LTL Shipping

How To Negotiate Freight Rates – Tips For Success


Know Your Numbers

Before you even move into the negotiation process, you want to have a thorough understanding of the numbers that will come up in the conversation. Know where your estimate stands within the price range for the items that you need shipped and review all relevant invoices, bill of ladings, carrier contracts, and accounting systems you’ve received in the past. Feel free to get others involved in the process, like financial experts, who can look over your documents and discuss where you may be able to save on freight rates.

Be Aware of Price Volatility

Freight rates change throughout the year, and peak season prices will be higher than slower seasons. For example, in Asia, there is an upsurge of cargo from mid-January through early February as businesses try to beat the Chinese New Year deadline when factories may be shut down for the holiday. Knowing the nuances of the marketplace where you intend to ship will help you to better plan your shipping times as well as negotiate for better freight rates.

Leverage Group Buying

If you transport larger cargo, you can often negotiate based on the amount of cargo you bring on board. However, if you are a smaller scale merchant, you don’t have that negotiating tool at your disposal. Instead, you can join buying groups and use your collective power to negotiate better freight rates.

Know The Value of a Reliable Carrier

A reliable carrier matters a lot to your business, and when you find one that you’re happy with, it can be better to stay with them than switch to whatever carrier offers you a better rate. Though you may be paying more, it’s in your best interest to stay with a carrier that has proven to be reliable. A skilled business person knows the importance of building long-term relationships, and that’s also true with your freight carrier. Freight shipping rates and supply/demand are volatile, and a reliable shipper can help protect you from price hikes and delays in the future.

Compare Offers

Using a shipping platform like ShipCarte allows you to quickly see what other carriers are charging and compare those prices to your current agreement. Researching other carriers and their freight rates gives you more power at the negotiation table, and a carrier will likely give you a better price if they think you may go with a competitor. You can use a shipping platform to compare factors such as different rates, insurance, transit requirements, accessorial charges, fuel costs, and more.

Read the Fine Print

As with any contract, the devil is in the details! Skilled negotiators know how to analyze the fine print and find any charges or hidden costs that should be eliminated before you sign. For example, how much time is allotted for pickup and delivery? Will you be charged for weekend deliveries? What kind of accessorial charges such as cargo packing and unpacking are included? These are all issues you can negotiate, and you can determine what you really need to pay for and what doesn’t fit your needs.

ShipCarte – Shipping Platform

ShipCarte makes it easy to compare freight rates and ship around the world. When you choose to partner with ShipCarte for your shipping needs, not only do you gain access to our cloud-based shipping platform, you also get the support of a dedicated account manager who will support you through the entire process. From envelope to box, our courier services have you covered. Here are just a few of the services we offer:

  • Instant multiple quotes
  • Multiple carrier services
  • Generate and print carrier compliant shipping labels
  • Schedule pick up online
  • Track and trace your products

Contact us today to get started or sign up for a demo.