether it’s finding alternate routes or making accommodations for overnight shipping, they’ll get the job done right. They’ve also accrued more resources the longer that they’ve been in business.

Meanwhile, a trucking service that’s just starting will experience bumps and bruises along the way. You won’t want your brand to be exposed to those setbacks.

2. Do You Have Any References?

Every trucking company since the dawn of time has guaranteed safe shipping and expedited processes… but only a few can back it up. In fact, there’s only one way to find the truth about a trucking service: hearing it from their customers.

For that reason, it’s always a good idea to ask each trucking service you’re inquiring about whether or not they have references. If so, ask that they send you the contact information of a few that you can reach out to.

If they never end up sending you that contact information, then you can cross them off your list. A trucking service of integrity has nothing to hide. They know their clients will speak highly of them because they work hard to provide customer satisfaction.

Be sure to ask the references about their experiences with the trucking service. What kind of accommodations has the service made for them? Are they consistent? Is the customer happy with the price point? References and reviews will fill you in.

3. How Do You Communicate with Clients?

Communication is key when hiring a trucking service. You need to be able to communicate where the shipment is to your clients at all times. The only way you can do that is if your trucking service is keeping you in the loop.

Setbacks happen all the time during the shipment process. Your trusted trucking service will try to prevent as many as possible. But what’s important is that if a setback occurs, the service communicates that to you as soon as possible.

Hiring a trucking company that leaves you in the dark can tarnish the relationship with your clients. Right or wrong, your clientele will blame you for any miscommunication along the way.

Be sure to ask all the services you’ve listed how they optimize communication with clientele. Some are old-fashioned and like to call and email you with updates. 

Others are using the new wave of technology, such as text alerts and tracking codes, to keep you updated up to the very second. Whichever you prefer, be sure to hire a trucking service that lines up with that same style of business communication.

4. How Would You Describe Your Employees?

You might grow fond of one particular representative that you communicate with during this process, but remember, they aren’t the ones distributing your products. That will be done by truckers, warehouse workers, and inventory workers.

Because of that, you must get a feel for how each trucking company hires, trains, and educates its staff. What values do they hold in place? Do they perform background checks on their personnel? How much prior experience do they look for?

Be sure to ask the service to describe their employees. For each cliche that they use (such as “hard workers” and “experienced”), have them describe it in further detail.

5. What Are Your Prices?

This is one of the most important factors in determining which trucking service you’ll end up hiring, so be sure to ask it. Many businesses feel that it’s tacky, but you need to make sure they line up with your budget.

Take the time to describe a few of the main needs that you’ll have for their service. Ask them what the cost might run in order to accommodate that need.

For example, you might have certain situations where you need to send your products to a client several states away. If you ask each service about their price for the same scenario, you’ll get a better understanding of which service can give you the best price.

Choosing a Trucking Service for Your Needs

Now that you’ve seen several questions to ask when choosing a trucking service, it’s time to find the right fit for your company!

Be sure to read this article on carrier rates during the COVID-19 pandemic for more information on what to expect.

For more inquiries, please feel free to request a quote and we’ll be happy to assist you further!