Pricing: What’s the Sweet Spot for Shippers?

Posted: 20 Jul, 2015 by Ralph Galantine


Categories: Best Practices and Benchmarks


When you quote a rate to a shipper, what references do you use to ensure that your prices are not too high or too low?

I recently talked to a freight broker who works as an agent for a large 3PL, and he told me that before quoting a price to a customer, he always does three things:

  1. He checks the  ratio of load postings vs. truck postings for the lane to see how difficult it will be to get a truck.
  2. He relies on his 20 years experience in the industry.
  3. He consults DAT RateView™. 

He said that DAT RateView helps him find the “sweet spot” for the shipper. “If I quote a rate and the customer sounds too excited, I’ve probably priced it too low. If he seems disappointed, I’ve probably priced it too high,” he said. (I didn’t mention his name or company because all companies that submit their rates to DAT RateView are kept confidential.) 

If you're not familiar with DAT RateView, it is an online tool that gives you detailed, lane-by-lane insight into the prevailing rates on the lanes you run. It’s integrated into some DAT load board packages and is also available as a standalone software service. Depending on the subscription you choose, DAT RateView enables you to see broker-to-carrier spot market rates, shipper-to-carrier contract rates, and rail intermodal rates.

See how your company’s rates stack up

When your company contributes its rates to DAT RateView, you will see how your prices compare to the market rate on a given lane. The average rate that you’ve paid carriers on a lane is summarized along with the market rate, so you can see how you stack up against the competition. Think of it as a form of competitive research.

Additionally, DAT RateView shows you a History graph that plots your company’s rates alongside the market rate for the same lane for the past 13 months. In the example below, the solid orange line shows the market rate, while the orange circles show your company’s rate.

DAT RateView displays a 13-month history that shows your company’s rates (circles) compared to the market rate for that lane. Clicking the circles reveals a more detailed report of each transaction.   

Other helpful features

With DAT RateView, you can view rates as recent as the past 7 days by narrowing the timeframe, and/or zero in on an origin/destination as narrow as a 3-digit ZIP code or as wide as a region by changing the geography. Last month, we also announced a number of exciting new features of DAT RateView™.

To learn more about DAT RateView or request a demo, please contact our award-winning customer service team at 800.551.8847 or complete this online form.

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About DAT

DAT operates the largest truckload freight marketplace in North America. Transportation brokers, carriers, news organizations and industry analysts rely on DAT for market trends and data insights derived from 179 million freight matches in 2017, and a database of $45 billion of market transactions.

The Original Load Board - Trusted Since 1978

The company was established in 1978 as the Dial-A-Truck (DAT) load finder service at Jubitz® truck stop in Portland, OR.

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