How to Negotiate Better with Freight Rates

Whether you have a large business that ships thousands of goods monthly or a small business that ships goods occasionally, negotiating the cost of the freight is one of the most important factors you need to consider. If you negotiate properly, you’ll be able to save thousands of dollars every time you ship your goods. 

When you control the amount of payment for your shipments, you can maintain the cash flow easily. Additionally, choosing the relevant tools to negotiate with the freight rates will undoubtedly make a significant impact. In this article, we will discuss how can you negotiate the freight rates properly that will give you an edge over your competitors. 

Make Correct Approach

Managing the cost of your freight is a skill not everyone possesses. Your way of approach will not only have a massive impact on the freight rates but also the relationship with the carrier. 

When you start negotiating for the freight rates, make sure you propose that is mutually beneficial for both you and the vendor. Another important thing you need to remember is that choosing the cheapest freight services may not ensure perfect value. The idea of a perfect deal is dependent on the shipper as well as the goals and services. 

No matter how large a business you have, the correct approach will help you to reach a satisfactory negotiation with the vendor. When you are using ocean freight shipment, make sure you use a shipping time calculator

Know the Basic Negotiation Process

Before you approach the vendor to negotiate freight rates, make sure you do some solid research so that you can know the basic process of successful negotiation. Additionally, ensure the estimated rates of the freight services so that you can propose a relevant price for the shipment. 

You can look at the history of the freight rate. However, it’s also a good idea to use a freight management system that will automatically gather past data. This way you’ll know that you’re not overpaying for the freight shipment. 

Adapting with the Freight Cost Volatility

One of the biggest factors of ocean freight rate is that it is volatile. But, do you know why the ocean freight rates are so volatile? This is because the freight shipping industry is hugely dependent upon the seasons. 

Depending on the nature and objective of your business, the lean and peak season will vary. Hence, the costs of the freight will reflect the chain of supply and demand. 

While negotiating for the freight rates, keep in mind that higher rates don’t always mean outstanding services. Speed, quality, insurance, and time are the important factors you should consider. 

Read Also: What is Dynamic Pricing?

Research the Routes

When you’re planning to make a shipment from one place to another, make sure you research the freight market as well as the service patterns. This way you’ll be able to know multiple shipping lines that are covering the particular route. After that, shortlist the relevant carrier and determine the shortest or fastest route. 

You cannot negotiate the freight rates properly without researching the freight market. When you know the operation of the carrier, the information will come in handy during the negotiation period. As per Forbes, make sure you listen and understand the point of view of other parties


Picking up the phone and calling the carrier to negotiate the freight rates is a traditional process. Even though it’s effective, but the best way to negotiate is by meeting with them directly. This way you’ll be able to secure the best rates for your shipment. 

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