Freight Tenders: 5 crucial tips to ensure carrier engagement

Freight tenders are not only dependent on solid freight data (historical data). The willingness of carriers to participate in freight RFQ’s is a big factor as well. In this article, we share 5 vital tips to increase carrier participation in your freight tenders.

The constant tug of war game of supply and demand is a driving factor when tendering freight. The truck driver shortage, capacity changes on important container lines, economic fluctuations are just a few decisive factors lately, often putting the carriers in the driver’s seat.

5 crucial tips to ensure carrier engagement in freight tenders

But despite these external (constantly changing) factors, a shipper continues to have a grip on the participation level while sourcing freight. In this article, we share 5 easy, hands-on tips to improve the willingness of carriers and logistics service providers to take part in your logistics tender.

1. Make it easier for your carriers and freight forwarders 

You have several RFQs to attend to and yet another one lands on your desk. How likely are you to dive into the new one right away? Not very likely, right?

Put yourself in the shoes of a supplier. Carriers and logistics service providers receive invitations to freight RFQ’s on a daily basis. They all come in different formats. Do you think it’s very likely that carriers are eager to jump right into the incoming tenders, while there are still so many left on the shelf?

freightender logistics tender and procurement software

Freightender – tender overview shipper

2. Create open info channels

The shipper must take the lead in order to grab the attention of the suppliers immediately. In other words, data is queen but communication is king! Make sure there is plenty of room for communication. Use modern freight tender software to enable the carrier to chat online, or to comment directly on lanes and projects. 

3. ”Forcing” them to internalize the information of the RFQ

Also, from a supplier point of view, having the possibility to gain info and ask questions right away will increase interest and engagement early in the process and facilitate an early start to the bidding process.

Global forwarders are full on investing in digitisation of their manual processes. Freightender offers an innovative RFQ response and management solution to forwarders. Where do we expect forwarders to be with that in 2 years? A bold statement but changes are happening rapidly: we expect that 80% of the top 50 global forwarders will have their manual freight tender responses running over a specialised platform, like Freightender.

Freightender Logistics Procurement Shipper overiew Carrier Participation

Freightender – Carrier Participation overview shipper

4. Look past the horizon and carefully select backup carriers

Due to the changing factors earlier stated in the intro, carriers are empowering themselves to choose shippers deliberately during the freight tender. Making the process costlier and less certain for shippers who budget according to contract bids. For that reason, it’s essential to select backup carriers alongside your primary carriers during the RFP bidding.

During the RFP phase, make sure to clearly articulate the amount of freight the backup carrier is expected to receive to show that they are not just another carrier in your waterfall.

5. Modern technology for tenders matter

Making the business case for using any tool is even easier. If you are a midsize company or large corporate and still tenders are only being done via homegrown excel files and macro’s, then obviously you are far from best practice. Freight procurement can be standardized to a high degree while putting the shipper in control of rate cards and delivering enormous time savings and automating scenario building.

Thank you for reading Freight Tenders: 5 crucial tips to ensure carrier engagement. For daily tips and insights in freight procurement, please follow me on LinkedIn

Extra Insight – Forwarders spent a lot of time to make sure they quote accurately to freight RFQ’s they receive from shippers. Especially for global AIR & OCEAN tenders a lot of people globally are involved and time is often short. That is where the Internal Tender Management solution by Freightender helps forwarders. We created 1 platform where forwarders can efficiently manage the quotation process to ensure a quick turnaround and a better quotation process.

Pieter Kinds

Pieter Kinds


Freightender is the standard in freight tendering. It makes the tender process lean, smarter and much faster. 
Fully cloud-based. Curious? Request a free live demo and join the Freight Tender Revolution!

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