How to get the best spot quote

In the shipping world, a spot quote is a one-time negotiation for the best shipping rate for a single shipment or a grouping of shipments. In contrast, a contract rate quote is a negotiated rate that is fixed for a period of time. So, why would you want to go through all of the work to re-negotiate freight rates, in other words, why request a spot quote? People who request a spot quote are usually in need of a volume LTL move for a shipment weighing in excess of 5,000 pounds, or on the flip side, people request a spot quote because of a delicate shipment that wouldn't be protected under their existing liability insurance. A spot quote gives you the opportunity to negotiate all of the above into a neat package deal. How do you get the best spot quote?

Know your numbers

Do the research to figure out how much your current stable of carriers will charge to ship your freight under contract, and get the transit times. By doing this, you'll get a baseline dollar amount and you'll also figure out if shipping with your current contracts is even an option.

Know your modes

You'll want to take a look at which mode is best for your shipment, take a look at these options: full truckload (FTL) and less than truckload (LTL). If you're concerned about fragile freight or just getting your freight there the fastest way possible, then you might want to consider FTL because there are usually fewer exchanges which mean fewer opportunities for the freight to be damaged, plus it's usually sent via a one-way ticket. But, if you're looking for the cheapest way and request quotes for volume LTL, you must be aware that your freight will be held at the carrier's terminal until they can load a full trailer.

Know your transit time requirements

This dovetails right into the "Know your modes" topic above. You'll want to know when you're shipment needs to arrive at its destination, and this will help you determine which mode is best for you and what you need to negotiate.

Know your relationships

Do you have a contract with a carrier that is asking for more business, but that contract sucks, then you can offer them an opportunity for more business through a spot quote. Also, is there another carrier out there that you don't have a relationship with, but you want to see how competitive they are with their rates? You should request a spot quote.

How can Next Step help?

We will automate the legwork, expose all relevant data points, and give you an easy to use dashboard from where you can manage all spot quotes with all carriers.

  • Get spot quotes from all carriers in one place.

  • Communicate with all carriers in one place and make that visible across your shipping department!

  • Pick the best carrier by viewing all your freight rates side by side, including contracted LTL rates!

  • Create, quote, book and manage shipments.

  • Automate the processes you used to spend hours doing manually.

  • View and print BOL, tender and shipping labels.

  • Track and trace shipments with real-time carrier updates.

Why should you talk to Next Step?

We have 14+ years experience in maintaining enterprise level information systems. Next Step is a Microsoft Partner, integrator, and solution provider, including Microsoft .NET Core, which is ran on Linux! Please email us today at for more information!