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  • 20 Fascinating Freight Shipping Statistics

    Freight shipping’s role in commerce has developed alongside business growth, and that business growth is driven by buyers who expect their goods to be delivered in a timely manner. To be frank, freight shipping keeps the United States’ wheels turning. We’ve put together a list of 20 fascinating freight shipping statistics that clearly illustrate freight shipping’s role in the economy.


    • - As of 2014, 118.7 million households, 7.4 million businesses and 89,004 governmental units are part of an economy that demands efficient freight shipping. (Tweet this)
    • - The U.S. logistics and transportation industry totaled $1.33 trillion in 2012. (Tweet this)
    • - The 54 million tons of freight moved in 2012 was valued at nearly $48 billion.(Tweet this)
    • - 6.8 million people were employed throughout the economy in jobs that relate to trucking activity in 2010. (Tweet this)
    • - There were about 2.72 million truck drivers in 2012. (Tweet this)

    Tonnage and Value

    • - The U.S. transportation system moved a daily average of about 54 million tons of freight in 2012. (Tweet this)
    • - The value of freight is expected to outpace the weight in the foreseeable future, rising from $882 per ton in 2007 to $1,377 per ton in 2040. (Tweet this)
    • - By 2040, imports and exports are expected to account for 19% of the tons and 31% of the value. (Tweet this)


    • - Trucks move 84% of freight less than 750 miles on average. (Tweet this)
    • - Freight moved more than 2,000 miles accounts for less than 2% of total tonnage. (Tweet this)
    • - About 50% of all trucks usually travel to destinations within 50 miles of their origin. (Tweet this)
    • - Rail transport accounts for 37% of freight moved between 750 and 2,000 miles. (Tweet this)
    • - Trucks hauling semitrailers accounted for about 63% of commercial truck travel in 2011. (Tweet this)
    • - By 2040, long-haul freight shipping by truck in the U.S. may reach 460 million miles per day.(Tweet this)

    Materials Being Shipped

    • - The top 10 commodities shipped by weight are made up of bulk products and accounted for 65% of the total tonnage moved in 2012.(Tweet this)
    • - More than 70% of the nation’s coal moves by rail. (Tweet this)
    • - Flammable liquids account for around 56% of hazardous material shipments. (Tweet this)
    • - Rail moves 58% of the United States’ raw metal ores. (Tweet this)
    • - Gases account for about 17% of shipped hazardous materials. (Tweet this)
    • - Rail moves 30% of the United States’ grain. (Tweet this)

    As seen by the above statistics, freight shipping plays a critical role in the American economy. Businesses are expanding and so are the expectations of their clients. As this progression occurs, freight shipping will likely remain the engine that drives us. Feel free to share some interesting stats of your own with us!


  • Freight Shipping: What Option Best Fits Your Needs?

    Your freight could move by a variety of means. Prior to choosing which is best suited for your freight shipping, there are a number of important factors to consider, and they will help you determine which option is right for you. The freight dimensions comprised of length, width, and height, along with freight weight, fragility, storage needs and delivery requirements are just a few of the critical elements that help steer the direction of a freight shipment.

    Once those factors have been carefully identified, you can then decide what shipping option is best for the load being transported. Below, we’ve identified four of Freightquote’s primary freight shipping options, accompanied by a brief description that includes the benefits each provides to freight shippers.

    Full Truckload Simply put, full truckload (TL) shipping is the process of moving cargo or pallet loads that are large enough to justify the use of an entire semi-trailer, typically more than 15,000 pounds. If your freight fits these requirements and you choose full truckload shipping, you will likely realize the following benefits:

    • - One full truckload is typically more cost-effective than several LTL shipments.
    • - Freight is not handled in transit, reducing the chance of damage to goods.
    • - Full truckload carriers that have met stringent equipment and insurance requirements are moving your freight.
    • - The pricing structure is typically calculated by miles traveled, as opposed to density.

