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How to stop wasting money on truckload freight rates

11.17.2020 | By Justin Turner | 4 min. read

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Every year, businesses in North America spend a gargantuan amount on truckload (TL) freight that ships with unused trailer space. Why does this happen? Well, it boils down to the typical request for proposal (RFP) process:

1. Shippers send trucking companies an RFP that contains information about their freight needs, including:

  • Declared cargo value
  • Commodity type
  • Freight classification (if applicable)
  • Load dimensions
  • Average weight
  • Lanes
  • Volume per lane
  • Origin and destination zip codes
  • Frequency
  • Necessary equipment
  • Lead times
  • Seasonality

2. Trucking companies bid on the lanes they want within a specified time frame.

3. Shippers accept the bids and tender loads to the trucking companies of choice, after considering factors such as:

  • Price
  • Performance metrics
  • Experience
  • Expertise

4. The selected trucking companies execute the work, staying true to the bid price and volume for the trucking contract term.

Shippers use this RFP process to find the best prices and methods for their specific freight operations.

The problem: Truckload RFPs encourage inefficient resource utilization and lead to higher shipping costs

The standard RFP process is limited to the constraints of the less-than truckload (LTL) and TL shipping modes. It promotes inefficient resource utilization for freight shipments that aren’t within LTL and TL size cutoffs and measure less than a full truck (8-44 linear feet and up to 36,000 pounds). The cubic capacity and linear rules for LTL shipments can force shippers to send loads in this range to the truckload routing guide, which calculates freight costs on a rate-per-mile basis.

As a result, shippers don’t receive the best rate that they could and must choose between paying for empty deck space and waiting to send their freight until it fills the truck to capacity.

TL shipping also impacts the environment in a negative way, accounting for 353-367 million tons of carbon every year in the United States alone.

The solution: Truckload freight service that optimizes shipments of any size

Luckily, there’s a more affordable and sustainable way to move gray-area freight: shared truckload shipping. This shipping mode is changing the freight market for the better.

With shared truckload service, shippers get the same TL service they know and love for a fraction of the price. Shared truckload service enables several shippers to share deck space on one, multi-stop full truckload. Freight travels directly from its pickup location to its destination without passing through hubs or terminals. 

Flock Freight® is the only logistics provider to guarantee shared truckload service. We optimize not just travel routes, but also the loads themselves to ensure freight shipments that are going the same direction move on one truck. We provide shared truckload service through our carbon neutral shipping solution, FlockDirect™️.

Let’s dive deeper into the cost benefits and environmentally sustainable aspects of shared truckload service.

Pricing benefits of shared truckload service

RFPs for 8-44 linear feet are uncommon, which is widely why Flock Freight exists. We believe providing pallet- or linear-based pricing and considering linehauls and fuel prices would be the most economical approach to RFPs. In the meantime, we ask shippers to start with their data. Reviewing shipping data from the last 30-90 days will quickly reveal if shippers have an opportunity to lower costs for freight that measures 8-44 linear feet and below 36,000 pounds. With shared truckload shipping, shippers can forget about LTL freight rates, freight class, and size constraints.

Flock Freight’s Instant Prebate program

To help shippers save money, we came up with our Instant Prebate program, which provides automatic cost savings of up to 40% on contracted TL freight. Savings depend on lane, commodity, and time of shipment. See how much you can save in the graphic below:

According to proprietary data, TL shippers that switch to shared truckload shipping for freight that measures 8-44 linear feet and less than 36,000 pounds can reduce costs by an average of 16%.

Here’s how Instant Prebate works:

  1. Shippers lock in contracted TL shipping rates based on lanes.
  2. Shippers tender a load to Flock Freight 24 hours before pickup, telling us the dimensions and weight of the freight.
  3. If the shipment is less than a full truck, Flock Freight gives the shipper an Instant Prebate off the contracted TL rate that’s based on the load’s percentage of trailer utilization. We also move the shipment via shared truckload service if possible.

With Instant Prebate, shippers don’t take on any risk. Shippers never pay more than their contracted rate, regardless of load size.

Flock Freight is the only logistics provider to offer a program that gives shippers discounts on TL freight and prevents them from paying to ship air.

Shipping services can lower the supply chain’s environmental impact

Shared truckload’s efficient use of resources benefits the environment, too. Flock Freight’s shared truckload solution, FlockDirect, is the first carbon neutral offering to give shippers a net-zero-emission shipping experience at point of sale — for no added cost. To provide net-zero-impact shipping, we supplement the emissions savings of our FlockDirect shared truckload service with carbon offsets, in partnership with Carbonfund.org. Learn more about carbon neutral shipping through FlockDirect here.

On its own, Flock Freight’s shared truckload service optimizes trailer space and eliminates wasted trips. As a result, this shipping method:

  • Reduces carbon emissions by up to 40% on its own (without carbon offsets).
  • Removes the environmental risks of using multiple trucks for a shipping job that one could handle.

To summarize, shared truckload is the only freight mode that’s designed to reduce the trucking industry’s carbon footprint.

When you have nothing to lose, ask yourself what you have to gain

In conclusion, freight brokers are in a position to resolve the issues associated with customary RFPs. Flock Freight’s Instant Prebate program — not traditional RFPs — is the best way for shippers in North America to save money on TL freight and erase the environmental impact of transportation-related emissions. 

Flock Freight prevents shippers from choosing between two undesirable TL options: Moving underutilized trucks and waiting to ship freight until it fills an entire trailer. Additionally, our shared truckload solution does more for shippers’ bottom lines and the planet than any other freight mode.

Shippers, next time you’re transporting loads that measure 8-44 linear feet and below 36,000 pounds, reach out to a Flock Freight Account Executive for contracted TL shipping rates.


Sign up for our Instant Prebate program and save on TL shipping today.