Shippers just want a little respect

Shippers just want a
little respect

Although we're well into the Internet Age of Communication, a large number of logistics companies are still stuck in neutral when it comes to something as simple as answering e-mail. A recent study of 25 of the largest transportation and logistics companies finds that when it comes to the Internet, too many customer requests are being ignored.

“Transportation and logistics firms have some work to do with their online presence,” says Roger Fairchild, president of research and consulting firm the Customer Respect Group ( “Most have figured out how to create sites that are fairly simple to navigate, but haven't paid attention to other important areas such as responsiveness, privacy and principles.”

Yellow Corp. was far and away the most responsive to online customer inquiries, according to the study, with a near-perfect score of 9.8 (on a scale of 1-10). UPS and J.B. Hunt also did well, with scores over 8.0; however, the overall industry average was an unimpressive 5.9 (see charts below).

According to the study, 37% of the companies contacted did not reply to any customer inquires submitted. Of the companies that sent an “autoresponse” promising a reply would be forthcoming, 40% followed up only half of the time.

“Frankly, the fact that more than one-third don't respond to any inquiries and more than half don't respond to all inquiries displays an unacceptable attitude toward online customers,” Fairchild says. “And when visitors to websites leave because of an unsatisfactory experience, two out of every three go to a competitor's site.”

Most responsive to customer requests

(rated 1-10)

Yellow Corp. 9.8
UPS 8.7
J.B. Hunt 8.2
Roadway 7.3
C.H. Robinson 7.2
Con-Way 7.2

Least responsive
Werner Enterprise 1.6
BAX Global 2.3
Pacer International 2.7
Hub Group 2.7
Expeditors International 3.1

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May, 2004

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