‘Rock your rate’: Using spot market demand data to advantage

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Updated Oct 13, 2018

Lexington, Ky.-based owner-operator Chad Boblett will be familiar to regular readers for his founding of the Rate Per Mile Masters Facebook group, which back in 2014 was really taking off amidst the growth in spot market rates seen that year, a consequence of then-improving economic conditions and a variety of other factors, including weather, that threw a wrench into contract carriers’ ability to provide capacity. Lots of owner-operators were looking for ways to take advantage. Boblett, whose story I told on this blog at that time, was providing a platform on which members of the group could ask specific questions and, more often than not, get a particularly useful answer.

Boblett told his story at the Great American Trucking Show in August this year, part of his work assisting the crew from DAT at their booth..Boblett told his story at the Great American Trucking Show in August this year, part of his work assisting the crew from DAT at their booth..

He’s done a lot since, not least of which was a change in the way he runs as a response to spot market demand falling off a cliff in the years after 2014 (before it’s big run-up last year through the present). He explains all of that in the video up top. Owner-operator Boblett’s high-energy spot market primer there and brief tour through his own history was delivered at the DAT booth at the 2018 Great American Trucking Show the final day of the show.

If there’s one thing that defines Boblett’s approach to getting consistently well-above-average rates, it’s the simple use of demand data available in the basic versions of sizable load boards to set himself up in the best possible places to take advantage. A lot of his talk will probably not exactly be news to most owner-operators running as he did for much of his early years as an independent owner-operator, from 2011: Relying almost exclusively on load board freight going from hot market to hot market, with a switch to lane specialization when demand cooled.

For those of you new to the spot market, however, and for some seasoned market participants, too, I imagine there’s insight to be had in his sort of rags to riches tale, those riches built almost exclusively hauling freight as an independent. Find a version of that tale up to year 2014 in this past Channel 19 post:

Catch the video to take things up through the present with Boblett.

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