How to Optimize Your Freight Transportation Costs

Companies all over the world have to send and receive goods from other companies and locations daily. This process is essential for the growth, expansion, and day-to-day running of the business. The freight transportation system has become increasingly complex with businesses now needing to send and receive goods from all corners of the globe. And as the world economy continues to globalize, the need for optimizing freight transportation costs becomes ever more important.

When it comes to optimizing your freight transportation costs, taking a holistic view of your shipping operation is key. Too often, shippers focus on one area – like transportation – in isolation, without considering the other moving parts of their business. But the reality is that all the different pieces of your supply chain are interconnected, and making changes in one area can have a ripple effect elsewhere. With that in mind, we’ll discuss the ways how you can optimize your freight transportation costs and what are the key cost drivers in your freight transportation.

Freight Transportation’s Key Cost Drivers


When discussing cost drivers, it’s important to first understand what they are. In general, cost drivers are the factors that contribute to the overall cost of a good or service.

When it comes to freight transportation, there are several key cost drivers that can have a significant impact on the bottom line. 



Fuel is the most obvious cost driver in freight transportation. The prices can fluctuate wildly, and even a small change can have a big impact on shipping costs. As fuel prices go up, so too does the cost of shipping goods. This is because fuel is used to power the trucks that transport goods around the country.

When fuel prices increase, trucking companies must either pass on the higher costs to their customers or absorb the costs themselves. Either way, rising fuel prices affect the bottom line for companies that ship goods.

Vehicle Depreciation


One of the key cost drivers in the trucking industry is vehicle depreciation. Every year, the value of your trucks and trailers declines as they age. This depreciation can have a major impact on your bottom line, and it’s important to understand how it works. When you purchase a new truck, it’s worth a certain amount of money.

Over time, however, the value of the truck declines. This decline is due to several factors, including wear and tear, obsolescence, and market conditions. eventually, reach a point where they are no longer worth the money you paid for them. This process is known as vehicle depreciation, and it’s one of the key cost drivers in the trucking industry.



When it comes to freight transportation, one of the key cost drivers is storage. After all, when cargo needs to be stored, the carrier incurs additional costs for things like warehouse rental, labor, and facilities and equipment. In fact, a carrier’s storage costs depend directly on the turnover of goods. So, if the company has more items in stock than it transports, storage costs increase.

Marketplace Conditions


The state of the economy is one of the most important marketplace conditions affecting freight transportation costs. When the economy is weak, businesses are less likely to ship goods. This decrease in demand can lead to lower rates and fewer shipments. However, during periods of economic growth, businesses are more likely to ship goods. This increased demand can lead to higher rates and more shipments. 

By working with I-Way Transport, our customers work with a trusted and transparent partner. To further understand the key cost drivers, contact us at today!



How to Optimize Your Freight Transportation Costs


Now that we’ve discussed the key cost drivers in freight transportation, let’s take a look at how you can optimize your shipping operation to reduce costs.

Steady Lane Volume


In today’s tight freight market, it is more important than ever to optimize your transportation costs. One way to do this is by working with carriers who have a steady volume of freight in the same lane. Because these carriers can market their backhauls and build their networks more efficiently, they are able to offer lower rates. In addition, these carriers will prioritize the freight of shippers who are loyal and have consistent volumes. As a result, working with a carrier that has steady lane volume can help you save money on your transportation costs.

Off-Peak Days Shipping


Optimizing your freight transportation costs requires a bit of planning and an understanding of when shipping rates are at their lowest. For example, you’ll generally find that shipping rates are lower on weekdays than on weekends, and rates are also lower during off-peak hours. Shipments made on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to be the most cost-effective, as these days typically have the lowest volume of shipments. By using off-peak days and times for your shipments, you can take advantage of lower shipping rates and optimize your freight transportation costs.

Consolidate Shipments


One way to optimize your freight transportation costs is to consolidate your shipments. If you have multiple shipments going to the same destination, see if you can combine them into one shipment. This will often result in a lower shipping rate. For example, if you have two shipments of 100 boxes each going to the same destination, you would generally pay a lower shipping rate per box if you consolidated the two shipments into one shipment of 200 boxes. By consolidating your shipments, you can often save on your overall freight shipping costs.

Develop Relationships


There are many reasons why building relationships with carriers, as opposed to serial rate shopping, is a more advantageous strategy for shippers. One of the most important reasons has to do with the fact that relationship-building creates opportunities for increased shipping volume discounts. When shippers commit to working with one or a few carriers over the long term, they become more attractive freight partners from a business standpoint. As a result, carriers are more likely to offer volume-based discounts that can significantly reduce overall transportation costs.

Provide Reliable Lead Times


Lead time awareness is critical for companies to optimize their freight transportation costs. The lead time is the amount of time between the initiation and execution of a process. In supply chain and logistics, the lead time refers to the duration of time between placing an order and receiving the goods. Lead times can vary based on product, industry, mode of transportation, and distance.

These are just a few of the ways that you can optimize your freight transportation costs. By understanding the key cost drivers in freight shipping and taking steps to improve your shipping operation, you can reduce your overall transportation costs.

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