When we think of being a problem solver, this can come in the basic sense that you have a truck/trailer and your customer has freight that needs to be transported to a particular location. If you want to be proactive, and thus, create additional value, you can take it a step further and identify/respond to the needs or problems which can arise in the shipping process.
If you work in the transportation industry on a daily basis, you’ve definitely observed the many different methods to package and ship various types of products and materials. Many times, a variation of what you’ve experienced can be used to assist one of your customers in a more efficient, or damage-free, manner.
Several years ago, I had a customer who was new to the shipping business. When asked, I answered their questions and tried to assist them with ideas and suggestions to make their operation run smoothly. The company implemented many of my recommendations. One day, they shared with me a new product they had developed, but weren’t quite sure how they were going to have it shipped. They offered to pay me to do trial and error, in regards to load/unload procedures, to see what worked and didn’t work. During that time, the company also practiced various packaging methods. It took several long days, which included videotaping, test drives, heavy brake testing, experiments with uneven surfaces, and in short, we tried to do everything to damage the loads. I found this process quite interesting and had never been involved in anything like this before. A few months later, when the product was ready to be launched, they called me to deliver the first load. Needless to say, many shipments followed. The company paid me to train other carriers on how to handle and transport the product.
This is just one example of how you can create added value as a carrier. You want to be recognized by your customer, in order to be the one selected to handle their shipping needs.