Picking a haulage company is as vital (and should be as thought) out as picking an employee or business partner. Not only are you entrusting valuable goods and equipment to another party, but you’ll be investing a considerable amount of funds and hinging your operations to that company as well.
So don’t just go to the yellow pages and randomly pick out a random European road haulage company to transport your valuable goods along the E40, do proper research and interviews to make sure you get the right company to partner with. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing among the many haulage companies:
SEARCH WITHIN BUDGET
Your initial list of possible haulage companies should be based on the budget: you have to set how much your company or business is willing to allocate for haulage. Many haulage companies are offering their services at different price ranges. Your price range should be realistic and factor in possible additional costs. Having a ceiling price would help you avoid spending more than you have to, and a minimum price sets the quality of service you’re willing to pay for.
Keep in mind that you’ll be investing in this company to handle your goods and equipment, so it would be best not to skimp out on the budget. But also remember that higher cost doesn’t always mean better quality or the best match: it’s possible that an expensive haulage company wouldn’t be able to meet your special requirements while a moderately-priced one could.
TRUST AT FIRST SIGHT
Before you call or schedule an interview, check their trucks and facilities through their company’s website or, if you can, in person. See if they’re clean and well-maintained. In other words, would you entrust your goods to a company with a dirty and/or broken vehicle?
QUOTE AND QUICK RESPONSE
Once you have your initial list, it’s time to ask them for a quotation: explain your business, the scope of operation, and how much are they be willing to charge. The company’s response should be immediate or at least within the day. A haulage company that won’t be able to respond quickly says a lot about its capability. A haulage company must always be available and easily contacted (24/7, if possible), and should be capable of providing you with the latest updates regarding the status of your goods, after all.
BACKGROUND CHECK (reviews and testimonials)
As with any potential partner or key employee, a background check is important. Even though the haulage company you chose may have promised or agreed on being able to do all that your company requires, it would still be best to check online or, if possible, their other clients for feedback and reviews. Getting the unbiased opinion and evaluation of others is important in the picking process.
MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS
Lastly, will they be able to handle your company’s scope? Make sure that they have the resources required for the job as your operation hinges on their successful transport of your goods. Also, make sure to put in special requirements. For example, if they’re transporting goods between European countries of different dialects, or from Europe to an Asian country, do they have staff that can speak the required dialects/languages?
SAFETY AND CONTINGENCIES
Never forget to ask about the haulage company’s and insurances. What do they do if their truck gets into an accident or breaks down in the middle of transporting your goods? What are their haulage insurance or policies with regards to spoiled, damaged, lost, or delayed delivery? Remember these questions when hashing out the details with your potential haulage firm.
Equipped with these instructions, you’ll be more cautious in deciding which haulage company to employ. If all goes well, you might even end up having a long and fruitful business partnership with your carefully chosen haulage company.