There’s a difference between posting your loads and calling on carriers to take your loads. There are carriers out there that will post their trucks on the different load boards, meanwhile there are Brokers/Agents that will post there loads on the different load boards and although they may be a perfect match, no one wants to make the call to the other and the opportunity gets missed. In my opinion, here is the reason why. It’s all about who has the upper hand!!
When a carrier makes a call on a load you have posted, he/she is in need of a load, that’s why they are calling, because of this fact, you have the upper hand, and it will be you dictating what rate you’re going to pay on this load. On the other hand, when you make the call to the carrier, they know you are in need of their services and this gives them the upper hand. This is the game that is played every day when it comes to moving freight. Our job is to figure out when to post and when to call. It would be easy to just post all your loads and wait for carriers to call in, get the best rate and move on but unless you have so much freight that you just can’t keep up and need to post everything, you’re just being lazy.
Scenario one: I’ve been working with a customer for 10 years and I do one lane for them about once a month on average. The lane is from upstate New York and goes to northeastern Wisconsin. My average profit on this lane is between $300.00 and $400.00 per load depending on the time of year. Upstate New York is tough for a carrier to get out of which makes my load premium!! I know that if I post this load on the board I will get as many calls as needed to get the rate I want to get it moved, I will always have the upper hand with this load and I have never lost money in the many years I have been moving it. That being said, because I’ve had this lane for many years, I can now look on the boards and usually find a carrier that has moved it before and make a call and get it moved without ever having to post it. Here’s an important tip that generally stands true. Once a carrier takes a load from you at a set rate, they will usually stick to that rate for the unforeseeable future!!
Scenario two: I have multiple customers that I move loads for that my profits are from $50.00 to $75.00 for every load I move for them, reason being is, for one, I’m not the only Agent bidding on the loads so I have to be very competitive. Another reason is the lanes are usually less than desirable, but I’ll take $50.00 over nothing any day, it all adds up!! With these loads I usually have to, not only post the loads, but pound the phones also to try and get them covered, I know I won’t get too many calls on the loads but it’s my backup just in case my phone calls to carriers don’t pan out. Usually you can always negotiate with at least one carrier to take the load.
When you’re making your calls to carriers, you need to be prepared; you should have already put your load in the search section of the load board (as opposed to the post section). You should know your product, the weight of your product, the hours of shipper and receiver, how many miles from point A to point B. whether it can go on a van or reefer. Someone once told me in this business the number one thing to remember is to Cover Your ASS. I know now that every mistake you make will cost you money so make sure the carrier has all the info they need up front.
When negotiating rates with Carriers, remember, these people are busy and won’t spend a lot of time on the phone with you, when they ask you the rate for your load, always start lower than what you want and work your way up, the less money you think you will make on the load should dictate on how low you want to start. In time you will learn where you should start on your loads. I have always said you have 3 tries to get a carrier to move your load, your starting rate, your comeback rate after he/she makes an offer and your final offer. This will take 3 to 5 minutes and you’re done, you’re either sending a confirmation or moving on to the next call. Know your freight, know the market and know your abilities and things will go your way. It takes time but as everything else in life, nothing good ever comes easy. If you like my post let me know. I’m always here!!