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Building a stronger community
For some time, the current transportation environment has created a tightening of truck capacity and rising rates. Industry experts are advising shippers to become a "shipper of choice" or develop a more strategic approach to carrier procurement and relationships if they want to continue to attract reliable carriers to handle their business. To help shippers and carriers improve their interactions and create trusted relationships, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council (NASSTRAC) have introduced a new initiative, the NASSTRAC Strategic Shipper Program.
This volunteer program involves shippers agreeing to and signing a code of conduct that they will follow in managing their carrier and driver relationships. Once those companies have signed the code of conduct and become a NASSTRAC Strategic Shipper, carriers will know that these shippers have chosen to follow the code of conduct befitting a quality transportation operation with integrity and transparency.
With CSCMP's recent merger with NASSTRAC, it has become a priority for both organizations to provide valuable benefits to its members and support one another in meaningful ways. CSCMP and NASSTRAC leadership are excited to advance this focus.
We believe this new program will create value for our members. NASSTRAC will lead the way in formalizing the Strategic Shipper Program, making it easier for shippers and carriers to identify companies they want to work with. The goals of the program include:
- To focus on continuous improvement of shipper/carrier relationships, and
- To have shippers self-regulate their dwell time at their facilities to avoid government intervention/overreach.
The Strategic Shipper Program evolved out of a webinar series called the "Perfect Storm," hosted over the past year by NASSTRAC, CSCMP, and transportation management services provider TranzAct Technologies. The series explored not only the issues that caused the current conditions but also what steps shippers could take to mitigate the effects.
The original webinar hosted a modest 200 attendees, but as the series began to gain awareness, each webinar increased in audience size. By the third webinar, more than 1,100 people were registered. The feedback from the webinar audience and from our panel of experts over the course of these broadcasts highlighted the importance of shippers taking a strategic approach to transportation and led to the creation of the NASSTRAC Strategic Shipper Program.
Collaboration ... it's been around forever. We research it, we say it's needed, and we complain when it is not evident. But it's hard! We are not wired to immediately share fundamental information that can help each supply chain participant do their job better and more efficiently. The NASSTRAC Strategic Shipper Program is focusing on helping participants overcome that difficulty and make the collaboration between shippers and carriers stronger.
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We Want to Hear From You! We invite you to share your thoughts and opinions about this article by sending an e-mail to ?Subject=Letter to the Editor: Quarter 2019: Building a stronger community"> . We will publish selected readers' comments in future issues of CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. Correspondence may be edited for clarity or for length.