By Walt Stanish & Eric Burke
The transportation industry is experiencing unprecedented operational costs. Fuel prices are higher, drivers are in short supply, trailers are in short supply, and trucks continue to lag in meeting demand. These individual supply challenges have collided, making the perfect storm we are in the middle of now, and there is no real sign of it stopping.
Regardless of how negative this sounds, it is the current climate of our industry. It is our job as the pricing team to take all these issues into account and create realistic and sustainable strategies that allow all parties to succeed.
Before pricing is taken into consideration, our sales team lays the groundwork. Our enterprise sales team makes concentrated efforts to secure freight that further optimizes our network. “Optimization” in this situation refers to minimizing the distance between our stops and reducing deadhead and total miles driven, therefore increasing the competitiveness of our services. This reduces our costs across the board and allows us to pass those savings onto our customers.
Once the opportunity has been brought in, our pricing team starts the analysis process to see where we can make the greatest positive impact on the customer and our own network.
We use a wide array of tools which allow us to monitor the market and ensure we are providing our customers with competitive and sustainable rates that accompany our premium service. Current market data, cyclical trends in the industry given the time of year (such as peak season where demand hits its yearly high), and Gulf Relay’s unique historical data are taken into consideration as we evaluate each opportunity.
Arguably, the most important aspect of our job is isolating specific lanes that have historically been the most successful. Once the data and market(s) have been evaluated, a decision is made involving operations, sales, and pricing on how to best service the individual customer and provide them with the most value.
Once the pricing has been decided and feedback is processed, presented, and confirmed by sales, we are able to execute.
Our pricing agreements ensure we can fulfill our commitments and provide top-level customer satisfaction. Despite the supply chain challenges in the current market, we are committed to delivering consistent service on sustainable rates.