While brokers tend to offer lower freight rates because it ultimately benefits their business, there are cases in which you could get hit with higher rates. This can also occur when the demand for trucks is high. When loads remain on a load board for a lengthy period of time, you are likely to face a higher rate. Additionally, running loads is more expensive in some lanes than in others.

Here, we share tips on how to negotiate lower freight rates to ensure you pay the lowest amount possible.

1. Consider The Drop-Off Location

It will cost you less when your shipments are hauled into certain areas because they tend to offer low-paying freight. You should be aware, however, that trucking companies may try to negotiate a higher rate when they haul loads into these areas in order to compensate for the money they could lose otherwise.

2. Load-To-Truck-Ratio Matters

Supply and demand make a significant impact on freight rates. Your company will benefit when the number of available trucks exceeds the number of loads. On the other hand, if there are plenty of loads and a few trucks, you will likely pay a higher rate. For this reason, you should always check the number of posted trucks in your lane.

3. Take Time Into Account

There are several different ways in which time can affect the freight rates you are able to get. In general, shipments that spend a long time on a load board will be subject to higher rates. Conversely, a narrow window between finding a load and picking it up could also result in paying a steeper freight rate. The drop-off time makes a difference, as well. Truck drivers keep a close eye on their hours of service (HOS) due to the ELD Mandate. It is imperative that the drop-off time and location allows enough time to work within the HOS.

4. Look Into Fees

There are many fees associated with shipping. Make sure to take all potential fees into consideration including:

  • Dock or lumper fees
  • Accrued detention rates
  • Fees for obtaining special permits
  • Tolls along the route
  • Fuel surcharge

It is important to ask pertinent questions about fees. Ideally, you want to get all or most fees covered in the freight rate.

5. Conduct Research On Carriers

Working with a shady or inept carrier can wreak havoc on the financial well-being of your company. It is important to run a credit check on any carriers under consideration and compare carriers across the board. Doing so can save you money, time and the costly fallout that can occur from making the wrong choice.


6. BONUS TIP – Knowledge Is Power

When it comes to learning how to negotiate lower freight rates, knowledge will give you a solid advantage and the best possible rates. Freight Management, Inc. created Draydex™, the most accurate spot market index. You will get the best drayage rates instantly and critical access to the following when you use the advanced TMS integration:

  • Instantaneous Benchmarking – the industry’s “first-of-its-kind” Drayage Spot Rate Index
  • Pricing From All Ramps And Ports
  • Fast Comparison Of Carrier Pricing
  • Lightning-Fast Booking Speed Versus. Traditional Carrier Sourcing
  • Detailed Presentations Of Linehauls And Accessorial Charges
  • Highly Accurate And Efficient Record-Keeping
  • Carrier Insurance And Safety Monitoring
  • “Book it Now” Pricing And Capacity With FMI

Draydex gives you the ability to get all of the information you need to get competitive freight rates. It is updated in real-time, so you do not have to worry about rapid-fire changing rates. Plus, access to the spot market index is free of charge.

Get Instant Access To Lower Rates – Free

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