It’s that time of year. Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) shipping general rate increases (GRI) season. As the shipping industry continues to evolve, carriers rely on GRIs to adjust their base rates, which can vary by lane and weight tiers. These rate increases serve a crucial purpose – addressing the ever-increasing cost inflation that impacts the entire network.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons behind LTL GRIs and how they help balance demands and rising costs resulting from fuel, salary, equipment and technology.
Why LTL General Rate Increases Matter:
Countering Cost Inflation: In the fast-paced world of shipping, costs are consistently on the rise. LTL carriers face a myriad of expenses, including fuel, employee salaries, equipment and technology. Year after year, these costs continue to climb. Enter GRIs! These adjustments to base rates provide carriers with a means to counter the effects of inflation and maintain a sustainable operation.
Ensuring Network Balance: A well-balanced network is the key to success in the shipping industry. LTL carriers carefully analyze data, market demand and various factors to achieve optimal operational efficiency. By implementing GRIs, carriers can effectively manage their resources, capacities and costs, ensuring a harmonious balance between supply and demand.
Understanding the Impact on Shippers:
Navigating Cost Adjustments: It’s no secret that LTL GRIs have a direct impact on shippers and their transportation budgets. These annual rate increases necessitate proactive adjustments in cost calculations and planning. By anticipating these changes or partnering with companies with increased freight buying power, shippers can better prepare, ensuring minimal disruption to their financial strategies.
Shaping Strategic Decision-Making: Knowledge is power! Shippers must evaluate the implications of LTL GRIs on their unique shipping requirements and business objectives. By remaining informed and proactive, shippers can strategically select carriers, negotiate rates and explore alternative shipping methods to mitigate the impact of these rate increases.
Embracing Collaboration: In the face of LTL GRIs, collaboration between shippers and carriers becomes a crucial element. By fostering open communication channels, shippers can understand carriers’ reasons for implementing GRIs, seek opportunities for rate negotiation and explore mutually beneficial cost-saving measures. Shippers can also work with brokers to understand if their LTL rates are competitive and get bids from multiple LTL carriers.
As the journey continues, annual Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) General Rate Increases (GRI) are critical to monitor to determine the impact to your overall shipping cost.
By addressing cost inflation driven by fuel, salary, equipment and technology, carriers can strike a balance between their operational demands and rising costs. Shippers, on the other hand, must remain prepared and proactive, understanding the impact of these rate increases and collaborating closely with carriers, brokers or managed transportation providers to optimize their shipping strategies.
By looking at your data or partnering with brokers or managed transportation providers to lock in rates, you can mitigate the impact to your business.