Shippers are a crucial part of the fresh produce supply chain. They package and ship off fruits and vegetables to consumers who are eager to purchase them.
Their role in the fresh produce supply chain cannot be undermined. Fruits and vegetables need to be sold to customers when they are fresh and high quality.
This is heavily dependent on the handling of the produce when packaging and how long it takes for produce to reach their target buyers. Shippers are skilled at each step of the process. They know how to prepare and prime produce for shipment. For example, they recognize the optimum temperatures for storing produce before and during shipping. They also know how best to package it.
For more information about produce shipping, visit Silo. It is a fresh produce ERP software with several features to help fresh produce businesses thrive in the industry.
Silo also has a freight network that allows for better rates and faster quotes. The loads and weights of your fresh produce are also optimized for truck packing. Accurate calculations of these values are helpful to your firm and shippers.
Considering the fragility of the role played by shippers in your produce business, you’ll want to find good shippers. Below are some of the best ways to find them:
5 Proven Methods of Finding Shippers for Your Produce Business
1. Implement a rewards program
Finding shippers can be a tough job to do, especially if you’re a rookie or simply don’t have the time. Why not outsource the hard work of finding shippers to your clients?
You can implement a rewards program for clients who can help you find a reliable shipper. With the recommendations from these clients, you can build a rich shippers’ list.
Common rewards schemes are free shipping and giving discounts on the client’s next order. Some clients may also make these recommendations based on their goodwill.
2. Visit your local freight dock
This is another easy way to find shippers for your business. Approach local freight docks and shipping businesses. You can check online to get a head start.
Narrow them down to ones that offer shipping services for the fresh produce your business supplies. This will save you a lot of trouble. Streamlining these companies to the ones that suit your company will make for a better working experience.
Visit the places at the top of your list and speak to them. Chances are that even if they cannot work with you, they could suggest others who can. Another tip would be not to focus only on big shipping companies. Look for small ones that may have a broader availability.
If you stay in or near an industrialized area, larger shipping companies are likely more disposed to packaging and transporting products rather than produce. Smaller ones may have safer and surer options.
3. Search digitally
Use the internet to your advantage. Optimize your search engines by indicating your location and highlighting your firm as a fresh produce business. The nearest shippers around you will be brought up in the results.
Online platforms like LinkedIn where people showcase their business details are also helpful. The advantage to this is that you can also read about the public’s perception of them. Reviews can be extremely valuable and influence how much confidence you have in a company to handle your goods.
You can link up with produce businesses that they have worked with before. This tells a lot about how they operate and their connections established with other members in related fields. All you have to do is create a business profile to get started.
For a better chance at success, ensure that your profile indicates what your business does, where you are located, and the fact that you are currently in search of shippers
4. Inquire from networks
If you do not already have an association or network of fresh produce businesses, now is the time to seek them out and join them.
The benefits of these networks are enormous. You get to ask questions, make inquiries, seek advice, and lay complaints. Chances are that others possess the same questions and have experienced similar problems. They could have answers that may save you scads of time moving forward.
Being connected makes it seem as though you are all on the same team. Ask about shippers and get information from produce businesses within and outside your vicinity. Explore any recommendations, referrals, and pieces of advice that are given to you.
Directories can be bought online and from shops near you as well. They are lists of shippers, addresses, and contacts that can be quite helpful in helping you find shippers for your produce business. You can easily reach out to shippers with some calls and narrow down on potential partnerships.
Directories can be, however, vague and far-reaching. Finding shippers that are experts at packaging and shipping your specific fresh produce can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
To avoid this, only purchase directories that are specific to the fresh produce that you offer and operate within your operational areas.