Relationship Building vs. Rate Shopping

The beginning of a new year is a great time to get back to the basics.  Here on the AMT blog, we’ve been exploring freight rates, zoning in on the differences between instant and accurate rates, as well as, how we come up with our truckload rates. Today we’ll tackle rate shopping.

Rates were high across the board in 2018. Concerns over the ELD rule, along with a booming economy, a driver retention problem, and some big weather events contributed to soaring freight costs.

We thought we’d continue our discussion of rates by taking a look at rate shopping versus creating lasting relationships. Here’s a heads up: we’re firmly on the side of creating partnerships with shippers and carriers. We believe the benefits of partnerships far outweigh the negligible cost-savings you might receive from rate shopping.

Think you might enjoy the video version of this blog more? Click here to check it out!

But what is rate shopping?


Simply put, rate shopping is comparing the costs from a variety of carriers, and going with what seems to be the most cost-effective solution.


Do we rate shop at AM Transport?


Nope. Because even though rate shopping might seem to be a smart way to do business, it’s not.

Here’s why we choose relationships over rate shopping every time.

Rate shopping hinders relationship building.

Relationships are the number one reason to work with a 3PL like AM Transport Services. Not only the relationship we have with you, our customers, but also the relationships we have with carrier managers, warehouse managers, and folks all along the supply chain.


But let’s talk first about our relationship with you.


Instead of shopping for the cheapest rate for your freight. We’re getting to know you. We’re getting to know your freight, your lanes. We’ll spend the right amount of time studying the markets where your freight is picked up and delivered because it’s the right thing to do.


But rate shopping saves money, right?


Not necessarily. Think about it. We could rate shop around, but we don’t because the savings you get are eaten up by the additional time we’d need to spend locating, vetting, and onboarding the right carrier. And let’s not forget the likely service failures and dropped loads you’d experience when we shoot for the lowest possible price. We’re talking about time here, and time is money.

And what about the relationships we have with carriers? It’s an important factor. You see, instead of rate shopping, we’ll find the best carrier for your lane. We have long-term partnerships with a core group of carriers. We work with the best small to midsize carriers in the logistics industry.

Did you know that carriers with fleets of 5-100 trucks are less likely to experience the driver retention problems larger carriers deal with day in and day out. And experienced drivers make the difference in how quickly, reliably, and consistently your freight is picked up and delivered.


These are only a few of the reasons we believe neither 3PLs nor shippers should rate shop. Creating and cultivating long-standing relationships and partnerships with people who know and understand your business, your lanes, and the best carriers far outweighs the negligible cost savings rate shopping might offer.