    Less than Truckload (LTL) If you’re looking to ship more than 150 pounds of freight, but less than a full truckload worth of goods, LTL might be the best choice. LTL freight shipping follows a hub and spoke form of operations, where local terminals serve as the spokes and the larger, central terminals serve as the hubs. A trailer is typically packed with a mixed bag of items from various shippers, which are collected from the various spoke terminals, until the trailer is filled. The freight is then brought to a hub terminal, where it is sorted and consolidated once again for additional transportation. As a result, transit times are typically longer than TL shipments, but there are some significant benefits as well:

    • - LTL shipments are typically only a fraction of the cost of hiring a full truck and trailer.
    • - Accessorial services outside of dock-to-dock transportation are available.
      • Liftgates
      • Non-commercial shipping
      • Notification options
      • Inside pickup and delivery
    • - It allows for zone skipping, the process of LTL carriers bypassing a parcel carrier’s traditional zones, letting the shipper avoid charges from crossing multiple zones in one trip.

    Expedited LTL As the global economy continues to expand, especially ecommerce, which is expected to top $2 trillion in worldwide sales sometime in 2016, the need to ship goods safely and efficiently will continue to be put under the microscope. Sometimes, the businesses and consumers making these purchases need their goods in a very short amount of time.

    That's where expedited shipping comes in play. The primary objective of the expedited shipping process is to cut out as much unnecessary delay as possible in order to get the goods where they need to be in a timely manner. Whether it is hospitals in need of emergency supplies, factories in need of an immediate replenishment of goods, or any other number of time-sensitive scenarios, expedited freight shipping is used to quickly get freight to its destination. While expedited shipping typically comes at a premium price, the benefits are well worth the cost when the need is there:

    • - Dedicated equipment moves the freight from the early stages of pickup all the way through delivery.
    • - Shipments are generally driven by a team of two drivers directly to the final destination, reducing transit time.
    • - Less handling and few stops along the way increases the security of the shipment.

    Intermodal Intermodal shipping combines a variety of modes of transportation, like rail, trucks or ships, to streamline the shipping process. Every year, about 25 million containers are moved via intermodal transportation methods. This number is continuing to grow as rail access broadens and companies look for more economical and environmentally-friendly modes of shipping. The intermodal shipping process typically begins with a container moved by a truck to the rail, then back to a truck, before arriving at its final destination. The best intermodal shipments are moving long distances between major metro areas with flexible delivery times. Intermodal freight shipping offers a number of business benefits highlighted by:

    • - Rail travel requires much less fuel consumption than road-based transport, lowering fuel costs and contributing to a greener environment.
    • - An expanding rail network in North America is increasing the number of destination options.
    • - Freight is moved safely and securely as ride quality is similar to highway driving and most freight commodities are insured up to $250,000 while in rail transit.

    While freight shipping isn’t limited to the above options, these do represent a significant amount of the shipping market. Whether you’re a first-time shipper or have years of experience, use this post to help guide the selection process the next time your freight needs to get from point A to point B.

  • C.H. Robinson to Acquire Freightquote

    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (December 1, 2014) – C.H. Robinson (Nasdaq: CHRW) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire, Inc. for $365 million in cash. The agreement is subject to certain customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. Closing of the acquisition is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2015. C.H. Robinson will likely increase its existing revolving credit facility to finance the acquisition.

    Freightquote is a privately-held freight broker providing services throughout North America. Freightquote’s calendar 2014 gross revenues are projected to be approximately $623 million, net revenues are projected to be approximately $124 million and adjusted EBITDA is projected to be approximately $34 million.

    Founded in 1999 by Tim Barton, Freightquote is one of the largest internet-based freight brokers in the United States. Headquartered in Kansas City, MO with approximately 1000 employees, Freightquote provides truckload, less than truckload and intermodal services to approximately 80,000 customers.

    “Freightquote is a high quality, innovative, growth company that brings a proven model serving smaller businesses. Its proprietary e-commerce technology allows shippers to easily access competitive rates and automated load acceptance and payment functionality. E-commerce is going to be a bigger part of future supply chain services and Freightquote brings us a leading solution in our industry,” said John Wiehoff, C.H. Robinson chairman and chief executive officer. “Along with their track record of success, Freightquote has an established brand, a talented management team, excellent people, and a performance-based company culture.”

    Wiehoff continued, “Freightquote brings synergies to our less than truckload and truckload businesses as well as a talented technology team with expertise developing a great e-commerce store front experience. We look for quality companies and Tim has built a great model and team at Freightquote.”

