If you’re a shipper feeling the impact of an unpredictable market, you’re not the only one. A seismic shift from last year’s pandemic peak to a drop in consumer demand due to the cost-of-living crisis has caused shippers nationwide to rethink their approach to supply chain management. What we need most is reliability, something that DigiHaul’s Head of UK Transport Solutions, Graham Jones, says can be achieved through strengthening relationships and building trust.

Turn the clock back to 2021 and the transport sector looked very different for shippers. High demand for capacity amid a driver shortage crisis prompted a flurry of last-minute traction shifts in 2021 which drove prices up and resulted in a huge amount of wastage. Now that inflation and the cost of living continue to creep up, prices have stabilised but the lack of drivers continues to prove problematic. Amongst so much uncertainty, what can be done to give you the ease and surety of service that you need when you’re shipping goods to customers?

“The biggest thing shippers are looking for at the moment is reliability,” explains Graham.  “The last thing you need as a shipper is to find out your haulier can’t take your order, or that they can’t hit the booking time.

“Once you know that a haulier is going to deliver your order on time, in full, it takes the pressure off enormously. At DigiHaul, we know how important this is to our customers, so we strive to deliver a reliable service every time.”

Graham’s team is dedicated to doing just that. “Our transport solutions experts are on hand to find the best hauliers and the best prices, including at the last minute, to ensure you receive a reliable service. This gives you more time to focus on other areas of your business such as sales or customer service.”

From a longer-term perspective, getting to know your business by identifying trends in your deliveries – such as regions, sites and times – creates opportunities to unlock value in your supply chain operations.

Something as simple as moving the timing of a delivery could free up driver capacity as well as bring the cost down.

Visibility also plays a big part in making the whole process as easy and straightforward as possible. “Shippers can view the status of all their orders at any time on our Shipper Web. They can simply go online to find out whether a delivery has been completed, or what time it’s due to arrive.

“Of course, if you prefer to pick up the phone and speak to someone, our team is always here to help.”

Access all your transport bookings in one place

Following in the footsteps of many other industries, there’s no doubt that future of freight is digital, but this is a big change for people in the industry. With that in mind, any new processes need to be as simple and user-friendly as possible.

Once you’ve signed up with DigiHaul, you can:

  • Book your loads using our online booking system, Shipper Web, or you can call or email our Transport Solutions team to upload them for you
  • We will secure a haulier and a price for your booking and will confirm with you
  • You can use the Shipper Web to check live updates at any time and download your electronic proof of delivery (ePOD)
  • All your orders are shown in a clear dashboard for quick reference. You can find all your history and paperwork here, as well as upload or cancel a booking
  • If you have any service-related issues during the journey, you can speak to our Service Delivery team 24/7

Cross-sector solutions for shippers who own trucks

Amidst the surge in demand for capacity over the past two or three years, you may be one of many shippers who invested in your own fleet of trucks and drivers. While this plugged the capacity gap in busier times, this is a big overhead to manage during quieter periods.

“When combined with the drop in consumer spending, we’ve seen a big dip in demand for traction shifts during peak periods,” says Graham, “but we can help utilise those trucks by bringing them into our haulier network, particularly SMEs. Those customers have the option to place a ‘one and final’ offer for work through our Carrier Web to help fill backhaul journeys and cover their running costs.”

For example, a retail customer with an empty backhaul journey may find an automotive movement in our network. This cross-sector collaboration can cut running costs as well as reducing wasted carbon emissions.

Building trust to help you grow

While there’s a big focus on digitalising manual processes, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that people work with people. There will always be traffic delays, adverse weather and other factors that are out of our control, but good communication builds trust and reassurance.

“While we are a digital transport business we do have the human touch,” Graham explains. “Our teams are at the end of the phone, and we like to meet our customers face-to-face to talk through ideas or issues and help make their shipping experience as smooth as we possibly can.”

“We want our partners – shippers and hauliers – to grow with us. We want to give them an excellent level of service and help them grow their businesses. We also want to work closely with them to make to make our industry greener.”

The good news for shippers and hauliers alike is that we do expect the sub-contraction market to bounce back. And when we do start seeing peaks in demand again, we can find capacity in our large carrier network to give you the reliability and surety of service that you need. So, you can get back to focusing on your business, and let us take care of your transport.


Find out more about shipping with us.




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