Lately, it’s been in the news that freight capacity has slowed down. I’ve talked to several friends who work in the spot market that have heartburn because the high freight rates that started after the ELD Mandate have finally subsided. I hear my fellow independent owner-operators talk about how rough rates are currently. This reminds me of how any stockbroker can look like a hero very easily in a bull market, but the best stockbrokers can make money in a bear market when things are slow.
In my career as an independent owner-operator, I have never worked in the spot market. Since starting my career as an independent owner-operator, I have mainly focused on long term contracted freight directly with the shipper. Long term contract freight doesn’t pay the high rates people see when the spot market is hot. However, it pays a lot more when the spot market cools down.
Many people ask me, “How do you get long term contracts during these slow times in the spot market?” The answer is simple; I get long term contracts when the spot market is hot. Shippers are looking to secure long term deals during these time periods. Recently, I have been reading that shippers are looking to secure capacity now as they are seeing another bubble coming up.
Remember, when the spot market is good for trucking, it’s bad for shippers. Shippers generally have a transportation budget and that budget gets drained if the spot market gets too hot. I have found that playing the long game, and being reliable to a shipper during the good times and the bad, has worked the best for me in the end.