E-commerce

CARRIERS that haul milk can take advantage of e-commerce opportunities to increase their business, said Hill Pratt of dairy.com at the International Milk Haulers Association annual convention April 24-26 in Nashville, Tennessee.

“There's an opportunity that's good for the dairy industry — to fill those empty miles,” he said.

Pratt discussed the services provided by dairy.com, a milk processors cooperative, that offers a wide range of Internet-based solutions for processing plants, trading partners, and haulers.

“We understand that dairy.com is only as good as the customer service behind it,” Pratt added. “Our customer service group assists haulers with every aspect.”

Although the service is Internet-based, he pointed out that followup typically occurs with personal telephone calls when the need arises.

The service helps haulers find new business, plan schedules, and find backhaul opportunities. Dairy.com has over 130 foodgrade hauling companies in its network.

“This levels the playing field for big and small carriers,” Pratt added.

Carriers can bid on individual loads or on contract business. A transaction fee is charged to the carrier for each bid and offer that is fully accepted, completed, and shipped.

With dairy transportation utilization typically averaging less than 60%, carriers are always looking for ways to fill empty miles.

Each rate request from a shipper instantly triggers a notification to the nationwide network of carriers, who respond with rate quotes, giving the shipper a quick and easy way of finding load coverage at attractive rates.

Using dairy.com does not require additional computer software and the setup process on the Web site takes less than 20 minutes, Pratt said.

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