Staying Resilient as Daily Market Rates Flex

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By Blair Grant

Something we are always proud of at CTE Logistics is our ability to provide consistency and value to our clients no matter what is happening in the market. This mindset goes back to the founding of our company and is even part of the CTE Logistics name (commitment to excellence).

An interesting trend we’ve been monitoring closely for our clients is the fluctuating freight market rates.  A number of factors have been impacting rates, from supply and demand and load capacities varying, and high load-to-truck ratios, especially on desirable lanes.

As a Freight Management Partner, we’re always working with two types of rates: contract rates and spot rates. Contract rates are set by the carriers and locked in for a time period based on regular volumes. Currently spot rates are trending much higher than contract rates. We are seeing carriers drop loads on contract rates and we are earning more of those loads as spot business.

As an organization with 11 years of always striving for excellence, we’ve seen fluctuations like this before and we are well ahead of the curve in making sure our clients have as much stability in their pricing as possible.  Here are a few ways we’re doing that:

1. Proactive Communication. We’re working with our clients to have them communicate priorities and urgency to give us as much advanced notice as possible. With their partnership, we’ve been able to use the extra time to negotiate the best possible rates and find better capacity for their shipments so they’re not having to spend more than necessary. Our clients have risen to this challenge, which has contributed to pricing stability for them in this fast-changing market.

2. Partnering with Carriers. We are also working in partnership with our preferred carriers to keep repeat business flowing their way and on their preferred lanes and focusing on reciprocity and sustainable relationships.

3. Utilizing Multiple Data Points in Pricing. Another strategy we continue to use to the fullest are our pricing tools. We have three tools in-house that monitor contract rates, spot rates, posted rates, these are rates that shippers and brokers want, and the rates that they are actually paying. By looking across multiple systems, we are able to create a pricing offering for our clients based on the best knowledge we have of the market.

4. Having a Reciprocity Mindset. Lastly, we try to be as transparent as possible. By educating our clients on the changing market, we’ve found our “partners give a ship” – they see that fluctuating prices are sometimes out of our hands but have continued to trust we will provide the best solution for their needs. When our clients win, we count it as a win for us as well.

We would love the opportunity to be your transportation partner! Contact us for a free quote at