Freight Market Resources

The freight market is complex, and it can be tough to know whether you’re getting the best rate you can. Here we discuss the ins and outs of all your freight market options: the spot market, mini-bids, annual RFPs and more. And we even break it down by mode to make sure you know just what you need to do to secure a great rate, however you need to ship.

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Shipping Strategy Resources

Frequently Asked Freight Market Questions

What is the truckload market cycle?


The truckload market is massive, fragmented and dynamic. There are over 900,000 carriers in the U.S., 97% of which operate 20 trucks or fewer. Carrier supply and freight demand are rarely balanced in this market, causing freight rates to be extremely volatile.

However, rates do tend to fluctuate in a predictable pattern — the truckload market cycle — in which rates peak, drop to a trough and return to equilibrium. This cycle usually lasts several quarters, and we measure it with our proprietary Coyote Curve freight index.

How do I get a competitive freight quote?


A number of factors can influence your rate, especially if you are looking to secure a one-time spot rate.

To get the best rate you can, you need to provide accurate details about your shipment, shop around between multiple providers, consider factors beyond just the up-front cost that could contribute to your total expenditure and give yourself as much lead time as possible.

You can follow this eight-step guide to securing spot rates to ensure you get the best rate you can. And if you think you might be ready for more of a commitment, learn about the difference between spot and contract rates.

How does intermodal pricing work?


Even though intermodal shipping is a truckload conversion product, its pricing is quite different from what you’ll find in the truckload market.

Every intermodal rate has three elements: origin drayage (an over-the-road carrier that drives the container to the railyard), linehaul (the rail portion of the journey) and destination drayage (carrying the container to its destination).

But while intermodal rates are more complex than truckload rates, they’re also more consistent. Learn everything you need to know about intermodal pricing here.

More Resources for Shippers Like You

Webinar: Q4 Freight Market Forecast

Find out how you should prepare for Peak Season this year. Get advice for navigating the complication caused by COVID-19, Brexit and more.

What is the Coyote Curve?

Learn about Coyote’s proprietary model for cyclical fluctuations in the spot rate market. See how you can use it to strategize your freight spend.

How to Get the Perfect Spot Rate

Follow these eight rules to get the best spot truckload rate. If you’re accurate, detailed and prompt in your request, you should get a quote that works for you.