Strive Blog

Are Freight Brokers Strategic?

In a capacity-constrained freight market, freight brokers play an essential role in your freight strategy. Not convinced? For proof, look no further than UPS’s pending purchase of freight broker Coyote Logistics for $1.8 billion. UPS has more trucks than anyone – literally. They still recognized the value of gaining access to Coyote’s 35,000 carriers, customer shipping network and proprietary technology. read more

Benefits of Working with a 3PL Shipping Solution

Getting your items to your customers as quickly and efficiently as possible is crucial, but can be complicated and costly. One of the best ways to minimize costs and maximize convenience is to work with a third-party logistics provider. A 3PL can make shipping efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly. By creating operational strategies that reduce empty miles, a 3PL can help you avoid wasting fuel or labor. read more

Smart Way

Strive Logistics is proud to be a SmartWay Transport Partner – you may have seen the SmartWay logo before, but not known what it meant, or how it impacts your business. SmartWay is a program designed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help reduce transportation-related emissions. Their goal is to make a direct, positive difference in climatic changes. They work with transportation providers to reduce environmental risks that come from transporting goods on a large scale basis. read more

New to LTL Freight Shipping?

Strive is here to help. Got LTL freight shipping questions? Our expert LTL Shipping team has answers.
LTL stands for Less-Than-Truckload, meaning the shipment does not completely fill an entire truck. LTL shipments are usually placed on pallets and range anywhere from 150 lbs. to 10,000 lbs. read more

Asset Vs. Non-Asset Based 3PLs

Deciding whether to go with an asset-based or non-asset based third party logistics partner is a tough decision. Keeping transportation costs low and levels of reliability and service high can be hard to balance. You could choose an asset-based provider with their own fleet of trucks, a non-asset based provider that works with a network of carriers, or maybe even both. Let’s look at the options. read more

ELD Compliance: Is Your Broker Exposing You to Risk?

What is an ELD? An ELD is an Electronic Logging Device that accurately tracks, manages, and shares records of duty status (RODS) data. It does this by synchronizing with the vehicle's engine to record driving time. As a result, it creates a safer working environment for drivers and more certain hours of service (HOS) tracking. ELD Manufacturers must conform to certain technical specifications laid out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Then, they must certify their ELDs, and register them with FMCSA. read more

Loadrunner: Why We Built Our Own Transportation Management System

LoadRunner®, as a concept, was born out of a realization that off-the-shelf transportation management systems didn't allow Strive Logistics to provide unique 3PL solutions to our carrier and customer partners. In 2009, Strive built a simple application that had a single feature and deployed it to our carrier team. In just a few months our active carrier base grew by thousands, and we realized we could create a real competitive advantage for our customers. read more

Figuring Out Freight Class: Where to Start

What is an ELD? An ELD is an Electronic Logging Device that accurately tracks, manages, and shares records of duty status (RODS) data. It does this by synchronizing with the vehicle's engine to record driving time. As a result, it creates a safer working environment for drivers and more certain hours of service (HOS) tracking. ELD Manufacturers must conform to certain technical specifications laid out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Then, they must certify their ELDs, and register them with FMCSA. read more

Find Hidden Freight Capacity in Private Fleets

Private fleets are enormous investments when you consider the cost of the assets themselves, the maintenance, and the drivers. The line item receives careful scrutiny by board members and CFOs, who want to know the return the company is getting on these assets. As a result, private fleet managers must run their operations like profit centers, leveraging unused capacity to haul freight for other shippers. read more

Tackle Five Common LTL Shipping Challenges With A 3PL

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping has its own challenges beyond those of shipping a full truckload. Whether you’re shipping a single pallet or half of a truckload, we can help you tackle the five most common LTL shipping challenges. read more

Is Your Broker Guesstimating Your Freight Quotes?

