Shippers have faced a challenging environment for the past several years. Some economists are predicting a softer market during the first part of the year, followed by an upswing in economic activity and a tightening in freight capacity throughout the rest of the year.

How should shippers navigate the potentially choppy waters? Here are a few suggestions:

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Conduct a Freight Bid

The current softness in the market affords shippers an opportunity to leverage their freight and recoup some of the rate increases of the past few years. Bids transport is an excellent tool for achieving stability and capacity commitments whiles your favorable market conditions.

Sign multiyear contract

Secure your rates and capacity under contract, preferably with multiyear agreements, to protect your company from rate shocks as the market changes. Attach your rates and service-level agreements (SLAs) to the contract.

Monitor your Cargo Program

To ensure that your company receives high-quality service and maintain the achieved savings, establish a compliance program. This program should monitor the performance of your traffic management personnel in following the routing guide and carrier compliance in meeting commitments and the capacity of their services.

Collaborate with your Carriers

One of the lessons that many shippers have learned in recent years is the need to establish a strong partnership with their core carriers. To achieve the goal of sufficient capacity at competitive prices, there are some things you can do.