Making your carriers feel valued is crucial to building trust, so it is always a good investment to show some gratitude. Leave your carriers with the motivation to hit the road at full speed with these gifts for truck drivers.
The Importance of Valuing Your Carriers
Here are just a few benefits of investing in carrier relationships and showing that you care:
People naturally trust those who show they care. This is why, in order to grow your network of reputable carriers, you need to show that you appreciate them and build that relationship of trust. The relationship between brokers and carriers goes both ways.
To do your job well as a broker, you rely on having carriers you can trust to get the job done. Because of this, losing a carrier is never easy. By showing your carriers that you appreciate them, you can limit this turnover. SCALE Logistics, one of our clients, has never lost a carrier because they understand how important these relationships are!
Boost Your Brand
In a sea of freight brokerages, it’s more important than ever to have a competitive edge. One way to stay competitive is to treat the people you work with well. Shippers want to work with brokers with a good reputation and one way to maintain a good reputation is to have carriers that enjoy working with you.
Attracting and maintaining the best talent is a huge predictor of success. Business owners who see their drivers as simply a cost will pay the price in reduced performance and growth.
Now that you know why appreciating your carriers matters, let’s look at some ways you can do that this holiday season.
1. Consider Your Carrier’s Route
While you might not be able to control how many hours your carriers spend on the route, you can consider offering backhauls to get them home during the holiday season. Ask your carriers where “home” is for them and work your routes around their preferences when possible.
Brokers who go this extra mile typically make deep connections with carriers and those connections can help you grow your freight brokerage.
2. Send a Personalized Thank You Note
When you write a thank you note by hand, it's a meaningful gesture that carriers will notice. Taking the time to acknowledge their hard work with a personal touch—like mentioning how they expertly navigated a last-minute route change or worked tirelessly through the night—shows that you see and appreciate their specific efforts.
Adding your own signature, or that of another high-level executive, adds an extra layer of personal recognition. Making this kind of appreciation a regular practice can greatly enhance your relationship with your carriers, fostering a sense of loyalty and mutual respect.
3. Incentivize Feedback
As a freight broker, you are always trying to get better and improve your brokerage. One way to do this is to incentivize feedback from your carriers.
Quarterly surveys are an excellent place to start. You can ask your carriers for anonymous feedback on what it’s like to work with you and if there is any room for improvement.
An easy jumping-off point is the three questions below, which almost any concern will fall into:
- What are we doing well?
- What can we improve?
- What else is on your mind?
4. Public Recognition
Publicly recognizing your carriers' exceptional work through company newsletters, social media, and industry publications showcases their dedication and amplifies their success across the logistics community.
A social media shout-out or a feature article can highlight their achievements, such as perfect delivery records or creative problem-solving, spotlighting the individuals who keep your freight moving.
This form of appreciation fosters a sense of pride. It encourages a culture of excellence that benefits everyone involved—carriers feel valued, and your company demonstrates its commitment to partnership and quality service.
5. Offer Wellness Days
We all need to prioritize our mental and physical health and your carriers are no different. In fact, after long days of hauling, carriers need to focus even more on their wellness.
Offering your carriers things like massages, specialty fitness classes, or other wellness gifts is a great way to show that you prioritize their well-being.
6. Trucker Gifts and Gift Cards
Showing appreciation to your carriers with thoughtful gifts or gift cards can make a real difference. Practical items like quality travel mugs or seat cushions can make their long journeys more comfortable, while gift cards from truck stops allow them the flexibility to refuel their trucks and themselves on the go.
Choosing gift cards from their favorite restaurants or retailers adds a personal touch that recognizes their hard work throughout the year, letting them know they're a valued part of your business as the festive period gives way to a new year of continued partnership.
7. Investment in Carrier Development
Investing in your carriers’ skills is another way to show you value them. Training on new regulations, safety, or technology helps them do their job better, improving your business. It’s a win-win: carriers get to upskill, and you get a network of top-notch professionals who are up-to-date with the industry standards.
8. Appreciation Events
You could host a driver appreciation dinner or luncheon if you work with local drivers. These events are a chance to relax and celebrate the hard work that carriers do.
You can make these gatherings extra special by giving out awards for exceptional service. It’s a way to show carriers that you see and value their hard work and dedication beyond just the day-to-day business.
9. Celebrate Milestones (Big & Small)
Celebrating milestones is a great way to show appreciation throughout the year, not just during the holidays. You’ll likely start by celebrating major milestones, but you can also celebrate smaller milestones, too!
Celebrating these milestones will keep your carriers engaged with your freight brokerage and continue to value your broker-carrier relationship.
10. Have a Winter Gear Giveaway
Truckers deal with winter challenges more than most, so why not give them high-quality, well-insulated hats, jackets, and other winter gear? Most carriers would appreciate name-brand (non-branded) gear like Patagonia or The North Face. They’ll have your brokerage in mind every time they put on their new jacket or gloves!
11. Network Introductions
Lastly, networking opportunities are key for carriers to grow and connect with others in the industry. As a broker, you can help by setting up events where carriers can meet potential clients like shippers and warehouse managers.
This isn’t just about finding new business; it’s also about sharing knowledge and strengthening the supply chain. By helping carriers network, you’re showing you care about their growth, not just the business they bring you.
Make Your Carriers Feel Special
These tokens of gratitude are a few ways to make your carriers feel special this holiday season. A freight broker is only as strong as the relationships they have with their carriers, so make sure your carriers feel appreciated. With an extensive network of carriers, you’ll be able to attract top-tier clients and begin to broker their loads.
Sending holiday gifts isn’t the only way to make your carriers feel confident working with your brokerage. In addition to the above suggestions, ensure that you are paying your carriers on time and communicating with them frequently. Contact us today to learn more about how Denim can help you nurture your carrier relationships.