Those of us involved in moving freight from point A to point B on a daily basis understand it’s nowhere near as easy as we make it seem.
The Amazon Effect has only deepened the general consumer’s misunderstanding of the skill and hard-to-gain experience that it takes to ship a commodity to a customer’s dock, yard, doorstep, or job site.
It gets even more complex when you start shipping materials that require unique equipment/trailer types. Since most US freight is shipped on a 53 foot van trailer, there are thousands of 3PLs out there handling this type of freight. However, many of those same 3PLs will tell you they can also handle your flatbed shipments but lack the experience, skill and carrier relationships to do it with the quality, care, and punctuality you expect.
At WM Martin Transport, we are the best at coordinating flatbed shipments in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern US. What makes us the best?
- We ask the right questions
- We understand the cost
- We have the right carrier relationships
- We will never lie to you
- Flatbed freight shipping is what we do
We Ask the Right Questions
In John Maxwell’s infamous book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John states the importance of understanding that “you don’t know what you don’t know”.
At WM Martin Transport, we have specialized in coordinating flatbed freight shipments (exclusively) for 30+ years and have successfully delivered 46,657 flatbed shipments since 2015.
Our experience and satisfied shippers prove that “we know what we need to know” when it comes to successfully booking and delivering flatbed freight. We specialize in avoiding controllable delays, such as a driver showing up with missing or the wrong equipment.
When your 3PL partner doesn’t have the self-awareness to recognize that they “don’t know what they don’t know”, on the front end, it’s inevitable that they’ll run into a myriad of problems.
How do you find out if your 3PL partner knows what they need to know? They simply have to answer the following questions before promising to handle your flatbed shipments:
- Tarp, no tarp or keep dry? 8ft, 6ft, 4 ft tarps?
- Lumber, steel, smoke, or top tarp?
- Straps or chains and binders? How many?
- Does the driver need Dunnage? If yes, how many pieces and what size (2×4 or 4×4)?
- Is a TWIC Card or port pass required?
- Side or rear unload? Does the receiver have a forklift?
- Are pickup or delivery appointments required?
- Can the trailer be a 96” or do you need a 102” wide trailer?
- Headboard or no headboard?
- Will the load fit in a Curtain-side, Conestoga, Step-Deck or a Double-Drop Trailer?
- Full load or partial?
We Understand the Cost
With the high cost of shipping flatbed freight, there are multiple factors that go into pricing a flatbed shipment, such as fuel cost, capacity (supply and demand), accessorials, and much more.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of data points we can look at to dictate how truckload pricing should look on a daily basis. However, our industry is a great model of a free market system.
All pricing factors boil down to one thing: On a day-to-day basis, what dollar amount will a flatbed carrier agree to haul a flatbed load from point A to point B.
There is NO reason for you to accept a price and then receive an email/call stating, “we were unable to secure a truck” due to pricing unless your 3PL partner tells you on the front end that your budget for the lane in question will limit their ability to secure a truck.
After 30+ successful years of pricing flatbed loads in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast, we know that misquoted lanes cause delays that lead to negative effects on a shipper’s relationship with their customer. If you find yourself partnered with an under-experienced 3PL partner that is unsure of how to price a flatbed lane, they will likely overprice the load in order to play it safe. A shipper’s profitability on a new lane should never be diluted due to an inexperienced 3PL partner. Our highly-skilled staff is in constant communication with our carrier partners to understand market trends and always factors in the desirability of new lanes before quoting our shipper partners.
We Have the Right Carrier Relationships
Relationships are everything in this industry. Our team focuses heavily on building reliable flatbed carrier relationships.
According to a study by OOIDA (Owner Operators Independent Drivers Association) 84% of all for-hire fleets have 6 trucks or less and 94% have 19 trucks or less. These small fleets do not have the time or resources to spend on sales and marketing departments. It’s likely that shippers have no idea these companies even exist. We take great pride in the fact that 94% of our freight in 2019 was hauled by these small carrier operations most of which are family owned and operated. We know they exist and are able to tap into this hidden capacity. These carriers provide better pricing than larger carriers (20+ trucks) and in most cases better service.
We Will Never Lie to You
Sadly, our industry is riddled with individuals (and entire companies) that refuse to step up and take responsibility when a mistake or omission occurs. The industry is mired with excuse after excuse, but the WM Martin Transport team is changing the game. We will never lie to you, even when the truth hurts. When we mess-up, we fess-up and we expect this same behavior from all of our partners. We will always tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it because you need to know the facts in order to make sound decisions.
Flatbed Freight Shipping is What We Do
We believe it is better to be the world’s best at one thing than to be mediocre at multiple. Here at WM Martin Transport, we specialize in coordinating flatbed freight in the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeastern regions of the United States and there is no one better at it than us. We have the training, man-power and resources to oblige your flatbed needs to ultimate satisfaction. We do this by making a commitment to serving people and getting better every single day.