Shipping Rate Negotiation Tactics

Shipping Rate Negotiation Tactics

Carrier negotiations can be challenging for both the new and experienced shipper.  Carrier representatives are well trained and offered high incentives to get your business with the highest shipping rate and most profit possible.  Many people go into the negotiation process and have difficulty procuring best in class discounts.  There is, however, a method to negotiating with the carriers.


-Virtually everything that your carrier discusses with you is open to negotiation (in addition to the items many topics that may go unmentioned).  Shipping rate discounts can include items such as fuel surcharge, residential delivery charges and other accessorial fees.

-Use the motivation of your carrier representative to your advantage.  Many representatives’ compensations and promotions are based on their profitability and making sure their clients are paying high margins for shipping services.  Of course, there are many more factors that revolve around this motivation from personal ambitions to complex commission plans.  Make sure to acknowledge your carrier’s value, but don’t tell them that you would never take your business elsewhere.

-Use a third party service to help conduct the research and shipping rate negotiation process.  Some companies have an experienced staff that formerly worked for the carriers and have developed analytics that will make ensure you get the best deal possible.