In 2017, Hurricane Harvey led to a lot of urgent loads on DAT load boards, and Hurricane Irma led to even more. Combined with already higher than usual demand for trucks, that creates some fast negotiating.
Why does the broker need a rate so fast? The load could be time-sensitive for the pick or drop-off. The agent could also be competing with other brokerages to be the first to secure a truck.
Tips for Negotiating Expedited Loads:
1. If you are posting your truck and getting so many calls that you are missing calls, then you need to add more details to your truck posting. Be the person who knows what they want.
2. In the past, I've had the best luck posting my truck when others don't, either after business hours or on the weekend.
3. Try your best to quote the load now. Don't tell the broker you will call back with a rate. It's better to overprice the load than not price it at all. At least now the negotiation can begin.
4. Know the mileage. A laptop with Google Maps opened up and ready to go is a fast way to calculate mileage while on the phone. Often brokers know what the zip codes for the city names you need and this is faster than trying to spell complicated city names. There are a few things you'll want to consider when it comes to mileage:
- Where is the load picking up?
- What is your deadhead to pick the load up?
- Where is the load going?
- What will your loaded miles be?
- What would the miles be to get to a desired location?
- What is the total number of miles, including deadhead?
If I am unsure about the market the load is going to — or I will be off-loading during the weekend and/or getting reloaded will be unlikely — then I like knowing what the mileage will be to get to my next destination. Remember, this needs to happen fast and with little time for research, but it's almost impossible to give a realistic rate without knowing the mileage.
5. What are the inconveniences? There are no rules or formulas for fast broker negotiations. I like to look at each load differently, with the thought of how much discontent the load will bring to my life. I told a broker once that I didn't want to sit in a truck stop parking lot over the weekend, so the agent agreed to pay an extra $300 for a hotel room. Personally, with van and power-only loads, I often use $2.30 times all miles as my magic number.
Thanks for reading, I really like running expedited freight and will share more tips and strategies in future blog posts.
Chad Boblett is the owner and driver of Boblett Brothers Trucking of Lexington, KY. Chad also founded the Rate Per Mile Masters group on Facebook, a communications hub for more than 13,000 members, including owner-operators, truck drivers, and other transportation and logistics pros.