It is time to take control of low-volume contract lanes

No matter what is happening in the freight market, shippers value predictability, efficiency and on-time delivery. They are driven by these values to ensure their routing guides are iron-clad, as failures lead to unexpected delays and expenses. Some types of freight, however, are more likely to fall through the cracks than others.

A low-volume contract lane (LVCL) is defined as any lane being run as a contract bid by the shipper that has less than one load per week. These lanes are often...

How can shippers adapt to changing market dynamics?

Players across the transportation space are accustomed to dealing with change. The industry has long been characterized by cyclicity, thanks to the freight market’s innate relationship with wider supply and demand trends. Over the last few years those changes have become more challenging than ever, leading to a sense of collective whiplash.

Shippers and carriers alike have been forced to deal with the financial fallout of a global pandemic, inflation, rising fuel costs and the looming threat of...

Muted peak season continues push toward lower rates {padding-top: 56.25%;}

The holidays are quickly approaching, and shoppers are checking off their gift lists. This year, however, the festive frenzy has not been strong enough to create a traditional peak season effect.

“Peak is muted,” Emerge President George Abernathy said. “There is definitely spending going on, but I do think that there is a lot of hesitancy going on out there.”

“You see some shippers that are aggressively going after the...

Not all or nothing: Carriers have variety of options when embracing sustainability

Sustainability is top of mind for companies across the logistics industry. Carriers, specifically, are facing a combination of corporate responsibility, government regulations and growing expectations from industry partners. They are taking a wide variety of approaches from embracing electric vehicles to eliminating wasted miles to cleaning up their supply chains.

While various new state-level government policies around the type of trucks carriers can run are the biggest motivating factor...

Consumer, carrier relationships both thrive when transportation expectations are clear

Consumer demands surrounding product availability, shipping times and visibility into orders have grown significantly over the past several years. As a result, the price — both in dollars and damaged reputation — of late or damaged deliveries has skyrocketed. Meeting these demands is a team effort that involves shippers, carriers, retailers and technology providers.

While meeting consumer demands can be a consistent challenge, service hiccups are most likely to occur during demand surges....

Shippers focus on consistency, customer service

Shippers have been plagued with a combination of surging costs and declining service levels for the past two years. 

As the market continues to loosen, shipper expectations are shifting toward faster deliveries and more consistent service. To achieve these goals, many shippers are relying on contracts and favoring their tried-and-true carrier partnerships instead of taking advantage of plummeting spot rates.

“As truckload capacity eases, service from our contract partners is improving, allowing...

Relationships, technology buoy carriers in down market

Carriers are grappling with unfavorable market shifts across the board. With prowess and the right partners, however, carriers can remain profitable and even competitive in a loosening market. 

A carrier’s ability to thrive in a down market is affected by a number of factors. This includes things within a carrier’s control size, level of service and relationships as well as things outside a carrier’s control fuel prices, labor trends and macroeconomic conditions.

“A loosening market can...

Shippers must stay aware of carrier regulations to avoid costly penalties

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is always updating trucking regulations in response to everything from safety concerns to climate change. Carriers, of course, are expected to stay honed in on these changes, updating their practices and equipment on an as-needed basis. Shippers, on the other hand, may be less apt to stay abreast of regulatory changes. This can prove to be a costly mistake. 

Shippers are expected to do their due diligence when it comes to choosing carrier partners....

Blurred lines: Carrier expansion creates challenges, opportunities for shippers

Once upon a time, carriers could be easily categorized by length of haul or by amount of freight moved in the trailers. Now, however, it is impossible to neatly place companies into these broad groups. Carriers no longer limit themselves to regional or long haul, full truckload or less-than-truckload.

Mergers, acquisitions and the desire to diversify their businesses now present a carrier landscape in which a company that was once primarily a truckload carrier is now a broker, a marketplace, a...

Shipper technology offers serious benefits for carriers

Technology has completely reshaped the logistics industry in the years since the ELD mandate took effect. Companies across the space that have embraced modern solutions have quickly become more efficient, profitable and flexible. For many carriers, however, the rapid adoption of technology has sparked skepticism and reticence. 

“Historically, the adoption of new technology by shippers created new or additional costs for carriers to become compliant,” Emerge SVP of Product Kyle Jepson said. “For...

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