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Many industries face a wide range of challenges when it comes to customer service and the Freight Industry is no exception. One single item can travel thousands of kilometres, passing through dozens of hands, depots and vehicles, so it is little wonder that a common catchphrase heard within our industry is “what can go wrong, probably will go wrong.” Having said that, when one considers how many items are in transit at any one time, it is actually a very small percentage that experiences issues.

However, when an issue occurs it can be very challenging trying to resolve it, as there are so many variables at play when a consignment is travelling from point A to point B.

Let’s take a look at some of the major challenges:

Environmental Factors and Natural Disasters

There are many circumstances that are out of everyone’s control, but none more so than environmental challenges. Recent examples that we have experienced include flooding and bushfires. When these types of natural disasters occur, it can affect the transport infrastructure for days, weeks or even months. The best strategy in these circumstances is to stay transparent and keep those affected informed and up to date.

Communication

As a Freight Management Company we are communicating with many different transport companies. Some companies have limited means of communication and contacts, which can make it difficult obtaining the answers being sought after.

Further, each transport company has their own process for lodging enquiries, follow ups, and escalations and some present more barriers than others.

However, we communicate with these transport companies on a daily basis which over time has built up a strong rapport and mutual respect that can allow access to contacts not normally shared with other customers.

Visibility

As a consignment travels from collection point to delivery it might be handled by multiple transport companies. This is particularly true of regional and out of the way deliveries. These companies might not always share the same scanning technology which can result in some tracking events being unavailable. This can make it difficult to pinpoint the exact location of a consignment when this occurs.

Drawing on special contacts or thinking outside the box can sometimes be an effective means in narrowing down the location of such consignments, for example.

There are many challenges faced by customer service in the Freight Industry. They are varied and include such aspects as human-based, procedural, technological, political, and environmental. One might not be able to fix every situation but if channels of communication are kept open and customers are kept up to date, then they in turn can stay abreast of the situation and make informed decisions.