SMC³ supply chain education hybrid online education course to examine carrier pricing and costing, LTL RFP best practices

Starting April 15, SMC³’s exclusive spring hybrid version of its LTL203: Carrier Pricing and Costing course will examine the ins and outs of LTL carrier pricing and costing alongside live presentations from industry experts.

SMC³ recently spoke with one of those industry experts to get a preview of what students will learn from his seminar. As senior vice president of LTL carrier relations and pricing for GlobalTranz, Ryan Poynter is responsible for maintaining relationships with LTL carriers, strategically aligning business needs, onboarding new providers, and overseeing rate negotiations to ensure competitive pricing. Poynter will be giving his expert insight into LTL RFP best practices during a special hybrid class from SMC³’s online education program –  LTL203: LTL Carrier Pricing and Costing, beginning April 15. Poynter recently took some time to address the current state of the supply chain after a volatile 2020, and some insights into the importance of having an organized, well-prepared freight transportation RFP.

During Jump Start 2021, GlobalTranz Chief Technology Officer Russ Felker mentioned a volatile transportation market, capacity shortages, rapidly shifting consumer behavior, and an uncertain economy, to name a few, as some of the industry pain points of 2020. Do you think we are finally seeing “light at the end of the tunnel,” or will the industry continue to battle some of these for the long-term?

Following a tumultuous 2020 and record setting shipping volumes in Q4, the industry continues to navigate challenges through Q1 2021, and we expect those to continue for most of this year. High levels of sustained e-commerce activity, the driver shortage, COVID 19 constraints involving both employees and facilities, small package and truckload business flowing into the LTL environment are all things we are seeing right now in the current market. The result of this overburdened freight environment creates increased frequency of missed pickups, delayed service, embargos, and rate increases.  

How has 2020 affected overall pricing in the industry?

Seemingly overnight, the pandemic forced a mass adoption of e-commerce andcreated new capacity issues for the industry, as delivery locations increased dramatically. The capacity constraints have led to increases in rates to shed unprofitable business and rebalance networks. It’s important now more than ever that shippers look for ways to be “shippers of choice,” by way of properly packaging freight, planning for delays, and collaborating with their logistics partners to mitigate increases and disruption as much as possible. 

You will be giving insights into LTL RFP best practices during the LTL203: LTL Carrier Costing and Pricing hybrid course starting April 15. What are some common mistakes you see when preparing an LTL RFP?

The biggest mistake I see on an RFP is lack of accurate information. The RFP is the connection between the shipper and carrier to align on the business, and how it will operate. When data is missing or inaccurate, it leads to incorrect pricing on the front end and rating adjustments shortly after implementation. Providing quality and accurate data up front allows the carrier to properly cost the business and have a more successful onboarding process with fewer issues and disruptions throughout the lifetime of the agreement. GlobalTranz provides freight photos, dimensional data, full historic data files, and pricing suggestions to our carrier partners and all of the information provided validates each other to give the carrier confidence in their pricing that the freight they will receive after implementation matches what was provided on the RFP.

How can companies remedy some of these mistakes?

When going through an RFP process, take the time to provide every possible detail. Trust that what’s being requested to fulfill the RFP is in your best interest. Accuracy is going to allow pricing to be negotiated and implemented, as well as go unaffected for twelve months or longer with minimal GRI numbers at the time of renegotiation.  

Do you have any predictions for the industry in 2021?

We are expecting ongoing disruption for many of the reasons already mentioned with no short-term relief in sight. GlobalTranz is focused on continued growth in our managed transportation segment by offering more strategic solutions to our customers to help mitigate the current freight environment. Improving technology, strengthening strategic partnerships, adding new capacity partners, pool distribution, and streamlining connections and processes are some of the top things GlobalTranz is focused on in 2021.

To hear more from Ryan and other industry experts, reserve your spot today for LTL203: LTL Carrier Pricing and Costing, beginning April 15.

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