    “With the addition of Freightquote, we will increase our market share with small businesses and significantly expand our presence in the Kansas City market,” said Scott Satterlee, C.H. Robinson senior vice president of North America Surface Transportation. “We have built our business over decades by providing unparalleled service to all types of customers and we are honored to add this strong organization dedicated to that same strategy. Freightquote will operate as one of our flagship operations in Kansas City and we plan to continue to aggressively grow the operations there,” Satterlee said.

    Tim Barton, Executive Chairman of Freightquote, will serve as a consultant to Freightquote following the closing of the acquisition.

    “We spent a long time looking for the right strategic partner and are pleased to join the C.H. Robinson organization,” said Tim Barton. “The two companies complement each other and together we are well positioned for success into the future.”

    Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor to, Inc.

    Conference Call Information:

    C.H. Robinson Freightquote Acquisition Conference Call

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 8:30- 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time

    Presentation slides and a simultaneous live audio webcast of the conference call may be accessed through the Investor Relations link on C.H. Robinson’s website at

    To participate in the conference call by telephone, please call ten minutes early by dialing: 800-533-9703

    Callers should reference the conference ID, which is 7779752

    Webcast replay available through Investor Relations link at

    Telephone audio replay available until 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on December 9: 888-203-1112; passcode: 7779752#

    For more information about the presentations or webcasts, please contact C.H. Robinson’s Investor Relations Department at 952-683-5007 or email

    Founded in 1905, C.H. Robinson is one of the largest non-asset based third party logistics companies in the world. C.H. Robinson is a global provider of multimodal transportation services and logistics solutions, currently serving over 46,000 customers through a network of over 280 offices in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. C.H. Robinson maintains one of the largest networks of motor carrier capacity in North America and works with approximately 63,000 transportation providers worldwide. For more information about our company, visit our Web site at

    Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this release are forward-looking statements that represent our expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies concerning future events. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our historical experience or our present expectations, including, but not limited to such factors as changes in economic conditions, including changes in market demand and pressures on the pricing for our services; competition and growth rates within the third party logistics industry; freight levels and availability of truck capacity or alternative means of transporting freight, and changes in relationships with existing truck, rail, ocean and air carriers; changes in our customer base due to possible consolidation among our customers; our ability to integrate the operations of acquired companies with our historic operations successfully; risks associated with litigation and insurance coverage; risks associated with operations outside of the U.S.; risks associated with the potential impacts of changes in government regulations; risks associated with the produce industry, including food safety and contamination issues; fuel prices and availability; and the impact of war on the economy; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in our Annual and Quarterly Reports. In addition, such forward-looking statements relate to the expected closing date of the acquisition and the anticipated benefits of the acquisition. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements as a result of (i) unexpected delays in obtaining regulatory approvals; (ii) the inability of either C.H. Robinson or, Inc. to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of the acquisition; (iii) unforeseen difficulties in integrating the operations of Freightquote; or (iv) unanticipated negative reaction to the proposed transaction by customers or suppliers. In addition, our expectation regarding the increase in our current revolving credit facility is subject to negotiation of acceptable terms and documentation with the lenders. Any forward looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and we undertake no obligation to update such statements to reflect events or circumstances arising after such date.

  • What Does F.O.B. Mean in the Freight Industry?

    Many people have seen the acronym F.O.B. in shipping documents and never known what it meant. Even those in the shipping industry often are confused as to its true meaning.

    F.O.B. stands for “free on board.” There, now you know.
    But what the heck does that mean? The FOB designation is used to indicate when liability and ownership of goods is transferred from a seller to a buyer. When used with an identified physical location, the designation determines which party has responsibility for the payment of the freight charges and at what point title for the shipment passes from the seller to the buyer. In international shipping, for example, “FOB [name of originating port]” means that the seller consignor) is responsible for transportation of the goods to the port of shipment and the cost of loading. The buyer (consignee) pays the costs of ocean freight, insurance, unloading, and transportation from the arrival port to the final destination. The seller passes the risk to the buyer when the goods are loaded at the originating port.

