How to unlock profitable partnerships

< Back to posts

The constant market fluctuations can be overwhelming. That’s why industry veterans rely on proven strategies to navigate the ups and downs, making sure they stay profitable either way. 

We’re here to share a few of them. 

To make money, your business needs good relationships with freight brokers, tools to operate efficiently, and quick ways to make sure you’re maximizing revenue on every load. 

Let’s rev up your success in this tough market.

Know and prepare for the market you’re in

There are a few things you can look at to find out what’s happening in the freight markets. Understanding these indicators is crucial for businesses to adapt to the ups and downs of the market cycles.

On the DAT One platform, you can see the number of loads moving in and out of any given state, giving you an idea of the supply and demand in each area.  You can also look at the Market Conditions Index, which scores market “tightness” or “looseness” on a -100 to +100 scale (with +100 representing an extremely tight market). 

MCI makes it easy to see where your truck has a competitive advantage, with “tight” markets showing where your services are in high demand and “loose” markets showing where it might be difficult to find a load.

All of this information will help you when negotiating a rate, making sure you aren’t leaving money on the table in hot markets and letting you know when to account for cold ones.

Make decisions that protect profit

Time is money, especially in the world of trucking. That’s a big consideration when choosing which loads to haul. With the Profit Estimator from DAT One, you can quickly add up the profitability of each load. Just enter some numbers about your expenses (fuel, insurance, etc.), you can see immediately how different loads stack up against each other, quickly see which ones match up with your business goals.

If you’ve got a good handle on the financial side of running a business, great – let’s put those skills to work. If you’re lacking here, it’s a good time to learn. With accurate looks at metrics like miles per week, driver pay, and emergency equipment fund management, you’ll become a more proactive business owner who anticipates and gets ahead of financial windfalls or unexpected costs. 

Choose the right partner

Speaking of your due diligence, do the work of evaluating the financial health of a brokerage you plan to work with. In DAT One, you’ll see their credit scores and the average number of days it takes for them to pay an invoice. 

But don’t stop at pure financials. Look at their verifications, investigate some of their security measures, and most importantly, their reviews in the DAT Directory. If the broker you’re working with has a poor track record, other carriers will let you know in the Directory. 

Protect your business online

We all play a role in keeping our online businesses safe. Keep these tips in mind. 

  • Confirm phone numbers – Note the number shown on your caller ID. Does it match the phone number listed on the FMCSA website or in SAFER System? Scammers get a phone number that looks very similar to the number on file with these official agencies. If the numbers don’t match, call the number listed with FMCSA or SAFER to confirm the caller is an employee of the company.
  • Check the email address – See if it matches what’s listed on the FMCSA website or the SMS Results section of SAFER. If those sites list the business email as and the caller provides, be suspicious and call the company directly.
  • Consult the DAT Directory – The DAT Directory lists all carriers/brokers/shippers who are DAT customers. Cross-check the contact information in the directory and go to the company reviews section to see what other brokers are saying about this carrier.

Trucking is a complicated business, but with the right tools, you can navigate any market.

Related Posts

Welcome to DAT Freight & Analytics’s six-part series on napping, sleep physiology, scheduling, and trip planning. While aimed at truckers

Traditional capacity procurement strategies are out – they aren’t enough anymore. Shippers are adopting a flexible approach, one that isn’t

By Joe Cottone, Jr. As we roll through the first of the year and into the heart of Q1, we’re