In the previous blog, I wrote about flexibility. Today I want to write about rigid, think about this as a point/counterpoint to the previous blog which was on flexibility.

Rigid can be thought of as unyielding, strict, and definitive. When the lines are set in a rigid fashion there are clear and concise lines in which we will operate our business within.  There are no questions, it is black and white. In a previous blog, I discussed the rigid appointment times of a shipper and receiver.  In fact, some locations are so strict on this there are monetary consequences for not being on time.

Knowing that we have to meet these rigid dock times we have laser focus, careful trip planning, quit drinking so we do not have to stop to use the restroom, and we are going to do everything humanly possible and legal to make our dock time.   Why, because we do not want to deal with the wrath of the aftermath of not meeting the rigid dock time.  We can be held up for hours or days waiting for another delivery appointment.

It seems as though rigid has worked out in the favor of the customers we serve, now let’s flip this around and we become the one that is rigid. In this case, the consequences for delays would fall on the shipper or the receiver for not loading or unloading us in the prescribed an allotted time frame. 

No longer can we make up for the inadequate and less than timely shipping and receiving practices employed by the customers who rely on our services.  Maybe our rates should reflect the time of day we are going to encounter traffic delays, road construction, or weather delays. After all taxi cabs are able to do this with a simple meter that is continuously running once we request their services.

Really when you start thinking about rigid versus flexible an old saying comes to mind “if you give an inch they will take a mile”.  Our industry has given more than an inch for a very long time, it is time to take that inch back and maybe we will get a mile.

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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