Time Is Right For a Truckload Rate Review

By Sean Ryan, Director of Transportation

There have been a lot of articles lately on the downward spiral of truckload rates across the country. A recent article from FreightWaves titled Spot Markets Are Flattening, stated that Outbound Tender Volume Index, which measures national freight demand by shippers’ request for capacity, had fallen 2.1%.  Another article from The LoadStar titled Tough Year Ahead as Economic Headwinds slow US truckload operators, stated the latest Cass Freight Index showed a 3.9% year-on-year decline in shipments.

Pretty much all of these articles offer several reasons why this decline is taking place, whether that’s excess capacity, softening demand, inflation, or a looming recession.  But what this ultimately means for shippers is potential cost savings.  If you aren’t already doing a review to make sure you are getting the best rates available, the time is right to make that happen. 

I know for some shippers this is going to be hard because you go through RFPs or are in a contract and the rates have already been set. But for those in the spot market, where many of our clients sit, now is a good time to review your truckload rates, confirm you are getting quality carriers and make sure you are getting quality service.

Truckload rate decline graph

For anyone dealing with a brokerage firm like us, this is a pretty easy process. The simplest thing to do is just reach out and ask for an audit of what is currently being shipped to see if there have been any changes. Unfortunately, we have seen a significant amount of layoffs at the larger firms that may have been on the heavy side with staff. If you feel you’ve been left without someone that can assist you, or are being passed around, you may not be getting the service and therefore the best rates.

For anyone shipping freight on their own or dealing directly with a carrier, this can be a little more difficult as you might not have the availability to shop around for better rates. There are different paid services where you could probably do a rate check, but that can be expensive and often time-consuming

We have a little advantage here at Bonded because we are able to see freight happening all across our network. What’s amazing is that we still see freight getting left on the dock because clients opt for the lowest provider and loads don’t get taken care of.  We use reliable sources to be able to get the best rates and work with the right people so that this type of thing doesn’t happen, whether that’s freight coming into Bonded or anywhere else our clients need it to go.

There are other factors to take into consideration when looking at current rates, such as whether the carrier does a great job, picks up on time, delivers on time, has clean bills, or never has any problems.  But in my opinion, the time is still right to do that review to make sure you’ve got the best rates on the truckload lanes.  And if you still think you might not be getting the best rate, it might be time to reach out and get a second opinion.

Ready to do a review of one or several of your truckload rates to ensure you are getting the best pricing available? Click here to start a conversation with me today!