When you call up a broker or receive a completed RFP, one of the biggest factors in choosing a 3PL for your freight is price. But what exactly influences the price of a freight quote? Many new freight shippers are surprised by how widely their quotes can vary from month to month. Let’s dive into how a broker arrives at a price. read more

Legitimacy In Pricing: Becoming Confident in your Rates

Some brokers guesstimate costs, use transactional pricing or will lowball a bid in order to try to win your business. But when the loads actually come and the broker can't find a truck at the price he quoted, your load gets rejected and you're stuck trying to source a truck in the spot market - losing time and money in the process... read more

Infographic: Numbers Behind Being a Truck Driver

We all know that the trucking industry is facing a driver shortage. But who exactly is behind the wheel of the semi-trucks and flatbeds you pass on the highway? The infographic below explores the numbers behind being a truck driver. Want more info? Check out our Driver Shortage: Where Will We Find New Drivers? blog post. read more

How to Pick the Perfect Shipping Broker

There are 16,000 brokers in the United States. Both new and experienced shippers often wade into the sea of brokers and are immediately overwhelmed by the sheer quantity to choose from. Since every broker seemingly does the same thing—find you a truck for your freight—it can be hard to differentiate between them. read more

Lower Your Freight Spend With Lane Matching

For shippers, getting the best deal for their freight with a truck that fits their needs is important. What many shippers don’t know is how to find that sweet spot of price and service. To get the most bang for your buck, it is crucial to find a broker that uses an advanced technology—that’s where lane matching comes into play. read more

How a 3PL Can Help You Make Sure Your Freight Rate is Fair

For shippers working with a broker or 3PL provider, getting a fair rate is a top priority. The problem is, how do you know the rate you’re given is in tune with current market prices? The problem is two-fold. If the rate is higher than fair market value, the shipper is wasting money and has an unnecessarily high freight spend. If the rate is lower than fair market value, then quality carriers will not accept your freight and service levels will decline. The market fluctuates due to the seasons, legislation and regulation, changing cost of fuel, and other factors. Your rate should fluctuate with it. read more

LTL Shipping Glossary

Less-than-truckload, or LTL shipping is a growing part of the shipping industry, but there are so many industry-specific terms that it can be confusing. Don't worry though! We’re here to help: below are many of the commonly used terms to help you whether it's your first time shipping LTL or you're a seasoned veteran that needs a refresher. read more

Five Questions and Answers About Heavy Haul and Oversized Freight

Heavy haul freight, also known as oversized freight, is a load that exceeds a state’s legal limit for a specified portion of the road. Usually a load is considered oversize if it is wider, taller, longer, or heavier than what could be hauled on a standard or specialized trailer. However, each individual state has different requirements regarding legal dimensions. In addition, permits are issued at the state level, not the federal. read more

Five Reasons Your Freight Rate Might Change

When you call up a broker or receive a completed RFP, one of the biggest factors in choosing a 3PL for your freight is price. But what exactly influences the price of a freight quote? Many new freight shippers are surprised by how widely their quotes can vary from month to month. Let’s dive into how a broker arrives at a price. read more

Meet a Striver: Carrier Ops

Strive is made up of people from a variety of backgrounds that share a common goal - to deliver our customer's business. Join us as we sit down with Andrew, a Carrier Operations Rep and chat about his experience working at Strive. read more

Are You Truck Brokers Old School? Five Questions to Get the Answer

There are 16,000 U.S. truck brokers. The vast majority offer little to no technology and rely on posting boards to source capacity. They’re stuck in the past and, if you continue to use such brokers, you’re stuck with them. A new class of truck brokers has emerged that provides an alternative. They leverage technology to intelligently match your load demand with freight capacity hidden to most other brokers. Instead of providing shippers with a tactical solution for spot freight needs, these brokers are becoming strategic partners for capacity management. In the process, they are transforming shipper perceptions about the value a broker can deliver. read more

Refrigerated Carriers Are Like Landscapers

Landscapers in northern states charge more in the summer because there is a high-demand for their services. Smart homeowners looking for a deal hit them up in October or November, when demand sags but before the snow arrives. Refrigerated carriers are like landscapersThat winter jacket you wanted is unaffordable in January. But if you can hold off, you’ll get a steal in the spring. Air fares to Florida are extremely expensive during spring break week. If you can postpone your visit until the summer, you’ll fly dirt cheap. Examples of supply and demand pricing are all around us. Smart shoppers who can be a little flexible have the potential for huge savings. read more

Driver Shortage: Where Will We Find New Drivers?

The transportation industry is one of the largest industries in the world. In 2012, the U.S. spent $1.33 trillion on logistics and transportation, accounting for a whopping 8.5% of the annual gross domestic product. Since 2012, the transportation industry has grown and is expected to continue. But there’s a big problem – while the transportation industry grows, so does the driver shortage. read more

Running Your Own Freight Management: 3 Reasons It Doesn't Make Sense

If you are a small to mid-sized business (SMB), chances are good that you run your own freight department. Every few years, the boss might trigger an evaluation of the strategy—“Freight isn’t our business…are we better off bringing in an expert?” —but most businesses stay the course. If you’re the boss, here are three common reasons you’re likely to hear for maintaining an in-house freight department and why, in a changing freight market, these reasons may no longer make sense. read more

Seven Tips for Truck Drivers to Stay Healthy on the Road

Staying physically healthy is important for anyone’s overall well-being, but as a truck driver it can be hard to balance hours on the road and prioritizing your health. We’ve rounded up seven tips for staying healthy on the road: read more

3PLs vs Brokers: Which Should You Choose?

