How do I find shippers?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Navi234, Sep 13, 2023.

  1. Navi234

    Navi234 Bobtail Member

    Sep 11, 2023
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  3. uncleal13

    uncleal13 Road Train Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Humboldt, Sk
    Hard work, knock on doors. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
  4. Short Fuse EOD

    Short Fuse EOD Road Train Member

    Jul 29, 2015
    It’s all who you know. Who you want to know, is what you want. You get to know those the same way you got to know, “ it’s who you know.” It’s not easy. Knocking on doors works for little mom and pops. For corporate you need someone on the inside that knows the company traffic management coordinator. That’s the gate keeper. I put my son to work at a plant to figure things out. What are you willing to do? Go to trade shows and bump elbows…It’s networking. Your local wood chipper factory management has a kid in baseball. You put your kid on the team and sponsor the team. When the managers kid wears their jersey with your trucking company name on it, boom! Now you meet and greet at practice and close a deal over a bbq invite. By the way, it’s not just shippers. Many times the one that buys the product is the one that hires the transport. You have to market your business. It’s competitive!!! Is your equipment better than your competitors? Do you have more capacity? Are you willing to go cheap to get your foot in the door? Then raise price and stand outside in the cold after you lose drivers and money… Some bigger outfits will go cheap to squeeze out everyone else and make money on the volume. Can you do that? Know your limits on your capacity so you don’t overextend yourself. Last year I did a lane with weekly capacity. Can’t miss a week ever. Had a new reefer in the shop for a bit. Needed one. So I bought a another new one so I can cover the customer. Like some say, it ain’t easy. If your asking how to find shippers, we’ll, you probably don’t have your stuff together and are way behind in the power curve mate. As you read this their are teams sitting in a office working on bid proposals and marketing to new customers. You want a customer, you got to be more aggressive than…But when you finally earn your first, it’s an amazing thing!
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2023
  5. abyliks

    abyliks Road Train Member

    May 2, 2010
    ludlow MA
    Yea let me just hand over everything I’ve built to you on a silver platter so you can come in and cut my throat to take my work
  6. wore out

    wore out Numbered Classic

    Jun 5, 2013
    So here’s what works. Got door to door to every warehouse and factory in your local industrial area. Ask to speak to shipping and receiving manager. After some light conversation just tell em flat out I want the trucking in and outta here, I’m gonna have a party Friday night at the cabin the booze, hookers, and blow are on me. Go to next town and repeat. So when you got about a 100 guys (some will decline cuz they are #######) it’s party time. Now will this be cheap hell naw, but it’s still cheaper than what your gonna loose if you seriously pursue this truckin fantasy your having
    cke, dirthaller, Siinman and 5 others Thank this.
  7. Big Road Skateboard

    Big Road Skateboard Road Train Member

    May 2, 2021
    I'm more technologically advanced than these other cats. I use Google Earth, and look for images like these. You've now located shippers. You're welcome Screenshot_20230913_181504_Maps.jpg
    cke, Siinman and JoeyJunk Thank this.
  8. Big Road Skateboard

    Big Road Skateboard Road Train Member

    May 2, 2021
    I'll toss out another bone. Hope i'm not blacklisted by the old timers here for givingbout industry secrets, bur

    Shippers can also be receivers at times
    cke, Siinman and JoeyJunk Thank this.
  9. JoeyJunk

    JoeyJunk Road Train Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    Washington, PA
    Is that like being a pitcher and a catcher?
  10. Accidental Trucker

    Accidental Trucker Road Train Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    For a one truck guy, finding work is like going hunting. You don't need to know where all the deer are, you need to know where ONE deer is.

    First thing you have to do is figure out what you are good at. Really, really good. Then figure out what kind of shippers need that skill set. If you are really, really good at hauling live pigs, don't go looking for places that ship chickens....

    If you're not great at dealing with people, don't go looking for shippers that have loads with 16 stops. If you like people, and have the gift of gab, that's exactly what you're looking for.

    Talk to anyone who will talk to you. The people on the docks will tell you what is working at that shipper / receiver, and what is not. Don't go into the front office asking for business without knowing EXACTLY what problem you can solve for them (and for what price!).

    Second best way to find customers is referrals. Ask your customers to recommend you to others, or ask them for suggestions on which door to go knock on.

    I've told the story here before, but one of the largest trucking companies here in the region got started when the owner would simply park at a local feed plant, walk into the sales office and let them know he was there, ready for a load. Guess who got the next load when a customer called in? Really, if you're going to sit anyway, go sit by the customer, let them know you're there and ready to go. Not much business to be had at truck stops....

    Lots of ways to skin a cat, but they all involve a good bit of effort.
    cke, Opendeckin, Siinman and 3 others Thank this.
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