Bidding and planning for your LTL rates can be relatively complicated. The long list of fees, regulations, and potential problems can make the entire process hard for anyone to follow. An RFP is just one more complication to add to the list. Fortunately, shippers can take a few steps to make the process easier for everyone involved.

Use these 4 strategies to streamline your next LTL request for proposal (RFP). Click To Tweet

Planning Your Request for Proposal

Your request for proposal could be completed with the intention to control transportation spending or expand provider options. A RFP will help you organize your entire shipping process. Here are a few strategies you should consider for your next RFP process: 

  1. Common rate base
  2. Fuel surcharges
  3. Be open to new carriers
  4. Hire an expert

1) Common Rate Base

A common problem for many shippers is being able to compare discounts from carriers since all carriers rate bases are different, which makes it very difficult to do proper modeling of each proposal. Start the RFP process with a common base rate for your potential LTL partners to consider when responding to the RFP (you may even be a large enough LTL shipper to demand the use of it). The purchasing of CzarLite is a great place to start. This CzarLite LTL Base Rate has become the industry standard with 276 billion zip-to-zip rate possibilities. While this will cost you some money upfront, the return can far outweigh the cost, plus you no longer be part of the blanket General Rate Increases (GRI) from the carriers each year. 

2) Fuel Surcharges

An often overlooked item in any RFP is the fuel surcharges imposed by the LTL carriers. This is also an area that can be standardized in your RFP, since all the carriers have different tables by which they calculate fuel surcharges. By standardizing you could save as much as 5% off your net transportation rate.   

3) Be Open to New Carriers

You may already have carriers you’re familiar with and trust. However, change can be beneficial to any business if it’s handled well. A new carrier may be able to offer you lower costs, more efficient packing, faster shipping times, or more. Being open to all proposals will increase your leverage with your incumbent carriers. Explore your options through a Google search, read reviews, and ask around to find the best carriers for your specific needs.

Pro Tip: As part of your research for new carriers, use our LTL rateshopper to determine how much money they can (or can’t) save you by switching.

4) Hire an Expert

One sure-fire way to ensure you get the best deal possible on an RFP is to hire a professional to help you navigate the complicated field of LTL pricing. Firms like ours have people that come directly from the carriers, so they know intimately the strategies to deploy on your behalf and all the negotiable items in your contract that will garner the most favorable results. An often overlooked area is the amount of time it takes your company to publish the RFP, manage the carrier responses, negotiate the most favorable terms through multiple rounds and finally all of the modeling and analytics needed to accurately forecast the impact of your carrier selection.   A professional shipping management team will help you analyze your options and find the best possible value. To best enhance your supply chain, speak with one of our shipment management experts today!

Planning for a Successful RFP

The best strategy for your next LTL RFP is to balance expert input with your own research on the best options for saving money. With careful attention paid to every option and a detailed analysis of your supply chain’s status, you can easily reduce your shipping expenses.

Connect with us for more information on optimizing your supply chain.