The current freight market is facing capacity shortages, and shippers are experiencing the repercussions; denied freight loads, new poundage surcharges and increased freight rates. But achieving Shipper of Choice status, a preferred customer to carriers, lessens the impact and keeps plastic resin freight moving.
Shipper of Choice is not a self-proclaimed title but one that is earned strategically by having trusted and mutually-beneficial partnerships. M. Holland strives to be a Shipper of Choice by developing deep relationships with all its partners and clients and heavily investing in logistics technology.
“’We take plastics personally’ is not a marketing motto, it is how we truly do business at M. Holland,” says Pete Nutley, Vice President of Operations. “If we’re not thinking ‘how can we make this relationship better’ with all our partners, then we’re missing opportunities to improve our business. We fully integrate our partners into our systems and processes so we can deliver the best services and results.”
With nearly 70 years in plastic resin distribution, M. Holland has many trusted partnerships with carriers. Over time, the partnerships have resulted in benefits for M. Holland and its clients, such as:
- Contracted Freight Rates – M. Holland’s established relationships with carriers and its consistent stream of shipments each month allows it to contract rates. As a result, M. Holland’s bulk truck and LTL freight rates have remained relatively stable, despite the rise in freight costs due to capacity shortages.
- Value-Added Services – Because of its close relationships, M. Holland receives industry insights from carriers, which means more efficient service for its clients. For example, the company’s strategic transportation partners participated at the 2018 M. Holland Business Conference; among the agenda topics will be a discussion of optimal loading and unloading processes to decrease demurrage and make the process more efficient for all parties.
The biggest mutually-beneficial component is visibility, though. Visibility involves transparency of strategic plans and systems between both sides of the partnership. M. Holland takes this component seriously and has made large investments in industry-leading logistics systems.
“With the current capacity shortage, it is the perfect time to optimize our systems,” says Roland Wilson, M. Holland Director of Supply Chain. “We’re currently making a big investment in a Transportation Management System (TMS), which will automatically optimize and consolidate our shipments, allow us to contract rates for more frequently-used lanes, automate hundreds of tasks that are currently entered manually, and allow for more time to develop new carrier partnerships.”
“It’s going to position us for greater scalability of logistics leveraging our supply chain partners. And, it will give us more data for measuring performance and improving our processes. We are always looking for ways to become the best partner to our carriers and clients, and this TMS is the latest way we are doing so.”
When speaking with M. Holland’s longest-standing carrier partners, such as G&D Trucking/Hoffman Transportation, it is evident M. Holland works to epitomize the title of Shipper of Choice.
“You have all your customers, and then you have M. Holland,” says Jordan Hoffman, Sr. VP G&D Trucking/ Hoffman Transportation. “There’s nobody in the business that behaves … like them. They recognize that partnerships have helped them get to the point they are in, and they continue to do right by us.”
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