Don’t let the record freight environment trip you up: Have a plan and execute

Like in 2020, typical freight demand cycles seemingly have been tossed out the window in 2021. Instead, what appears to be shaping up is one long, sustained peak season, in which freight demand continues to march upward, while capacity remains slow to keep up. 

That’s creating a tightness that’s heavily tilted the market toward carriers’ favor, in many ways giving carriers their pick of loads — and often at a premium per-mile rate. While it may be tempting to simply chase rates while this jubilee lasts, carriers would be wise to establish clear goals, and then develop and execute a plan to accomplish them. Where do you want to be financially when the market inevitably slows? What do you hope to build while the market’s so ripe? How can you make the most of the current environment?

These are questions you need to be asking yourself. Use the answers to those questions to inform and understand your own costs, and then look for loads accordingly. For example, if you want to save a certain amount in an emergency or maintenance fund, or if you want to try to max out your retirement accounts this year — what does that add to your cost per mile for your fleet? Likewise, if you’re looking to expand by adding a certain number of trucks and drivers to your fleet, how can you utilize the current market to make that a reality? On the flip side, if you want to simply take more time off, go on more vacations, and enjoy the rewards of strong rates that way, you still need a plan to maximize your working weeks. 

The keys to developing a plan of action are to know your cost per mile, know your break-even point, and know your target rate needed to execute and accomplish your objectives. Even still, with so much freight going around, it can be difficult to stick to a plan once you’ve answered these questions. Meet our preferred lanes feature: it is an easy way for you to filter through all the available freight and remind yourself of the lanes that fit within your plan. 

 

 

There are three ways to add a preferred lane in the Loadboard:

  1. When searching for loads in the Loadboard, apply the filters and click on the “bell” icon to save the search as a preferred lane.
  2. Click on the “bell” button and “I want to be notified about this lane.”
  3. Go to the top menu and select Account. Then click on the tab Preferred Lanes.
  4.  

Opportunities abound for carriers in today’s market, and that’s likely to last at least through year’s end. What you do with those opportunities falls on you and your ability to set clear goals, to plan, and to execute. If you’re simply looking for short-term juice, there’s nothing wrong with that. But carriers who are strategic and smart will make the current environment yield long-term gains, not short-term profits.

If you’ve enjoyed these insights and have questions or comments, start a conversation with us on your loadboard, resource center, or send an email to capacitydevelopment@loadsmart.com 

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About Loadsmart

We are industry veterans and data-scientists using innovative technology to fearlessly reinvent the future of freight. As the ‘nerds of logistics’, we seek intelligence in data to solve deep-rooted inefficiencies in the industry. We give shippers, brokers and carriers access to our data connections (linking supply and demand) and suite of award-winning solutions to strike the perfect balance of cost and service. We’re creating a more efficient and environmentally responsible way to move more with less. For more information, please visit: https://loadsmart.com