Staying physically healthy is important for anyone’s overall well-being, but as a truck driver it can be hard to balance hours on the road and prioritizing your health. We’ve rounded up seven tips for staying healthy on the road: read more

Three Ways to Lower Shipping Costs

In today’s shipping industry, shippers are always looking for ways to lower their freight spend. With so many factors influencing the cost, freight quotes can fluctuate wildly. This fluctuation can be due to having undesirable problem lanes, natural weather patterns, and the supply-and-demand nature of the shipping market just to name a few factors. But proactive shippers can help to control their freight spend and insulate themselves from wild fluctuations in the market. Here’s three ways: read more

Understanding Flatbed Trucking Rates

Flatbed trucking rates are tough to nail down across different markets. It’s not like buying a particular car, where the MSRP will be similar across dealers and regions. Flatbed rates may vary widely across regions. It comes down to supply and demand and the load-to-truck ratios in specific markets. read more

Beyond Truckload: Why Mode Selection is Important

When it comes to transporting your freight, the instinct might be to call your broker and ask for a truck. But there are other options that can lower your freight spend, improve your customer service levels, or reduce your inventory holding costs. read more

What are Shipping Accessorials? Why Do I Need Them?

When it comes to transporting your freight, the instinct might be to call your broker and ask for a truck. But there are other options that can lower your freight spend, improve your customer service levels, or reduce your inventory holding costs. read more

Flatbed Carriers & Liability: Five Reasons Brokers Are Relevant

It can be common for shippers to think that brokers do not have a full understanding of liability, safety, loading requirements, and securement practices because they don’t have their own trucks. This idea might be true in some cases, but specialized flatbed brokers are experts in their field. Partnering with a broker that has a strong database of carrier information, an extremely knowledgeable team, an experienced driver base, and years of experience can be a make a difference in optimizing a shipper’s supply chain. There are many reasons to find the right broker partner – to do so you just have to ask the right questions. read more

Shipping Brokers That Offer Transportation Management: What's the Best Business Model?

Many freight shipping brokers offer transportation management services. That’s when staff at the broker do the freight planning—load consolidation, route optimization, etc. — as well as execute the shipment. When shipping brokers offer transportation management, questions can arise about the objectivity of the service and whether the broker might funnel loads to carriers in its own network. read more

Can Reefer Trailers Carry Dry Freight? You Bet

Many shippers of dry freight don’t even think about using reefer trailers. Big mistake. Shippers can save 6%–17% on their freight shipments if freight is moving to busy produce-shipping markets. Reefer trailers are a good alternative to dry vanHere’s why: produce has to ship in refrigerated trailers, so during high picking seasons competition for reefer capacity in these markets is sky high—and so are carrier prices. read more

Four Advantages to the New Freight Broker

Like lawyers and tax collectors, freight brokers haven’t enjoyed the best reputation over the years. Since the barriers to entry are fairly low there are many brokers out there who chase freight and source capacity solely from load boards and cold calling. But a new kind of freight broker is emerging. These brokers are challenging typical stereotypes and recasting shippers’ views about the value a broker can provide. There are four essential differences that the new freight broker brings to the table read more

Technology Driven 3PLs are Today's Asset Carriers

Technology-driven 3PLs like Strive use special transportation management system (TMS) technology to efficiently manage carrier networks. Instead of focusing on a physical asset such as trucks, these 3PLs focus on “smart” technological assets like cloud-based software. For example, we built our own TMS, Loadrunner, from the ground up and use it as a tool to build better, cost-effective relationships with our shippers and carriers. read more

Four Reasons to Outsource Freight Management

Technology-driven 3PLs like Strive use special transportation management system (TMS) technology to efficiently manage carrier networks. Instead of focusing on a physical asset such as trucks, these 3PLs focus on “smart” technological assets like cloud-based software. For example, we built our own TMS, Loadrunner, from the ground up and use it as a tool to build better, cost-effective relationships with our shippers and carriers. read more

