How To Be A Cost-Effective Shipper

Freight rates got you down?

Freight rates have settled a bit during the last two weeks of October–probably due to Hurricane Michael. Even so, 2018, as a whole, has been a year of change, fluctuations, and rising contract rates. In fact, according to The Journal of Commerce, truckload rates have climbed between 10 percent and 15 percent in dry-van, refrigerated, and flatbed/over-dimensional truckload this year. Furthermore, early predictions see contract rates rising at least 5% in early 2019.

According to DAT, spot rates for September were lower than their peak in June, but with the average van rate at $2.15, it was a whopping 18 cents higher than September 2017.  In fact, it was the highest September van rate ever.

If you’re a shipper, these rising rates (and the likelihood that they’re going to keep rising) are probably giving you a headache. If the experts are right, you need a plan. Can you mitigate the effects of ever-increasing costs?


The answer is yes! In fact, if you follow these three tips, you can become a cost-effective shipper.

  • Join an association. Most of us overlook the benefits of joining associations–thinking memberships take extra time and money you don’t have. Don’t make that mistake. Associations often offer shipping discounts to members. And they’re a great way to network with other shippers, carriers, and brokers.  
  • Build relationships. Shopping around can actually increase costs! Stop spending all your time on bids. If you’re allocating the majority of your resources on RFQs, it’s likely you’re not dedicating enough of your time to the business you have. When your trusted partners get the job done right the first time, you make back the 5-10% you might have saved with a cheaper carrier who delivered damaged goods late.
  • Find a good freight broker and outsource your shipping. If you’re like most shippers, you’re wary of freight brokers. But a good third-party-logistics (3PL) provider can give you a lot of bang for your buck.



When you partner with a good broker, like the team at AMT,

you gain access to capacity you’d never have working with a handful of carriers. Our logistics team has been in the transportation business for 30 years. We’ve built long-term relationships with a core carrier base. We know logistics players all along the supply chain.

We offer the latest technology in GPS tracking, GEOfencing, and Transportation Management Systems (TMS). Our online portal provides shippers with access to load status and tracking, customized reports, and invoices, bills, orders, and inventory, as well as, weather reports and industry news.

And we’re dedicated to customer service. We get to know you and your unique shipping needs. You gain the power of our expertise and reap the benefits of the high-touch model we use to keep track of your freight from pickup to delivery. Our commitment to customer service means that you’ll always reach a real person on the other end of the phone. We’re available 24/7, 365 days a year to answer questions and provide you with updates.


Get rid of the headaches that come with rising freight rates.

If you follow these three tips, you’ll be on your way to becoming a cost-effective shipper. If you’d like to talk about these ideas or other ways AMT can help you with your shipping needs, give us a call!