Capacity is tighter than ever; the rates are at all-time high and steadily climbing up – this is no surprise to anyone connected to the transportation industry. We have already discussed the major factors which are contributing to the capacity crisis, and a few tips which should help you negotiate in the current high-rate market.
The current market is the reality we all must face at the moment, and the experts forecast that the crisis will most likely continue well into the next year at the very least. With truck-to-load ratio breaking the records, it’s not just the rates which will help you move your freight in a timely manner, but also how attractive your freight is for carriers.
How can you make carriers more interested in your load? Of course, a lot revolves around the rate, but there are a few things that can contribute as well:
Although it’s understandable why shippers prefer strict appointments, in times on tight capacity this will limit your options even more. Some drivers might not be able to meet your appointment requirement, and others will prefer a different load which will give them more flexibility with pick-up/delivery and less anxiety over potentially missing the appointment.
Don’t waste time
We have previously discussed in more detail how shippers can help increase truck capacity, and this is a very important factor indeed. Make sure your loading/unloading procedures are efficient and avoid detention. First of all, it will help streamline the process and keep the drivers on the road rather than at your dock. Moreover, the word travels fast: if your facility is notorious for holding drivers up for an unreasonable amount of time, carriers might not be willing to load at your facility, even if offered a good rate.
Try to ship your loads consistently over the course of the month and schedule them in advance. This will give you more truck options and will help negotiate better rates with your consistent carriers, as they will be able to plan their operations better. Trying to push all the loads out last minute and at once will be stressful, expensive – and you will most likely not meet the delivery requirements.
Sticking to the rules is extremely important for the proper operation of any business. However, be open-minded in the times of capacity crisis. Sometimes, being flexible and maybe even bending a rule to accommodate the needs of your regular carrier might be worth it to keep them on your freight going forward. Carriers will often stay loyal and move your loads for lower rates than offered elsewhere if they feel their cooperation is valued.
In the end, it’s not just about money. The tips above will help you market your freight better, give you more truck options and help you keep your supply chain operations uninterrupted.
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