It is time to take control of low-volume contract lanes

No matter what is happening in the freight market, shippers value predictability, efficiency and on-time delivery. They are driven by these values to ensure their routing guides are iron-clad, as failures lead to unexpected delays and expenses. Some types of freight, however, are more likely to fall through the cracks than others.

A low-volume contract lane (LVCL) is defined as any lane being run as a contract bid by the shipper that has less than one load per week. These lanes are often overlooked due to their size, but if mismanaged, these small volumes can have a large impact on a shipper’s bottom line.

Shippers should pay close attention to LVCLs. This type of freight is particularly vulnerable to market volatility, making it difficult to manage well through traditional methods.

The carriers and brokers that win this type of freight typically have to buy from the spot market anyway. Because of this, carriers never commit capacity to these lanes, according to Andrew Leto, Emerge Founder and CEO.

Emerge President George Abernathy noted: “LVCL freight is the most sensitive to market pressures, making it most likely to be the first freight to fail in a routing guide. It is begging for a better solution than what is currently considered best practice for this type of freight.”

To make LVCLs more efficient, shippers should work to connect directly with the carriers hoping to handle their freight, creating stronger relationships and bridging existing gaps in the process.

“Small carriers — companies with 100 trucks or less — are the ones who typically move this freight, and 99% of the time they have no way to access it until a broker sells it to them after the broker gets the award,” Leto said. “Shippers should consider opening up this freight to a wider net of carriers through features like Book It Now so carriers can book instantly. It’s a win-win for the shipper and the carrier/broker.”

When shippers have a platform — and a strategic process — in place to handle LVCLs, they tend to experience better routing guide compliance. This ultimately leads to better on-time service for shippers, while ensuring the shipment is handled by carriers that actually want to move this type of freight. 

Emerge makes it simple for shippers to better handle LVCL by utilizing its Dynamic Book It Now feature. As part of the company’s spot automation suite, shippers are able to see current market rates before setting a starting and ceiling rate, allowing carriers to book instantly.

According to Leto, shippers see 100% tender acceptance from their current carrier network alongside the Emerge marketplace of over 45,000 carriers, providing savings they would not have had access to before.

Additionally, Emerge is conveniently integrated into the most popular TMS platforms, making for seamless adoption options.

“LVCL should be available to the carriers who actually haul it. Emerge strives to uncover new ways to save and simplify the procurement process through direct shipper/carrier access,” Leto said. “Priced freight is consumable freight to the carriers that haul most of the LVCL in North America.” 

Click here to learn more about Emerge.

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Source: freightwaves - It is time to take control of low-volume contract lanes
Editor: Ashley Coker