Many people view pinpoint decision-making as a requirement only for top leaders in large
corporate structured business, but owner-operators are faced with tough business decisions
everyday. They must understand the market, learn to master the tools of the trade, and
become expert planners. A successful owner-operator also has to train their instincts to
recognize the general movement of freight.
Hot Zones are regions of the country where there are more loads than trucks available to haul
the loads. In hot zones, rates are higher than most of the rest of the country and remain high
for a period of time longer than a day or two. It is a great benefit knowing where the hot zone
is for a particular equipment type on any given day, because this is where owner-operators can
make the most money on a load.
Knowing where the hot zones are located is only half of the decision as to where to pick up a
load. Owner-operators must take other factors into consideration when looking at hot zones. If
you don’t live in the hot zone, how long are you willing to stay in that region? Most hot zones
are in highly populated areas with regular traffic problems (longer periods on the road) and
possibly toll roads to contend with. Loading facilities in hot zones are usually more difficult to
get into and there is rarely adequate parking nearby, so good trip planning becomes crucial.
Having the proper tools for trip planning and communication is essential. Brokers and shippers
deal with greater load volumes and are better negotiators; therefore owner-operators must
hone their own negotiating skills.
the most recent data, and is a decision-making tool that illustrates the load/truck ratio. Carriers
can quickly search North America to see which lanes have more loads than trucks, which is
where the owner-operator would have the most negotiating power. PINTAC also provides the
ability to look at all of the posted loads in the lane and sort by payment amount.
The TRANS4CAST newsletter, powered by Internet Truckstop, is also an excellent tool to
identify hot zones from the previous week. It provides critical data for better decision-making,
especially the Market Demand Index, which provides overall truck demand by week, and breaks
down which states were the hot regions. It also provides average rates by equipment type, and
critical fuel price information by region.
*Internet Truckstop is offering one 90 day free trial of CreditStop Broker OR FuelDesk Plus to Internet Truckstop/Team Run Smart Members. Click here for more information on how you can get this special offer.