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New Spot Market Technology from C.H. Robinson

[ October 8, 2021   //   ]

With tight trucking capacity and market volatility pushing more freight into the spot market, global logistics provider C.H. Robinson has launched Market Rate IQTM – a new tool that shows companies how their spot rates compare to a trusted third-party benchmark and breaks down where they could save money.

Created by C.H. Robinson’s technology incubator, C.H. Robinson LabsTM, Market Rate IQ the only tool in the industry that shows shippers which factors in their U.S. spot pricing are market-driven and which they can control. It’s also the only tool in the industry that incorporates DAT’s RateView, the most comprehensive and reliable database of U.S. spot freight rates.

“Virtually every company is looking for a solution to help them navigate the spot market, so we built one,” said Tim Gagnon, head of Robinson Labs and C.H. Robinson’s vice president of analytics and data science. “Now, for the first time, they can see what’s driving their rates and what they can do about it.Then we take that transparency a step further and show them how their rates compare to the average for each of their shipping lanes and locations. It’s like going to the grocery store and instantly being able to see how the price of everything on your list compares to the market. Who doesn’t want to know if they’re paying more than market?”

Companies have had to turn to the spot market more as global disruptions ripple through their supply chains, requiring more last-minute changes and short-term decisions. Since January 2020, load postings are up 176% while postings from trucks looking for loads are down 5%. That imbalance drives rates up and companies often cope with that by spreading their spot freight among many transportation providers – even though that added effort doesn’t always result in better rates.

During its incubation phase, Market Rate IQ uncovered $75 million in potential customer savings across $1.2 billion in spot freight spend. These were the top five reasons customers paid more than they might have needed to, even when their rates were below market average:

  1. Lead time – Carriers charge a premium when given too little lead time for pick up.
  2. Uneven freight – Because any given shipping lane has a finite number of trucks, putting too much freight in the same lane on the same day instead of spreading it out means you might be paying extra for carriers elsewhere to drive out of their way.
  3. Weekend pickup – To avoid the higher cost of Saturday and Sunday pickups, some companies might find it beneficial to run freight out of their warehouses only five days a week.
  4. Multiple stops – Adding too many stops to fill a truck has diminishing returns. Other optimization strategies could be more cost-effective.
  5. Delivery geography – Carriers charge more if they have to drive empty to get their next load. When shippers have spot loads going to a remote destination, they could save money by working with a logistics partner who can pair up loads originating nearby.

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