When it comes to lowering LTL costs, stop being a “Doubting Thomas!”

Feb 28, 2024


Last week’s Two Minute Warning that addressed how shippers can lower their LTL freight costs even when rates are rising elicited some interesting responses.

The most common question was, “How can that be when we are seeing our LTL carriers seeking proposed rate increases in the 4% to 8% range?” As Rob Estes, Chairman and CEO of Estes Express, noted in our recent podcast, in the wake of Yellow’s closure, the LTL carriers have more leverage in their negotiations with shippers than the truckload carriers do.  

For those that asked the “how is it possible” question, I suggested that they ask a different question. Specifically, you should ask: “What would our company have to do differently in order to lower our LTL freight costs?” When you ask that question, it opens up a different dialogue with your carriers and that dialogue is the key to lowering your LTL freight costs.

Having conducted billions of dollars in sourcing events over the years, TranzAct has a ton of experience in helping shippers get great results when they go to market. If you are planning to conduct a transportation sourcing event in 2024, here are some tips we have gleaned from being in the market every day, and constantly interacting and negotiating with the top executives from the largest transportation companies in North America.

First, smart shippers think strategically instead of transactionally. If you are expecting the carriers to give you their best rates simply because you’ve put out an RFP, or expect them to meet your demands in order to keep your business, you are likely to be disappointed. Smart shippers work with their carriers to eliminate the inefficiencies which add costs and result in increased rates.

Second, accurate and timely data, plus trust and transparency are critically important attributes in successful negotiations with your carriers. As Geoff Muessig shared in our webcasts, there are six considerations that can help you and the carriers -- and in your negotiations, these considerations require accurate data.

Third, smart shippers review the processes and conditions that dictate the need for LTL freight. One of the reasons our LTL Strategic Assessments have proven to be so effective is because it looks at what companies are doing, why they are doing it, and what changes could be made to produce better results. The LTL Strategic Assessment finds opportunities to lower your LTL freight costs!

If you’re managing a freight budget that includes LTL shipping, I encourage you to simply send us an email or schedule a time to meet. I’ll be happy to share the principles and best practices we’ve used to help shippers reduce costs.

Why schedule a meeting?

We are an industry thought leader on LTL procurement and management best practices and processes. We have helped scores of companies like yours realize the lowest rates combined with the best service, especially as market conditions change. 

In today’s environment, your time is extremely valuable as you mange competing priorities. Below are delineated just a few of the thought leadership communications we have developed. With this background and expertise, imagine what we can do for you. Let’s schedule a brief meeting to examine how you can best start this journey. 






Looking for LTL Other Resources?

Here are a few options.



Top Trends in the LTL Industry & How to Work with LTL Carriers 

In this interview, Rob Estes and Mike Regan discuss the state of the LTL industry, how to work with LTL carriers and what to expect ahead. 

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The Impact of Yellow’s Auction on LTL Shippers in 2024

Watch this webinar to get a better understanding of what the LTL sector looks like post-Yellow, plus decisions LTL shippers need to make in 2024.

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Yellow's Closure Creates Opportunities for LTL Shippers

During this webinar, our panelists shared advice for managing LTL freight in light of changes in the market from the closure of Yellow.

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Simplify Your LTL Shipping Strategy

Discover the power of LTL shipping with our comprehensive infographic. Whether you're new to the logistics game or a seasoned pro, this resource will help you optimize your shipping strategy.

View now >