8 Ways Carriers Are Finding the Best Loads [Free Guide]

How are carriers finding the best loads and optimize their profit with leading technology, all while making their drivers happier?

We asked 3 leading experts, who reviewed 8 ways carriers can put knowledge of the market into action, optimize their load board experience, and improve their order-to-cash experience. A new guide details their analysis, including:

Lane imbalances and lack of capacity driving spot rates up

According to Dean Croke of DAT Freight and Analytics, the pandemic has caused many typically balanced shipping lanes to become “uncoupled.” This imbalance is driven by production shut down in some markets and either reduced or skyrocketing commodities in others. All of this has significantly impacted spot rates, driving them to record highs. Rates haven’t dropped significantly since February 23, 2021.

Lane balance is the number of loads into a market (known as “headhaul”) versus the number of loads out of a market (known as “backhaul”). If these don’t “balance out” or are “uncoupled”, the equipment is not repositioned to another market. Drivers then must drive deadhead miles, raising the cost of the leg to offset the increased cost of the empty miles.

Looking at this chart of Dry Van Lane Balance, we see that Stockton, CA, for example, is considered a net inbound market, a warehouse market, with more inbound than outbound freight.

Atlanta, Georgia, is considered a stable, balanced market, a distribution market primarily. The chart above shows 9% more outbound than inbound freight, still considered a balanced market.

Finding the Best Loads: Optimize your load board experience

The best ways carriers are finding the best loads fast, says Scott Anderson of DAT, are to:

  1. Search a load board like DAT.com
  2. Advertise on the boards and
  3. Set alarms on the load boards.

In a load board like DAT, Anderson explains, you can look at a lane rate average for a specific period, such as the last two weeks.

“Load search includes origin and destination, the date you’re looking for a load, deadhead miles that you’re willing to drive and then your results below,” he explained. “How long a load’s been posted, date available, deadhead miles to move that load, trip miles, destination, broker, broker’s credit score, days to pay score and offer rates. Offer rates also help you understand what you’re going to get on a lane right now because we can look at a lane rate average for two weeks and then we can also see advertised rates below that two-week average.”

Anderson also explained how to use triangular routing to improve revenue, something easily done with DAT.

DAT’s preferred carrier TMS – improving your order-to-cash experience

Axele, as DAT’s preferred carrier TMS, is integrated with the DAT Load Board, allowing pull-in of loads and the ability to perform searches. Think of Axele as a one-stop-shop to run the business— by automating the day-to-day manual tasks, Axele TMS saves time and increases profits.

By using these tips from experts, carriers can use DAT and Axele to find the best loads faster, optimize their profit and keep their drivers. Get more tips for finding the best loads and improving your profitability, including how to use triangular routing, increasing visibility, and reducing the amount of time you spend on admin tasks, in the free guide.

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