Carriers should know their market in terms of shippers’ requirements. A study should include examination of volumes by destination, shipment size, and service requirements. Many distribution systems in use today were designed to support the marketing efforts of 10 or 20 years ago.
Distribution trends point to more centralization. Shippers’ patterns will be altered if service and cost advantages justify a change. Carriers’ “off-line” services will reduce costs and enable improved distribution for their shippers. New trends in terminal handling, starting at the shippers’ docks, will lead to new patterns of distribution. To capitalize on improved arrangements, carriers must know their costs and price their service accordingly.