Transportation managers never want to learn that they are paying a higher transportation rate than necessary. One carrier can charge a higher rate than another for the exact shipping loads and services. Freight audit and payment protocols have long been an essential service for shippers in competitive markets. Predictive planning and analysis are crucial to avoiding overpayment and freight rates and fees surprises. According to DAT, "Flatbed load posts on the DAT Load Board exceeded 3 million for the first time last week, pushing up spot rates by 37 cents per mile higher than the previous year, and a whopping 57 cents higher than the 2018 bull market. The February average was 4 cents shy of the record set in June 2021." Today, knowing freight audit data points and monitoring contract and spot truckload rates are critical for continued growth and success. This is why freight invoice audit services and actionable intelligence are essential, mainly when focusing on spot bids.
Several issues and challenges arise for shippers and transportation managers when navigating the spot market in today's volatile and unpredictable market. Shippers can more easily manage spot freight loads, combat higher rates, and avoid limited driver access with reliable freight audit data. Furthermore, spot market instability will continue as the pendulum swings between carriers, where it rests today, and shippers. While some signs of a cost reduction do appear on the horizon, like the Drewry index fluctuations and predictions, shippers still need to be ready for how a disruption on the other side of the globe may precipitate a spike in domestic transportation costs too.
Managing price points to ensure profits are kept as high as possible without losing competitive advantage or customer loyalty is vital as prices of major commodities continue to fluctuate. Spot contracts and one-off loads are becoming more common across many market niches, further intensifying the need for accurate freight audit data and network optimization. Smaller spot bids give shippers and carriers more freedom and flexibility to collaborate and adapt to market trends. Freight invoice audits based on real-time data analysis and insights help transportation and trucking companies stay strategic.
Freight audit data and insight from a skilled freight audit advisor allow shippers to easily choose from a deeper pool of qualified carriers. Knowing which drivers are reliable and affordable makes it easier to select the correct driver for every load that comes along. Tapping into data analysis and accounts payable audit services can clarify a highly competitive market. According to The New York Times, demand for reliable shipping is as high as ever, and customers are willing to pay for reliable services. Consumers are shifting focus and changing where their money is going, so shippers must track and monitor these trends and ensure their finances are following suit.
Another benefit that transportation companies and shippers can enjoy with reliable access to freight audit data is a more accurate comparison to rates and fees. Every shipper and carrier has slightly different invoice processes and forms, fees, and surcharges that are labeled and highlighted differently. A straight apples-to-apples comparison can be challenging, but data normalization ensures like information can be viewed and analyzed side-by-side.
When shippers know how to prepare for and predict freight spot bid rates accurately, they can capitalize on every opportunity that comes along. Whether you need help with an accounts payable audit or a more personalized auditing routine, the right partnership can make all the difference when keeping up with supply chain trends and expenses.
Freight logistics managers and shippers naturally want to ensure they get the most cost-effective capacity for their freight loads. Valuable services such as duplicate invoice audits and freight payment audits can streamline the entire process. Whether it is contractor freight or spot loads, the processes involved with monitoring rates, fees, and expenses can be harder to discern at times without professional guidance, data-backed strategies, and driven insights. Shippers can capitalize on spot bids in any market by using actionable insights and data-driven anomaly detection to find and correct problems.
Before the unprecedented market and supply chain upheaval of the COVID pandemic, retailers and truckers often absorbed the shipping costs when freight rates when up. The pandemic changed that in ways no one could have anticipated and made the need for up-to-date freight audit data more critical than ever. Port and shipping backlogs have caused long-term changes to the face of modern supply chain optimization as freight rates and product demand continues to fluctuate. This is why everything from invoice management to freight invoice audit can make a massive difference in bottom-line profitability. Contact Intelligent Audit today to get started.
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