Want Better Rate Per Mile?

Negotiate Better Rate Per Mile

Negotiate Better Rate Per Mile

Rather you are a driver that books his own loads, or a dispatcher at times it’s tough to find better rates. You may hear from some folks that their rate per mile on loads is something that you find hard to believe. Maybe you are selling yourself short. There are 100’s ways to get a better rate per mile, but for now I will share only 5, which should be common, and veterans in this industry use it as common practice. To get a better rate per mile you must stand out from other carriers, truckers, and dispatchers.

#1. Offer Quality Service (with your value)

While a broker does want to make as much money as possible by getting a cheap truck, many of them also know the important values a carrier can bring such as excellent service. If you are calling on a load, ignore the price mentioned by a broker, and also ignore the question of “how much can you do it for?”. Find all the details about the specific load such as weight, distance, commodity, pick up and delivery schedules. Now find a value that you can ensure the broker that he is getting first class service. Do you have new equipment? Use it to your advantage. Explain to the broker that you are offering brand new equipment which reduces a chance of potential break downs which can cause delays, or even worst product damages. Offer on guaranteed deliveries, daily updates, and paint a picture of what they would have if they hired you to move their load. In a situation like this, a broker will give an extra $400 for example much easier than a guy just asking for extra “$400”.  When people are spending more money, they like to know what they will get in return. There are a lot of service values that you have and may not know it. It blows my mind how a team with brand new equipment can’t use a strategy such as “guaranteed delivery on time or a $1000 deduction”, when for a measly extra $200-$800 or more depending on the commodity and transit can save so much headache for a broker, and his customer. Too many carriers call just asking for a price, but not offering much of service. Use your values to sell high service, and explain what you have to bring to the table and for how much. To break it down for you, an extra $200 a day is an extra $1,000 in a 5 day week just by spending an extra minute on the phone selling your service in a detail. Don’t sell a service you can’t deliver. Your value may be great safety rating, great equipment, insurances, and so much more. A good broker in this industry knows the value a great carrier can bring, and they will want to work with you further down the line, but without knowing, you’re just another number that called asking about a load.


If you have not heard of a win-win situations what rock have you been under?  Win-Win is where each party wins. Maybe you need to get home,  but the rates are so cheap heading that way. However from where your home is, the truck capacity might be really tight. Many guys will decide to dead head because “cheap freight can rot on the dock”. However, any smart business man knows how important it is to cover costs over taking a loss from a profit. In a scenario like this, you may offer your truck to the broker from the good market, for a load he has hard time covering in return for you to get a respectable rate to go that way. It’s highly advised that if you can come to an agreement, that you stick to it, because you want to always have open doors for future loads. Not only would this ensure him he has 2 loads covered, but also it ensures you for the next few days you are rolling, and making money as well.


#3.  Develop Relationships

Besides just asking about a load and rate, ask questions what are the states they typically have loads for, which lanes do they do most, and what’s the most they are busy with. You’ll be surprised how many brokers will share what they will have within the next month, and which area that they KNOW they will need help with. By discussing this, they will feel more comfortable giving you a better rate because they will need you down the road when they have 1000’s of loads and every broker is competing with your truck. It’s a good thing to always share where your trucks or truck maybe empty, and always check on any upcoming loads they might have in the near future.

#4. Go On Mute

Anytime you are unsure if you should take the load or wait place the phone call on mute. Sometimes you will hear them say how they need your truck to their office buddy, or sometimes you will hear them getting other phone calls, which should indicate if you should either take the load, or push for a little more money on the rate.

#5. Don’t Feel Pressured

I have seen this so many times, where a broker puts pressure on a dispatcher to take the load. It’s actually magical how it happens, and if I could hire those type of brokers the White House would be in my backyard. You should know what your operating costs are, what type of money you need for that load, and when you feel that you are being PRESSURED take that as a best feeling in the world. That feeling raises alarms, flags, horns are tooting, because if a broker is pressuring you to take a load, it means he NEEDS you rate. Instead of folding, and wanting to get off the phone quickly as possible, continue the conversation and return that same intensity of pressure by going over how much money you need, and why, but remember at this point you can only come down from your initial price, and sometimes even a $100 less can make the other party feel that their pressure accomplished something, which it really did, but so did yours which goes back to the win-win situation.


Never let a conversation get unprofessional. Sometimes you will come across individuals in this industry that will push your buttons. However it’s always good to keep an open door for business because even the lowest rate paying brokerage may need your services, and they will dig into their pockets for you because they’re confident in the value that you bring to the transportation industry. Subscribe for more tips!