New indexing tool helps OOs/carriers determine what freight rates ‘should’ be

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Tools like Transcore’s Rate Index Pro and Internet Truckstop’s Fuel Desk Plus have in recent years offered for users of the load board services and other subscriber owner-operators access to real-time load market data along individual lanes and in specific regions, leading to a broker-carrier negotiation situation where, for the first time in history, individual owner-operators and larger carriers can tap into a huge amount of information about markets. Today, “carriers have the ability to know what’s going on in the market and are much smarter about pricing and supply and demand,” says CRST Logistics President Mike Fouts.

A new kid on the load-market-info block, though, does something different. The founders of have launched a load rate indexing service that’s more of a benchmark for the rate carriers should be getting from brokers and shippers for their service to maintain an appropriate level of profitability. In November last year, FairTran began offering the free National FairTran Rate service, specifying in flatbed, dry van and reefer segments average short- and long-haul rates as just such guides. They’re available via the previous link, and users can sign up for email and text alerts delivered weekly.

The rates reflect what level of profitability relative to market conditions can be expected. FairTran is also available to provide company-specific rate and cost data to customers at $36 to $55 a month, updated daily, through which regional lane rates would be available tailored to company operating information. The company’s founder, Charlie Collins, was a career financial analyst for a large private bank before he came back to his father’s industry. Michael J. Collins has run a small fleet under his own name out of Colorado for decades. I talked with Collins for part of the current issue of Overdrive‘s “Beyond the rate” cover story, about negotiating with brokers. Follow that link for the story in our digital version.