Leading the pack: Why team driving is a shipper’s first choice for long-haul expedite

Today, consumers can purchase anything at their fingertips and with retail giants upending the delivery standard to 2-day shipping, expectations are rising for speedy transportation. We live in a ‘just-in-time’ world, where shippers need carriers to move their freight at ‘the speed of light’ to satisfy demanding schedules. As a result, priorities have shifted when shipping expedite, with shippers pressured to meet need time – many times, even with a higher associated cost. The old adage rings true: time is money.

The top priorities for shippers with expedite needs

When there’s a need to move freight within a short window of time, shippers will evaluate a carrier based on several different criteria. We’re breaking down the most significant factors that an expedite shipper will prioritize when in search for a carrier, ranked by importance:

  1. Time
    Time is the most critical factor when expediting a shipment, as there is a need to move freight as quickly as possible. A shipper seeking expedite service has one main goal: to get a priority shipment from Point A to Point B in the most efficient way possible. Ensuring that shipment will arrive on time is at the forefront of decision-making when choosing a carrier, even if that means paying a higher, premium cost.
  2. Performance Score
    It’s crucial for any shipper that the quality of their freight remains intact when it arrives at its destination. That’s why a carrier’s performance score is critical for shippers to reference when selecting a carrier to move a shipment. Even if the expedited shipment arrives on time, it’s a major headache if the freight is damaged from lack of proper care or not following regulations.
  3. #3 Quote
    Like in any business deal, service cost will also affect a shipper’s carrier preference. Although last on the list, expedite shippers are still trying to find the best bang for their buck. However, in time-sensitive situations where demanding expectations are on the line, the cost may be overlooked to ensure that the shipment arrives at the destination within the anticipated timeframe.

Why team driving is a go-to resource for shippers today

There is one thing that’s clear, and it’s that the most valuable resource for expedite shippers is time. Bottom line, time-priority shippers are looking for a carrier that can move their loads to the right place in the quickest way possible.

That’s why team driving plays a major advantage for shippers with high-critical shipments. Team drivers are highly valued in freight transportation and are likely considered first for priority loads for three main reasons:

Team drivers can switch roles in the driver’s seat and keep the truck continuously moving on the road, allowing them to get freight to the destination much quicker than solos. With fewer stops and less time allotted for solo resting, teams can complete trips up to 2x faster than single drivers.

With two truck drivers, there are two pairs of eyes on the road and the freight. Utilizing a team can give a shipper greater peace of mind that their freight will be handled safely and get to the destination on time.

Longer distance
For shipments that need to span a further distance, team drivers are a great resource because they can split up the distance and avoid burn out. According to FreightWaves Ratings, driving teams log anywhere from 4.5K miles to 5K miles per week compared to solo drivers, who average between only 2.4K and 2.8K miles per week.

The benefit for expedite team drivers

While being a solo driver may have perks, team driving has a greater competitive advantage and can open a much wider door of business opportunity. Benefits of team driving include:

Less time for more miles
Much like shippers, truck drivers consider their time valuable and use it to gauge if a trip is successful. Team drivers can claim more loads in a shorter time because they finish trips faster.

Higher pay with priority loads
On average, team drivers earn at least $500 more per week than solo operators. Additionally, team drivers are a preferred solution for expedite shipments, for which shippers usually set at a premium cost. So, that price per mile has the potential to be even higher.

Companionship and safety
With a companion on the road, drivers have more flexibility to ‘rest and reset’ without sacrificing time on the road. Having a fellow driver is having someone to talk to, reduced boredom and a person to rely on when needed. Team drivers can also work together to ensure all safety regulations like sleep time, maintenance and brake checks hit the mark.

How to choose the right partner to “team” up with

As an owner-operator team, it is imperative to find the right company that offers the right support, has the right freight and extends the right rates to grow your business as efficiently and as safely as possible.

At Ascent, we can offer all of that and more:

  • Ascent has access through its proprietary load board to premium, direct-customer freight – learn why that matters
    Safety is our priority – top 2% safest carriers in the U.S.
  • We have partnered with our customers for over 40 years and are one of the safest, most stable companies on the road.
  • Inbound Logistics, Transport Topics and Armstrong & Associates award winner for top 3PL/logistics companies.

Every day, leading businesses trust Ascent to move their freight. Our team of experts, combined with cutting-edge technology, gives you access to bigger and better opportunities in the driver’s seat. Our customers stay with us, meaning our drivers do the same. Join us! Apply today at https://drive4ascent.com

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