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by Jared Spude
Jared Spude

4 min read

How to Improve Freight Procurement and Achieve Cost Savings

April 22, 2024

Jared Spude
by Jared Spude


Transportation procurement leaders continue to refine and improve each part of their transportation network, with the RFP process serving as a critical cornerstone of this ongoing effort. The execution of RFP events, spanning several months and incurring significant operational costs annually, represents one of the most intensive periods for leaders navigating and overcoming post-pandemic challenges. This critical phase demands unwavering commitment as they strive to optimize and streamline their transportation operations for the future.

Yet leaders, constrained by limited time and resources, frequently struggle to focus on crucial tasks like contract evaluation and strategic decision-making. This is often due to the extensive time spent on preparing datasets for informed decision-making. Moreover, the challenge of accessing reliable data sets compounds the issue, undermining the efficiency of their freight procurement strategies and leading to financial losses.

However, the process of freight procurement doesn't have to endure this stressful atmosphere annually. Today's market offers innovative strategies designed to navigate the complexities of modern freight procurement efficiently, while also providing significant cost savings.

The Shift Toward Adaptive RFP Freight Procurement Strategy

The modern transportation ecosystem demands a more adaptive approach, one that can pivot in the face of abrupt market shifts and still provide shippers transparency. Combining an RFP with compliance monitoring, visibility, and benchmarking tools forms a powerful strategy that boosts a shipper’s competitive advantage. To adapt to fluctuating demand and capacity, several best practices can be adopted:  

  1. Integrate RFP events with ongoing compliance monitoring, ensuring that the outcomes of the RFP are effectively executed and maintained. This strategy eliminates the need for extensive manual intervention and addresses deviations from the plan to operate efficiently throughout the year.
  2. Develop a robust freight procurement strategy that can adapt to market shifts and fluctuations. This may involve investing in technology solutions that provide real-time visibility into market conditions, allowing for more informed decision-making.
  3. Benchmark the transportation network against industry-leading shippers by gaining insight into asset-based carriers and linehaul rates in the network's geography. This approach uncovers carriers with proven lane expertise and competitive linehaul rates to quickly adapt to market changes.

By incorporating these practices, transportation procurement leaders can build a more resilient and responsive freight procurement strategy. Moving to a carrier with a better carrier fit score can result in up to a 14% cost savings. Additionally, considering the middle 60% of a shipper's network accounts for over 75% of lanes, there lies a significant amount of opportunities to reduce costs. This approach not only adapts to market changes but also drives significant cost reductions and efficiencies.

Select strategic RFP service providers

Selecting the right RFP service provider is crucial to the success of a freight procurement strategy. It's vital to avoid complacency and continuously seek out innovative solutions that challenge conventional practices. An ideal partner should demonstrate these characteristics:

  • Unbiased Perspective. In the selection of potential RFP service providers, consider a partner that not only offers advanced capabilities but also presents an unbiased, objective perspective. This critical approach is essential in challenging and refining existing perceptions.
  • Evolving Expertise. The game has evolved; it's no longer just about offering impressive services. It’s about deeply understanding the unique transportation network. The ideal RFP partner becomes more than a consultant; they're a strategic catalyst, creating a value-driven approach to freight procurement.
  • Ongoing Support. The most successful partnerships flourish with year-round support, not just during the RFP process. The RFP partner should be a reliable resource, constantly striving to enhance and optimize network performance.

Maximize Freight Procurement Opportunities with Breakthrough's RFP Services

Reshaping the freight procurement process through adaptive RFP strategies and the selection of strategic RFP service providers marks a significant shift toward transforming transportation management. By adopting these innovative practices, companies can not only streamline their operations but also achieve better financial outcomes. As markets continue to evolve, staying ahead with a proactive and forward-looking approach will distinguish the leaders from the followers.

Breakthrough’s RFP services offer a compelling trifecta of pre-event strategy, execution, and robust post-event support. Powered by a multi-faceted, lane-specific, data-driven approach, our RFP services leverage an expansive database of carrier and shipper insights and market expertise to provide historical and forward-looking visibility into the freight market. With this crucial insight, our clients can make informed decisions that drive significant cost savings and operational efficiencies. Learn more about how Breakthrough can help you achieve your freight procurement goals.

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