In Q4 of last year, the trucking industry experienced restrained capacity and higher shipping costs. According to Transport Topics, “the national average spot rate for van freight was 54 cents per mile higher than a year ago, up to $3 per mile.” With these challenges pressing forward into 2022, how can shippers go about reducing freight costs?
Here are 5 tips to help shippers avoid overpaying for transportation in 2022:
1. Have a good relationship with a 3PL
Building a great relationship with a 3PL that has connections in the lanes in which shippers are moving freight is a great way to save on transportation. The trust and consistency built by working with a 3PL like Route can lead to the best solutions for lane coverage without sacrificing quality of service.
2. Be aware of market changes
Keeping an eye on freight market changes and trends can help shippers keep transportation costs down. Does your current 3PL keep you up to date on the spot market and rates? If the answer is no, then it may be time to switch or try working with a new 3PL.
3. Ship slightly lower weight on oversize loads
Is the load super heavy? If a shipper has the option of shipping slightly lower weight, it helps. That one pallet that brings the weight from 44,500 down to 42,000 lbs can give a 3PL a lot more shipping options.
4. Be flexible on pickup and delivery dates
With the sheer volatility of the market right now, being flexible with dates/times can make all the difference. That flexibility (such as a wider pickup time window) can give a 3PL the ability to find the best rates possible for the shipment.
5. Longer lead times can help lower costs
Finally, the best way to help lower costs for transportation is to give a 3PL longer lead times for a load. For shippers that have weekly and daily spot loads, 24 – 48 hours notice will allow for a 3PL to contract a carrier much easier. This is because two days allows contracted carriers to line up their back haul once they know their head haul is in motion for a day or two long trip.
Ready to put these tips into action?