    “FOB” can be used in four different ways in shipping documents:

    • - FOB [place of origin], Freight Collect
    • - FOB [place of origin], Freight Prepaid
    • - FOB [place of destination], Freight Collect
    • - FOB [place of destination], Freight Prepaid

    The first part of the designation determines where the buyer assumes title of the goods and the risk of damage from the seller (either at the moment the carrier picks the goods up for delivery or at the time of actual delivery). The second part indicates responsibility for freight charges. “Prepaid” means the seller has paid the freight; “collect” indicates the buyer is responsible for payment. It is important for shippers to understand FOB designations in damage situations. Some receiving docks will refuse delivery of obviously damaged goods, rather than accept with a damage notation for future claim against the carrier. However, a shipment designated FOB Origin technically belongs to the buyer/consignee at the time that it is shipped. So, the consignee would be refusing delivery of goods it legally owns and bears the risk for. The seller has no legal reason to accept those goods back and the return shipment could possibly result in additional damages.

    If all of this seems too confusing to follow, consider allowing Freightquote to handle the placement of your shipment for transport. The legal issues raised in FOB designations are old hat to Freightquote’s experienced customer service agents – the right designations (and, on rare occasions, any damage claims) can be managed quickly and efficiently by the Freightquote team.

  • The Inside Scoop on Inside Delivery

    If a loading dock is not available at your delivery site, for an additional fee, you can select “inside delivery” on most freight shipments. However, it’s important to know what this service does and does not entail.

    When freight is delivered to a residential address, inside delivery indicates moving the pallet to the driveway, porch or garage. Drivers will not take freight inside a home. Most carriers have policies prohibiting drivers from even attempting in-home pick-up or delivery. This policy is to avoid complaints that the driver tracked in mud, damaged walls or doors and the like. Additionally, there are potential liability issues if an accident or injury occurred inside. Therefore, it’s in every party’s best interest that the freight simply is delivered to a convenient outdoor location. Planning for this is imperative when your freight is delivered to a residence.

    If delivering to a business, inside delivery generally means inside the door of the business. Typically, the carrier will bring the freight a few feet inside the main entrance. If the freight needs to be delivered to the interior of the building, up any steps or up an elevator, the delivery charge will increase.

    Also, most drivers will not breakdown freight to move it through doors. If your freight is larger than the entryway, a driver will not bring it inside. Drivers will also not perform “extraordinary” functions, including delivering up long or winding drives, or attempting to deliver in any area that is unsafe for their normal equipment such as a narrow hallway or steep stairs.

    Understanding what inside delivery means can help you make sound decisions when planning your freight. Contact your Freightquote representative at 800.323.5441 or visit for expert help with inside delivery and all of your freight needs.

  • Protect from Freeze Services Keeps Freight Moving in Cold Weather

    With the winter chill settling in across the United States, it’s not hard to see how the cold might impact freight shipments. When cargo is temperature-sensitive, but still has to move, Protect from Freeze services are the answer.

    Protect from Freeze is a service many LTL carriers provide to keep goods that can freeze at the shipper’s desired temperature. Commodities such as chemicals, paints, glues, liquids, wine, alcohol, perishable food and batteries need to maintain an above freezing temperature throughout transit to maintain quality. Using Protect from Freeze services, the cargo is sheltered from the outside conditions using heated trailers, heat shelters and blankets to ensure the freight does not freeze in transit. Making sure to consistently monitor the outside temperature and the temperature of your freight, your freight will stay warmer than 32 degrees.

    However, this service is not offered by every carrier in the Freightquote network. Leverage your Freight Broker’s expertise to find a carrier that meets the shipment requirements and offers Protect from Freeze service. Make sure to provide the commodity type and temperature requirements in addition to the standard shipment details. Your broker will be able to help you pick a carrier that will take the proper precautions to get your temperature sensitive cargo safely to its destination.

    Also, make sure to note that each carrier has different limitations of liabilities for handing freight under freeze protection. Review these options with your Freight Broker as well to make sure your cargo is covered at the desired level.

    In cases of extreme cold, some carriers may not be able to offer a freeze protection guarantee and will place an embargo on this service until temperatures rise slightly. Your Freight Broker will have the most accurate information in this type of situation.

