Relationships matter and in volatile times they matter even more. XPO Logistics has spent years building relationships with its shipping partners, but without carriers and truck drivers, those shipments never move.
Nick Ober, vice president of operations for freight brokerage at XPO Logistics, told Dooner and The Dude of FreightWaves’ WHAT THE TRUCK?!? podcast on Monday the goal is to make it easy for carriers to source loads on the XPO Connect digital marketplace.
XPO Connect allows carriers to locate the right load for their operation, bid on it or select it. Tracking allows managers to locate individual trucks in their fleet and the carrier scoring provides metrics to measure performance. Credits from XPO’s carrier rewards program can be redeemed through the platform.
Listen: Nick Ober on WHAT THE TRUCK?!?
Ober noted that XPO is breaking “records almost weekly on digital load assignments,” which have seen over 100% growth in carrier assignments on XPO Connect in the past 12 months. That growth is fueled by the technology XPO is providing carriers, customers and XPO employees, Ober said.
Ober said the approach has been successful for XPO and as a result, the company continues to grow its operations as business expands, despite the volatility that 2020 has brought on the industry.
For instance, XPO revamped its carrier scoring metrics last year to improve visibility to employees and carriers for on-time pickup and delivery, carry rate and auto tracking. Reward programs were added and carriers can access their scores in real time on XPO Connect.
“This visibility combined with the rewards helped drive serious improvement over the last year,” Ober said. “Our combined carrier score improved by over 500 basis points. That’s how we differentiate ourselves, by providing a premium experience for our carriers, leveraging the right technology, and ultimately benefiting our customers.”
“Our largest customers want access to real-time pricing and capacity, and we have both with XPO Connect,” Ober said.
XPO’s platinum, gold and silver carriers will see a change to the rewards program next year as the company transitions from an annual rewards program to a quarterly offering.
“The plan is to drive-up service and reward the best of the best,” he said, noting that in one year of the program, XPO has given away more than 4,000 rewards credits to top-performing carriers, who are being rewarded with better rates.
The XPO fuel program is another effort to enhance the carrier experience. The fuel program offers discounts at the fuel pump for members, and as carriers move from silver to gold to platinum status, their fuel savings grow.
“We’re building additional value-added services that carriers want, so look for some new rewards in 2021,” Ober said. “Carriers love XPO and we want to provide valuable incentives for their hard work.”
Ober highlighted new features, including Dedicated Lanes, Reload and Get Me Home. Dedicated Lanes allows carriers to look for consistent freight in lanes they frequently travel. Reload offers carriers the opportunity to keep trailers full through backhaul for continuous movement.
The Get Me Home tool assists drivers in finding loads that will help them get back to their home base or other location. Drivers can use the Drive App to share their trip progress or search for their next load.
The pandemic changed freight demands almost overnight, and the holidays have added another layer on top of that. Ober said XPO saw an early peak season kickoff in October with retailers pushing for a 75-day peak season. The company, he said, is using technology to find trucking capacity. “During peak season is when XPO really gets to shine as we deliver on customer promises.”