LTL Rate Increases You Need to Know About

07/13/2017 — Leah Palnik

LTL rate increases 2017Freight carriers are catching shippers off guard this year by taking their general rate increases (GRIs) earlier than before. Last year, the LTL rate increases came in the fall, but this year many of the major carriers increased their rates in May and June.

  • ABF increased an average of 4.9% on May 22
  • Estes increased an average of 4.9% on June 26

Planning and budgeting for your freight
When you look at average LTL rate increases, it’s important to note that you can’t take the average at face value. If you’re trying to determine what kind of effect this increase will have on your freight costs, you will need to look at the specific increases in your typical lanes. Some lanes will have drastically lower or higher increases than the average.

Factors affecting price
There are several factors that contribute to the cost of your freight, and there are several trends that have had an impact recently. In recent years freight carriers have made a push to become more efficient in measuring and classifying freight. Many LTL carriers have invested in dimensioning machines, which makes measuring dimensional weight a lot easier. This means shippers need to be extra careful when choosing a freight class on the BOL to avoid costly reclassifications.

Another factor is capacity. The manufacturing industry is expanding steadily, creating more demand, while the trucking industry is experiencing a driver shortage. The new ELD mandate and hour of services changes will only continue the trend. When capacity is tight, the power is in the hands of the carriers and they can charge more – especially on less profitable lanes.

If you’ve been watching the news the last several months, you probably saw the recent wave of retail chains closing many of their brick-and-mortar stores. Ecommerce has had a profound effect on the market and the trucking industry is not immune. Consumers have come to expect free shipping and are buying more and more individual items online. As a result, there are more residential deliveries than ever before and in some cases there has been a some shift in demand from truckload to LTL.

Offsetting the increases
PartnerShip works to negotiate competitive rates on your behalf with the most reputable LTL carriers in the industry. Combat these rising costs by contacting our shipping experts at 800-599-2902 or email

Get a free quote on your next LTL freight shipment!

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