    Ready to move your temperature-sensitive freight? Call your Freightquote Freight Broker at 800.323.5441 to speak to an expert about Protect from Freeze and all your logistics needs.

  • Oh, Christmas Tree! Oh, Christmas Tree! How did you get here anyway?

    It’s that time of year again where you can find a real Christmas tree for sale on almost every street corner. From the Boy Scouts and local churches to national hardware stores and large retailers, fresh, green trees are in abundance. But have you ever wondered how all these trees find their way to your town?

    For many years, Freightquote has been called upon by some of the nation’s largest tree farms to transport the holiday essential all over the nation. Most of these farms are located in Oregon, Washington, California and North Carolina. They use our services because we understand what it takes to move a load like this. Shipping real trees by truckload is difficult to cover, with a lot of carriers simply refusing to move them. Trees are best moved by dry van or a refrigerated truck. Flatbed trucks should be avoided, as well as a shipment with three or more pickups and/or deliveries scheduled. We also make sure there will be delivery assistance for the driver so they aren’t stuck unloading up to 40,000 lbs. of Christmas trees by themselves. Not doing this would definitely get us on the naughty list!

    Overall, we are proud of the work we do every year to ensure trees are delivered on time and in good shape. These seasonal shipments have landed all over the country. Who knows – maybe the tree in your home was transported by one of our carrier partners. Regardless, we hope you enjoy this holiday season and all the joy it delivers.

  • What’s the Difference Between Liability and Insurance?

    In the unfortunate situation that your shipment is lost or damaged, it’s important to know what is covered by liability and what is covered by insurance.

    Every booked freight shipment comes with limited liability coverage. The amount of coverage is determined by the carrier and based upon the commodity type. It covers a certain dollar amount per pound of freight. In some situations, the included liability coverage may be less than the value of the shipped goods.

    To make a liability claim, the carrier must be at fault for the damaged or lost freight. However, if the damage is from inadequate packaging, loading errors or weather-related causes, the carrier is not at fault. Additionally, if the damage is not noted on the delivery receipt, many carriers will deny any liability.

    In some cases, your freight shipment might have a higher value than what is covered under the included liability. Freightquote offers additional insurance that can be purchased to cover the full value of the shipped goods. This extra insurance covers the shipped items and the cost of freight shipping. It is redeemable under all types of loss with no proof of fault required. Unlike the limited liability coverage, with added insurance, there are no exclusions for packaging errors or severe weather.

    How do these two types of insurances differ in the claims process?

    If your shipment is only covered by liability:

    • - Your claim must be filed within 9 months of delivery, or within a reasonable time frame if lost
    • - If the deliver receipt is not noted as damaged some carriers require immediate notification
    • - You must provide proof of value and proof of loss
    • - The carrier has 30 days to acknowledge a claim and must respond within 120 days
    • - You must prove carrier negligence
    • - This means the freight was picked up in good order, packaged properly but delivered in a damaged condition

    If your shipment is covered by additional insurance:

    • - You will be required to provide proof of value and proof of loss
    • - Claims are typically paid within 30 days
    • - You are not required to prove carrier negligence

    Freightquote’s expert team of Brokers can help you decide what is best for each of your shipments and provide cost-effective additional insurance. Contact Freightquote at 800.323.5441 to speak with a Freight Broker to ensure each of your shipments is booked to meet the needs and value of your freight.

  • Choosing the Right Freight Class – Freightquote

    Freightquote has an amazingly user-friendly quote request interface. Shippers simply log into their account (which is free to set up), enter some pertinent information like weight, dimension, origin, destination, special equipment and freight class, and click a button. Almost instantly, the screen fills with quotes from different carriers, sometimes even from different modes of transportation. The shipper can compare prices and transit times before making a shipping decision.

    In order to make sure that the quotes received are the best and most accurate quotes for a particular load though, the shipper must really make sure that he or she has entered the right freight class for the load.

    Freight class helps a carrier determine how best to fit specific cargo into the trailer. Pallets of cement blocks probably shouldn’t be loaded in on top of cases of ceramic restaurant dishware. So, the right mix of freight on the trailer is necessary. The cement blocks and the dishware have different freight classes to help with this.

