The Elephant in the Room
First let’s just get this out of the way: Soren is a really new company, Established in 2010, like so many other American companies: by “one person with a dream”- We’re here now with over 30 employees and a revenue around $55 million. But metrics out of the way, why do customers stay with us when there are so many bigger, older, established third-party logistics providers out there? I thought you’d never ask! Let’s have a look.
We should just go ahead and let the cat out of the bag now: Most of Soren’s staff had no prior experience in the transportation sector. The person writing this managed a Telco sales company before coming here. The genius of Soren is that it’s not sourced with people good at logistics. (Between you and me, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to book a truck). Soren is sourced with business professionals that are good at relationships.
Relationships you say?
I know it sounds cliche to talk about relationships in business, but in logistics, it really is a lost art. Think of all the fires, pressure and stress that go into a single day of moving freight, and it’s easy to see that blood pressure levels will rise, tensions will grow, and relationships will strain. The problem is that you need those relationships- All of them.
Shippers to receivers, dispatchers and especially drivers – they all require strong relationships; even friendships, so that when things go bad, you have a friend on the inside.
Couldn't you just throw money at the problem?
Rhetorical questions that you’d never really ask aside, if you don’t have strong relationships with every person between A to B, that’s exactly what you’ll do. You’ll have no other choice!
Consider this: In January of 2018, during the peak of the driver shortage, spot rates for trucks were the highest we’ve seen in years, and on many lanes, ever. By some estimates, about one in every 5 loads didn’t move when it was supposed to, because there simply weren’t enough drivers to move the nation’s freight. Rates went so high that carriers with contract rates began, well, breaking their contracts. We saw spot quotes that month anywhere between $2.50/mile on the low end, all the way to $4.50/mile on medium and long hauls.
"Meanwhile in Texas..."
We had to call in a lot of favors, but we got out of January mostly unscathed. My good friend Jasvir and his wife Kuljit really came through for us in California, and so did Jasvir’s brother, Balvir. Carlos, our man in New Mexico stayed strong for us, and Gary stayed true despite the huge upswing in rates out of Ohio. In like manner, the VP for one of our shipping warehouses in Fresno (also Gary) killed us with kindness by working around our drivers’ schedules so that we could pick up in spite of tight capacity. In many ways, each of these people are like family and we do whatever is necessary to help each other out when the need arises.
You've seen what technology can do.
The big dogs of our industry have the best TMS, CMS, CSM, (insert acronym here) systems out there, and certainly have access to more whistles and bells than I do. But now you’ve hopefully seen a little of what technology can’t do, and why Soren focuses so much on tried-and-true business principles that have worked since man first hunted in packs.