Most people are always looking to work smarter not harder which is why businesses consistently strive to become more efficient and streamline shipping processes. In the current market, cost is king and full truckload shippers are back at the drawing board to examine their strategy. The key is striking the perfect balance between operational efficiencies and low costs to meet consumer demands and protect your bottom line. Here are a few strategies to consider when looking to reduce truckload freight costs.

Stay Informed:  The trucking industry is very complex and with the rising demand for drivers combined with new regulations and restrictions, it can be difficult to establish an on-going relationship with carriers. And unlike LTL shipping, full truckload shipping tends to be driven by the spot market with hundreds of factors that can affect rates on any given day. Some of these factors include diesel fuel prices, weather or even seasonal demand such as agriculture or holiday shipments. Consider partnering with a 3PL to optimize the logistics of packaging, dunnage, fulfillment and consolidation. This can increase customer satisfaction and reduce transportation spend without the expense of hiring additional staff to move the needle.

Be Consistent:  If you have regular shipments in the same lanes, carriers can work on building backhauls which could potentially drop your rates. The carrier can become more efficient and will appreciate reliable, repeat business. In today’s market, loyalty and steady lane volume can be your friend. In addition, leverage the strategic relationships 3PLs have with the nation’s leading carriers. You’ll save time by cutting out the endless rate shopping and benefit from a more efficient network of carriers to meet your service requirements at bulk discount rates.

Think Ahead: Depending on the freight, shipping a day earlier – or later to avoid peak days can likely yield savings. Also consider adjusting pick up times to reduce costs. For example, most carriers are picking up loads in the mid-afternoon but they may be happy to fill their backhaul with your freight later in the evening – resulting in a significant rate reduction.

Load Quickly:  If your carriers know they can get the freight loaded in a one-hour window, they will be more agreeable to work with you in the future and offer more favorable prices. Moving more freight than you have staff? Trust a 3PL for Capacity Management.

As truckload capacity shifts over time, shippers who design a transportation strategy that balances their supply chain needs with market capabilities will obtain the greatest flexibility and performance. It’s important that shippers establish relationships with a variety of truckload carriers, both large and small, while leveraging the expertise of outside logistics professionals. Partnering with a 3PL will provide you with a larger network of carriers to meet your needs and optimize your supply chain.

At AFS, we provide full truckload solutions that make shipping easy, leaving you to focus on your core business. Give us a call today at 877-242-3383 to book your next load!