    Many shippers consider their freight as “top load only” – believing that nothing should be stacked on top of it. Too much “top load freight” can hamstring a carrier. If nothing else can be stacked on certain freight, filling a trailer is difficult. Because of its limiting nature, “top load freight” is more expensive to ship. Bottom freight can tend to ride on the top or the bottom whereas top freight is eliminating use of 50% of the trailer. Naturally, as you may expect, top load freight is more expensive to ship. Freight classes range from 50 to 500 – the higher the number, the more easily damaged, the higher risk (and more expensive to ship) the freight is. If your freight has a higher classification, a change in packaging can help drop it down a bit. Any reduction in the risk of damage can help bring the freight class and shipping cost down.

    Sometimes, by taking a closer look at the packaging, you could feasibly end up saving some money in the long run.

    Freight classes for all products can be found in the National Motor Freight Classification book, generally referred to as the NMFC book. Almost every category of product is listed in the NMFC book, complete with sub-categories.

    Each distinct product has a corresponding freight class.

    If a shipper has trouble determining the appropriate freight class for any particular load, Freightquote’s expert staff can help identify the right class. In general, freight classes are determined by the density of the item being shipped. A correct freight class determination is imperative to receiving an accurate quote and not being surprised by a higher charge after delivery is made due to miscalculated freight class.

    To make sure that the best possible rate is quoted and charged for freight, a shipper must pay special attention to freight class. Sometimes, just making sure the right freight class is entered can save headache and money in the end. Other times, adjustments can be made to cargo so that the freight class is actually lowered. In any event, shippers can trust the freight experts at Freightquote to help make the call.

  • The Basics of Freight

    Who knew that freight could be so complex? The freight industry is a multi-faceted and ever-changing. Navigating the intricacies of the shipping world can be an overwhelming task. Fortunately for shippers, Freightquote handles the details for you. Shippers don’t have to worry about missing something – a cheaper option, a legal issue, a strange surcharge – because Freightquote takes care of everything. And there is a lot to take care of.

    “Freight” is the transfer of goods, generally on a commercial level. Goods are categorized in several different ways before a shipping channel is determined.

    Things to consider about the goods at the beginning of the freight process:

    Things to consider about the goods at the beginning of the freight process:

    • - The nature of the goods – household goods, grain, hazardous materials, liquid, large machinery, etc.
    • - Size and quantity of the goods
    • - Time of delivery – do you need it there next month, next week or next day?
    • - Packaging – can the goods be boxed, crated or pallet-ized?
    • - Destination – domestic, international, intra-state?

    Freightquote’s shipping experts can guide you through this process if you are unsure of any of these. When you have a full picture of what type of shipment you’re dealing with, Freightquote will be able to make a recommendation as to what means of transport should be used.
    And there are several to choose from:

    Parcel carriers (like UPS and FedEx) deliver small packages and envelopes. Often even larger household goods can be economically shipped via a parcel carrier.

    Less-than-truckload or LTL freight is available for relatively small shipments of multiple items. In LTL freight, a 28 foot container (or trailer) holds shipments for several different shippers, consolidated into one shipment by destination, class and delivery time requirements.

    Truckload (TL) freight is available for any shipment larger than about 15,000 pounds. The most economical way to ship these large loads is via its own truck. TL shipments generally deliver on exactly the same trailer as they are picked up on. TL shipments can also utilized specialized equipment like refrigerated trailers, liquid containers and flatbed decks.

    Air freight – shipping via airplane – is available for just about every type of freight that can be shipped LTL – at a quicker pace and a higher rate. Rail freight is the shipment of goods via railway. This is an economical means of transport for almost anything that could be otherwise shipped LTL or TL. Often, rail freight is part of an intermodal process in which the freight starts and ends on the back of a truck – with other modes of transport in the middle. Ocean or barge freight is available when freight must traverse a body of water. Large ocean-going vessels move freight intercontinentally, usually in corrugated containers. Domestically, certain freight moves on major river channels such as the Mississippi.

    After the mode of transport is chosen, the shipper must then wade through pricing, tariffs, discounts and surcharges before even booking a shipment. Fortunately though, shippers using Freightquote don’t have to deal with this hassle. Freightquote’s web-based freight management system allows shippers to compare bottom line freight rates “apples to apples” with the touch of a button. Instantaneous freight quotes are just the start though – as the same system allows a shipper to book a load, create legally-required shipping documents, track a delivery and pay a shipping invoice.

