Inside Logistics

Superlative carriers

The 2021 Shipper’s Choice Awards are presented to the carriers who surpass the industry’s benchmarks of excellence according to our annual survey of transportation buyers


August 20, 2021
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The annual Shipper’s Choice Awards measure how well carriers perform against our Benchmarks of Excellence. The scores are established by shippers, 3PL service providers, and freight forwarders from across Canada in our annual survey.

These transportation buyers rate each of their top three carriers on a five-point scale against eight key performance indicators, and use another five-point scale to rate the importance of the key performance indicators themselves. The weighted rankings are determined by multiplying the two numbers together. These weighted rankings are then compared to the Benchmarks of Excellence, which represent averages of the weighted scores for each category’s key performance indicators.

Twenty-eight carriers met or exceeded the benchmarks established for the 2021 awards. Thirteen companies earned the coveted Carrier of Choice designations because they have scored above such benchmarks for at least five years in a row.

LTL

Having to manage so many different shipments sharing space on one trailer and so many touchpoints between terminals, the LTL business is a complicated one. The demands from buyers of LTL services are high and carriers have to navigate a tightrope between providing excellent customer service while keeping prices competitive.

This year’s survey found that LTL carriers had the second highest benchmarks for customer service, competitive pricing, leadership in problem-solving, and sustainable transportation practices. Nine LTL carriers surpassed the Benchmark of Excellence this year.

 

 

TL

The TL mode has historically been the toughest for carriers to score above the Benchmark of Excellence. The TL mode had the highest benchmarks in seven of the eight KPIs tracked by this year’s Shipper’s Choice Survey: on-time performance, quality of equipment and operations, competitive pricing, customer service, leadership in problem solving, ability to provide value-added services, and sustainable transportation practices.

Nine TL carriers surpassed the Benchmark of Excellence this year.

Rail

Quality of equipment is the highest benchmark for rail. The second-highest benchmark for the mode is competitive pricing. For many years there were no winners in this mode until 2020. In 2021, once again, no rail carrier surpassed the benchmarks.

Air freight

Air carriers have t4he second highest overall Benchmark of Excellence this year. Buyers of airfreight services have particularly high expectations when it comes to information technology, setting the highest individual benchmark in the category this year. For air carriers, on-time performance, quality of equipment and operations, and the ability to provide value-added services scored the second-highest benchmarks of Excellence across all the modes. Three air carriers surpassed the Benchmark of Excellence this year.

Ocean

Buyers of ocean freight services have traditionally been very price sensitive and this year’s Shipper’s Choice Survey found their attitude to be no different. Competitive pricing has the highest benchmark among the ocean carrier KPIs. The second highest benchmark for ocean carriers is on-time performance. Two ocean carriers surpassed the Benchmark of Excellence this year.

Courier

Buyers of courier services have high expectations when it comes to shipment tracking and speed of delivery, so it’s no surprise this mode had the second highest benchmark for information technology and that on-time performance was the highest benchmark for the mode. But it’s important to note the importance of competitive pricing, which ranked as the third-highest benchmark for the mode, followed by quality of equipment and operations. Five couriers surpassed the Benchmark of Excellence this year.