Deal with Problem Loads

What is a problem load, exactly? Put yourself in this scenario. It's 4:00 PM on a Friday. You're about to pack up and go home when you hear the phone ring. You answer, and it's a call telling you that you've got a whole truckload of product that needs to ship NOW. Your usual for-hire company can't take it - they don't have a truck in your area. What do you do? You’re stuck with a problem load. read more

Meet a Striver: Customers Ops

Meet some of the faces behind Strive Logistics. Strive is made up of people from a variety of backgrounds that share a common goal - to deliver our customer's business. Let’s meet some of the faces behind Strive’s Customer Operations team in the Austin office. The Customer Operations team works hard to ensure everything goes smoothly in getting our customer’s freight from point A to point B and beyond. read more

Managed Transportation Services: 3 More Reasons For SMBs to Switch

Few of the small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that use freight broker services have elected to capitalize on full-fledged managed transportation services. Their rationale: freight activity is limited so the volume can be handled with a skeletal internal staff. That’s a risky strategy in a capacity-constrained market where SMBs lack the systems and buying power to make their freight attractive to carriers. read more

When Do You Need a Flatbed Broker? Or a Flatbed?

Use of flatbed freight typically means the freight is not palletized or cannot fit in the back of a truck. In these cases, a specialized flatbed broker can help direct you to the right carrier for your needs. read more

Why Freight Consolidation Makes Sense

While not a new solution, it is one that many shippers may not realize would be beneficial to them. By partnering with the right 3PL, shippers can leverage large multi-client transportation networks to take advantage of consolidation opportunities and cost reductions. Sophisticated 3PLs will have data visibility to freight dimensions, service requirements, and more to maximize the utilization of a carriers trailer and deliver you the best possible price. read more

Five Tips for Choosing a Flatbred Broker

Few of the small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that use freight broker services have elected to capitalize on full-fledged managed transportation services. Their rationale: freight activity is limited so the volume can be handled with a skeletal internal staff. That’s a risky strategy in a capacity-constrained market where SMBs lack the systems and buying power to make their freight attractive to carriers. read more

Meet a Striver: Private Fleets

Meet some of the faces behind Strive Logistics. Strive is made up of people from a variety of backgrounds that share a common goal - to deliver our customer's business. Let’s meet some of the faces behind Strive’s Private Fleet team. The Private Fleet team matches backhaul lanes with freight to give shippers reliable, safe, and low cost capacity. read more

Freight Management for SMBs: Why Small Businesses Are At Risk

For CEOs of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), freight management is typically not on the top of the priority list. At minimum, they might ask, “Can we get it cheaper?” Unfortunately, the freight question they should be asking these days is, simply, “Can we get it?” Market forces and government regulations have reduced the number of trucks and drivers available to haul freight. When freight capacity tightens and competition for this capacity increases, SMBs may not be able to secure capacity at a reasonable price. That’s a risk that CEOs can no longer ignore. read more

[Infographic] The Long Haul: Why Lane Matching is So Important

Smart logistics companies focus on matching your freight to an available backhaul lane through a sophisticated TMS. Lane matching to fill backhaul needs allows drivers to eliminate empty miles and fully utilize their assets, saves shippers money on their freight spend, and benefits the environment by reducing our carbon footprint. read more

Why Brokers & Carriers Make the Perfect Couple

Carriers and brokers have proven time and time again that they are a perfect match. Thanks to a fundamental interdependence and a culture of mutual respect, when carriers and brokers work together everyone wins. But some carriers a little hesitant when it comes to working with a broker. A few “bad egg” brokers are responsible for a false reputation of unpaid work and green-behind-the-ears brokerage agents. Lose-lose situations leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, including ours. So, let’s expand on some of the reasons why brokers and carriers are a great match. read more

Unused Roll-Up Capacity Offers Shippers a Huge Savings Opportunity

Smart shippers understand that they can secure large freight savings when their freight can fill a carrier’s empty backhaul run. One large untapped opportunity is with the roll-up capacity of private fleets. Our research indicates that just 50%–65% of these backhauls are getting filled, so private fleet managers are willing to offer very aggressive rates to squeeze revenue from these empty trips. Just how aggressive? Between 20%–40% off what you would pay for a standard swing-door trailer delivering the same lane. But you may need to adjust your approach slightly to capitalize on these savings. read more

3PLs vs Brokers: Which Should You Choose?