  • Fighting the Truck Driver Shortage

    This is not a new conversation, but it is a relevant one. The freight industry still does not have enough truck drivers.

    It began in 2008 with the number of truck drivers rapidly tumbling until finally bottoming out in 2010. There has been growth each year since, but we are still 6.4% below 2007 totals. (Source) With the recovering economy and truck tonnage at record highs, there is significant concern and much discussion around how and when the number of truck drivers on the road will return to demand appropriate levels.

    Let’s talk through some of the factors contributing to the shortage which include driver age, pay, the recruiting funnel, and work- life balance. Former truck driver, Grant Bunton, spoke of driving over the road and the want of more home time, “It’s a very difficult lifestyle. It’s a blast, but it’s difficult. You do get to see lots of places but rarely do you have time to actually stop and take in the scenery. After about three years of driving, I met my lovely wife one weekend when I was home. At that point I knew that I would want to spend more than 36 hours per week at home.” Work- life balance has been growing in priority in the US for quite some time and it seems truck drivers have taken notice. We’ll get you home more often is an anthem sung by many trucking companies in their driver recruiting efforts. While pay is a major factor, time in your own bed seems to be just as important. Schneider National is, along with many other carriers, addressing the money issue by raising driver pay, but they are also putting emphasis on getting their drivers home more often in an effort to improve the balance between work and home. (Source)

    A problem that can’t be combatted with pay raises or more home time is age. It is one of the first things to mind when looking at truck driver shortage. Not only is recruiting and retaining drivers a challenge, but there is a large number nearing retirement age. Truckers News found more than one in three drivers are older than 55 with a whopping 6% under the age of 35. So, it sounds like it’s time to start some heavy recruiting, right?

    The industry has upped recruiting efforts in order to fill the gap. Those efforts include targeting women and transitioning military veterans along with traditional methods like recruiting from driving schools and attracting drivers already on the road. Appealing to the younger audience is still a challenge. They prefer industries like technology or health care to life on the open road. (Source) So, how are we going to find the additional 90,000 + drivers that the ATA Benchmarking Guide for Driver Recruitment and Retention says are needed each year over the next decade? One theory, talk about it and share within social networks. Are people outside of the freight industry aware of this need?

    While the shortage of carriers is quite painful for the companies that need to move their goods, the carrier side of the freight industry has seen a lift in pricing as demand has grown. The shortage of over the road drivers has had a positive impact on LTL and intermodal freight as well. LTL carriers are picking up freight they may not have if not for the capacity shortage from lack of long haul drivers, giving them greater control of pricing. The same can be said of intermodal. This finds many shippers turning to third party providers for help with controlling cost and locating trucks. Freightquote founder, Tim Barton, in a recent interview with the Kansas City Business Journal said, “…if you increase demand, and you artificially suppress supply…then in a very fragmented market like freight, the best thing to do then is go to third parties like us.” (Source)

  • The Full Power of Partial Truckload

    Some LTL freight shipments fall in between the standard definitions of LTL and truckload. These loads do not take up an entire truck but are often heavy, bulky or take up a lot of space. In these circumstances, a partial truckload option may fit the bill. Partial truckloads, besides being a suitable choice for these types of loads, offer many more benefits:

    Better prices.

    Partial truckloads can potentially have lower prices than heavy LTL or a full truckload for your shipment.

    Faster transit times.

    Your freight is moving from your dock to your destination and not stopping at hubs in-between. This can move your freight more rapidly.

    No freight class needed.

    When shipping partial truckload, freight class is not required which means no chance of your freight being reclassed.

    Lower chance of damage.

    Partial truckload freight does not change trucks, which means there is less handling and less chance of a damage occurring.

    Smoother ride.

    Your freight is likely to move on an air-ride trailer for a less-bumpy trip to its destination.

    Better insurance coverage.

    Cargo coverage insurance is available up to $100k.

    At Freightquote, we leverage our market-leading analytics along with our vast carrier network to identify when a partial truckload is the right solution for our customers. Talk to your freight broker today to take advantage of the power of the partial.