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Negotiating With Freight Brokers

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Part of building up your relationship with brokers is negotiating with them. You will come across many different freight brokers and they will all interact with you differently. Some freight brokers have no problem cutting you a good deal for a load and others will consistently low-ball you. Some brokers are going to be very polite and level-headed during negotiations while others may be arrogant and rude. No matter what keep your cool and keep some of these tips in mind while you negotiate away.

Know your Min. RPM

Know the minimum rate per mile you are willing to accept and bid with this number in mind. This number may be different for everyone and should be based on your business. Calculate your rate per mile by taking into account all your business's current operations expenses and revenue, then decide how much you want to profit from future loads you will book. Once you figure it out make sure you keep negotiations aimed around that number.

If the rate is great take it

Every once in a while you may come across a load with a really good rate. It may even be more than the rate you were expecting or planning to negotiate. When this is the case, and the load meets all other criteria, book the load! You will likely not be able to negotiate a better rate and may even end up getting a lower rate if you attempt to negotiate

Don’t be afraid to say 'No'

So you're negotiating a rate with a freight broker and they just absolutely refuse to give you a decent rate. What do you do? Do you just accept the low rate they are offering? Well, honestly it depends on your situation. If you are in need of a load at the last minute or are trying to book a load to get back to a specific location it may be in your best interest to accept the load. If the rate doesn’t meet your requirements and you have time and other options do not be afraid to decline the load. Just be sure to do so politely and professionally to keep your reputation intact.

Know the industry

Be aware that there may be times when conditions in the industry may not support the rate you are looking for. Maybe you are looking to book in a lane that typically has lower rates or maybe the industry as a whole is doing lower rpm averages. You need to learn to be flexible as times change and rates change without allowing yourself to be low-balled because, at the end of the day, you still need to make money.


Negotiating with brokers may seem scary or daunting but it is actually quite simple. Knowing what you are looking for and being firm in your negotiations are key aspects of negotiating rates for loads. Avoid getting low-balled for loads but be sure to maintain positive relationships with the brokers as this will affect your success booking load in the future.

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