There's a question shippers ask themselves: what kind of logistics partner do I need, a strategic 3PL or a transactional broker? Small companies faced with this choice are often confused about the fundamental differences between the two, in addition to the relative advantages. And for good reason! 3PL and broker are often used interchangeably, because some of their core functions overlap. Both 3PLs and brokers work between shippers and carriers. read more

TMS Solutions For Freight Brokers: The Myth of the Tier One System

Shippers want their freight brokers to have top-notch transportation management systems (TMS). When evaluating brokers and their systems, some shippers will look to see if the broker has one of the well-known, tier one TMS systems. If they do, the shipper assumes that the broker has a leg up on most other brokers, who lack the name-brand systems. Big mistake. Shippers perceive off-the-shelf, tier one TMS systems as having sophistication that is simply not there. read more

Meet a Striver: Strive Logistics Flatbed Team

Meet some of the faces behind Strive Logistics. Strive is made up of people from a variety of backgrounds that share a common goal - to deliver our customer's business. Let’s meet one of the faces behind Strive’s Flatbed team. The experts on the Flatbed team work hard to help our customers navigate the complex world of flatbed shipping – from load requirements like tarping and dunnage to the specific kind of equipment to ship your product and, most importantly, driver safety. read more

Are You a Good Candidate to Use Roll-Up Trailers?

Private fleet operators, the main source of roll-up capacity, are anxious to fill these empty miles and will offer aggressive rates to shippers whose needs match these backhaul lanes. This creates a big savings opportunity linked to the use of roll-up trailers. Who are the best candidates to take advantage of this opportunity? Here are six of the top signals that you should work aggressively with your 3PL to source roll-up capacity. read more

Freight Shipping: 5 Ways Brokers Can Deliver An Asset-Based Experience

In freight shipping, it’s a common belief that freight brokers can’t match the continuity and dependability of dedicated contract carriage. Because of this misconception, many shippers will only use brokers for unplanned shipments and problem lanes and use carrier partners for the majority of their freight shipping needs. read more

Meet a Striver: Customer Sourcing Team

Strive is made up of people from a variety of backgrounds that share a common goal - to deliver our customer's business. Meet Sean, who has been with Strive since 2005. He is our Risk, Claims, and OS&D Manager who works hard to keep our customers and their freight safe. read more

Five Things to Keep in Mind for Holiday Shipping

The holidays are once again upon us! Everyone loves the holiday season, but with tight capacity and sensitive time-tables, it can be a major source of stress and costly mistakes. We want to share some best practices to help with your holiday shipping. read more

Meet a Striver: Risk, Claims, And OS&D Manager

Strive is made up of people from a variety of backgrounds that share a common goal - to deliver our customer's business. Meet Sean, who has been with Strive since 2005. He is our Risk, Claims, and OS&D Manager who works hard to keep our customers and their freight safe. read more

CSCMP Spotlight

As a Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Corporate Member, we were featured in a recent Corporate Spotlight. See below for the full interview. read more

How a Carrier Can Find an Ideal Broker: Ask 3 Questions

The risk of trying to find a good broker only to find out that they aren’t up to par can cost a carrier big time. To keep themselves safe, there are three questions every carrier needs to ask themselves before jumping on board with a broker. read more

Four Ways to Lower Freight Spend

It is important for businesses to stay competitive in today's market. Shippers still reeling from the recent recession are looking for better prices on their shipments. But, in the logistics world of small business, this can be difficult. Small LTL shipments can become costly, but you might not be flexible enough to pool your shipments into a full truckload to save money. So, how can small businesses level the playing field and lower their LTL freight spend? Here are four tips. read more

Strive Logistics Welcomes Scott Boyer as President

Strive Logistics, a technology- enabled third party logistics provider, announced today that Scott Boyer is joining the organization as President. read more

Meet a Striver: Training Manager

Strive is made up of people from a variety of backgrounds that share a common goal - to deliver our customer's business. Join us as we sit down with Kris, our Training Manager and chat about his experience working at Strive. Kris started as an intern at Strive and joined Strive full-time in 2011 in the Chicago office. His role includes training all of the new hires and recruiting on campus. read more

Strive Logistics Wins Best in Class Design Award for Strive Logistics Website Redesign

SWC Technology Partners has been awarded Best in Class by the Interactive Media Awards™ (IMA) for redesign the Strive Logistics website. Best in Class is the highest honor bestowed by the IMA and recognizes SWC for excellence in design, content, feature functionality and technical innovation. read more