As a lead account executive here at FreightPros, it’s my job to get my customers the best freight rates available. The more you win, the more I win. Part of this process is negotiating special rates with LTL carriers based on your unique shipping patterns. The first part of this process is taking a quick look at your history of shipping and spending.
When talking to potential clients there is frequently apprehension on their end about sending over invoices showing shipping spendings. I understand the initial trepidation with this endeavor. Why am I showing my poker hand to this person I barely even know? I don’t want to pick up the dinner tab and have my buddy leaning over my shoulder to see how much I spent. But this isn’t dinner, or a poker hand where showing your cards is that last thing you want to do. This is business. And if you want to save money on freight spending, and let me do my job, we’re going to have to take a look at those invoices.
“Why do you even need invoices? Just get me your best price.”
This is something I hear every day, and it’s a valid question. But pricing in this industry is heavily based on volumes. Shipping invoices act as proof of shipping volume for the carrier, giving us leverage when negotiating better prices for you, the customer. I can bring these invoices to our pricing department, and really get my hands dirty in those price mediations. You can go from getting a solid blanket rate to getting deep discounts, FAKs, free lift gates, residential fees waived, customer specific pricing, daily stops and much more. Without invoices, you just aren’t going to be able to get these things.
“I just don’t have the time to get the invoices.”
We get this one all the time and while it sounds like it makes sense, ultimately, you’re going to spend much more time bouncing around your Google search results and talking to twenty other brokers than you would spending the thirty minutes scanning in some invoices. One of our main priorities for our clients is to limit the amount of time they have to spend on managing their logistics. Spending thirty minutes upfront can save you countless hours (and a lot of soft costs) in the long run. We want you to pass everything freight-related onto our shoulders and let us run with it. Be a freight minimalist and let us take over your operations for you. You tell us what you need and we will make it happen. Period.
“Just quote this one out, and we will see how you do.”
This sounds like it makes sense in a, “If you can’t save me money on this one, you probably can’t save me money on anything else,” sort of way. False. So false. Frequently, I miss on a lane with a new client but show them savings on eighteen of their last twenty shipments. Think, if we only quoted out one of those two we lost on, we would be out of luck right from the get go.
In conclusion, when we get invoices we typically can show clients anywhere from 5% to 20% in savings across all their shipments. That’s what we want. But for us to do the best possible job we can, there’s information that we need first. Invoices are a necessity for cheaper freight rates. So next time, don’t fret when your broker asks for last month’s shipping invoices.
Our job is to save you money in the long run, to make your shipping life easier. If we can do that, everyone wins!