Learning from mistakes, 20/20 hindsight, or real-time education: Whatever you call it, experience shapes the way we view the future. Applying well-earned knowledge to present and future situations is a sign of diligence, and it gives your company room to grow. This is the concept behind the use of yesterday’s freight rates to inform tomorrow’s shipping decisions.

Old quotes and expired rates may outlive their original purpose and serve as valuable sources of industry data. Juxtaposing this data with freight audit and payment insights helps shippers negotiate new rates while creating a continuum of information for all current and historical rates. It all comes down to better carrier selection from a cost-informed standpoint.

Quote shelf life vs. long-term insights

Every freight quote has an expiration date, ranging from hours or a couple of days to as long as a month after its original issuance. Generally, it depends on expected fuel costs, driver availability, and demand. It’s a representation of how long the carrier can expect to generate a profit from the given rate. Shippers rely on these quotes when choosing carriers — even after the quotes expire.

A valid, timely quote can tell you which carrier is the best fit at a given moment. Expired quotes can shed light on the consistency of carriers, availability, and other factors that can influence future decision-making. Alongside freight audit and payment data, expired quotes offer ample opportunities for cost-saving decision-making and better carrier selection.

Delving into expired quote data

Expired rates can provide tremendous insight about different carriers, the shipping environment, and service practices.

For instance, if you compare a recently expired seven-day quote to a current one, you can gauge the percentage increase for a route, and take that number to the spot market to see if a carrier is increasing rates more quickly or slowly than the general marketplace. Bringing in freight payment data can contextualize the decision to choose one carrier over another, beyond simply stacking up spot rates.

You can also compare expired discount rates across a spectrum of carriers over time to better understand where actual cost-saving potential lies. Here again, stacking it up next to freight payment and audit data can show where you’re saving or paying more, which enables a more informed decision about carrier selection.

Applying the same concept to contracts

Reviewing data from expired quotes isn’t just useful in the spot market. It can play an important role in contract renewal and negotiation as well. Freight contracts offer a wealth of information for shippers. Aggregating data from old or expiring contracts can shape the way new contracts are written or negotiated.

For instance, shippers can use data from expiring freight contracts along with freight payment and audit data to figure out which of their carriers need updated rates or better-defined terms. They can then research current rates to get a foundational understanding of how to approach contract negotiations.

Freight quotes are a fundamental part of carrier selection, even after they’re expired. It’s up to shippers to recognize the value of the data they can glean from them. nVision Global can help make sure this data is implemented effectively to ensure optimal carrier selection every time.

Expired freight rates and contracts may not be valid anymore, but they’re still useful as data points. The insights they provide can help shippers make smarter decisions about contracting with carriers in the future. nVision Global can help. Visit our website at nvisionglobal.com.