Sounds better than a no load situation. Thanks for the update. I am going to be done with my mentor this coming week by Wednesday hopefully. I wish you O/O L/O guys the best of luck. I am going to run company solo for a while and try to get outside financing for a truck which should help me be more successful.
Glad they are actually doing something in a manner that makes sense. Since I started this whole process in May I have seen quite a bit that hasn't.
Not trying to bash them but some things just don't seem very cost effective or efficient. I had three mentors before I ever even got into a truck and had to quit my beloved nicotine habit cold turkey to get the guy I did. He has been a good teacher and we have gotten along great, however I will be happy when I can sleep with the truck sitting still and wakeup to find I am the only human being inside the truck.
Page 4 of 17
Want to give you guys an update ... first on a personal note, I've now run 33 loads with the broker. Still holding at $1.67 for loaded miles and $1.57 for all miles. The broker has been my go to for loads. I give them first shot and then Swift gets the back up shot ... unless Swift gives me a real sweet, light and long load or like when I got to Denver, Swift stacked me 3 loads deep to get me home.
Swift has worked some of the kinks out of the system. Though there are still some manual processes, it's all back office now and mostly seamless to us. Pending statements reflect the Swift rates until Thursday, the statement will get updated with rates that were negotiated with the broker.
Currently there are 60 drivers on the program and Swift is preparing to significantly expand the program. If you are an O/O and are interested, get in touch RR and let them know. Bottom line, you can still get dispatched as normal through Swift and use MAC 30. The broker just becomes an additional avenue for freight.jdrentzjr Thanks this.
You guys ought to push really aggressive on rates with the broker. The trouble with this system is you will always have other Swift drivers who won't know wth they are doing and that can work against you. If you let that broker run you like a DM he'll be making bank and you'll end up selling yourself short. If you read the clues he tells you and act as if every load he has you can take it or leave it, then you'll likely hear him cough up more than you ever thought was possible. Ever heard one say "well, I really need a truck and what would it take?" never be afraid to quote very high.
I'll quote someone like that $4-$5 a mile on a 400 mile load, dry van. People who say dry van doesn't pay rates like that have never gotten them because they don't know how. Brokers will hem and haw about a rate like that but sometimes they will pay it. You have nothing to lose if they say no, talk to your DM and grab a swift load if the broker won't pay it. Let him sweat it. You have the truck and he needs it, never forget that. Of course this is where the other swift o/o will hurt you. Many won't have a clue about negotiating and can only think in terms of "I need miles" and of course those guys would be better off running at swift's flat rates. They're the ones that screw things up for everybody.
Can't say that I'm happy to see Swift with a program such as this as a couple of thousand o/o with no clue entering the spot market, thinking a a load paying 10 or 15 cents above swift's usual rate is great money, well that is just bad all around. But there will always be opportunity out here in the spot market. And the business minded among swift o/o have a decent shot of making a little money in a program such as this. Someone in Swift corporate did a great job of thinking out of the box on this one. And there is a brokerage somewhere that can't believe their luck at the possible capacity they can tap.
It also sounds like this is not a program for big babies or guys who can't think out of the company mentality. When you're dealing with the broker it's on you to make sure appointments, directions and all that stuff are in order. Brokers don't give you that info. Also up to you to negotiate any possible detention up front and know how to deal with that when it arises. Or if your truck breaks down. Have to be a pro-active take charge of the situation driver. If you're one of those guys who just sends a message over the QUALCOMM and then gets mad when nothing gets done it likely would be best to stay within their system freight where someone will hold your hand.Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
One thing I forgot to mention in that earlier posting. You guys mention that all tolls and lumpers are on YOU and not Swift. I run brokered freight on every load I haul. It's pretty much standard operating procedure that a broker will always cover any lumper fees. So if you negotiate a rate of $1,000 on a load and then get to a supervalue dc, or wherever, and they tell you it'll cost $250 to unload...
....that $250 does NOT come out of your $1,000. These brokers will cover that. Always a good idea really to be clear on this point BEFORE booking the load. Ask if there will be lumper fees and make them commit to covering it ahead of time. I have been caught unawares a time or three and only find out about a lumper when getting to a receiver and I've never had one NOT cover the lumper fee yet, but a good practice would always be to ask up front about that.
One thing you need to be ready for though, if Swift will not advance you the $250 lumper fee, is be ready to pay for that with cash out of your own pocket... ...get the receipt and make sure to turn it in. I'd actually scan and email a copy of that to the broker myself just in case it possibly fell thru the cracks at the swift office when they invoice out the load... Some brokers will give you an express code for a comcheck, T check or whatever but they will charge a fee for the service...
As far as tolls are concerned, those will be on you unless Swift decides to be really generous with their EZPass... ... just figure that into your rates use it to haggle for more money or as an excuse why you don't really want to bother with the load so maybe they'll open up the checkbook even more..
I see where you are coming from rollin coal. I can tell you personally I have a bigger plan. Its nice have dispatcher and planners I guess for some people. I know the steps I gotta take. I respect swift for the most part. But they arent the perfect fit. Me personally I going for more independents. But im not going jumping into the deep end first. Them adopting a load board lets you deal with a broker for trying to get the most out of a run. Gives you the experience of haggling for the pay you want not the same ol pay. Tho the experience may be small at the moment. It will give me the know how to start to deal with brokers. For my future plans.
Lumpers ... the broker is indeed paying for the lumpers. Not out of our pocket. Broker gives us an EC for a Comcheck ... actually easier than Swift procedure where you have to do a Macro, then wait for the approval/PO and the funds to be loaded to your Comdata - if you happen to be running your business that thin. Personally I just make out the Comcheck and deal with Swift after the fact.
Tolls ... not only is Swift paying our EZ pass tolls, but we are being reimbursed for the tolls we pay out of pocket.
And from your first post, we still get paid our detention per our Swift contract - $35 per hour, after 2 hours to a max of 8 hours pay.
My disappointment stems from Swift putting limitations on the rate the broker can pay us on a given lane. Basically when the program first started the rates were much more liberal. I was getting upwards of $2.50 plus on some lanes for the loaded rate. Figured out real quick, use the broker to go to certain areas and then back haul out on Swift's dime at the $1.35+ I had always worked for. I was at $1.85 for all miles on the first half dozen loads I did.
Unfortunately, Swift also figured out they were taking a bath, not making enough on the in haul to cover the back haul and had the broker cut back on the rates.
Now that said, I've tried to educate myself about the market rate on a given lane. I subscribe to trucker load rate, which will give me some data on what the market rate is on any given lane zip to zip. I have used that data to leverage a higher rate when the broker has tried the, "your Swift rate is and I will give you $.15 more strategy".
Overall I'm at about 70% of the median market rate - line haul and FSC - sometimes I get less, sometimes more.
But don't panic. First this program doesn't apply to anyone on dedicated fleets, for obvious reasons. Second. other than on an exceptions basis it doesn't apply to teams, simply because of the nature of the brokers freight, it just doesn't work to keep an team running efficiently. For the same reasons, Mentors are limited on the program.
So that leaves about 800 all 48/OTR/solo drivers. The program is primarily targeted at those drivers. Frankly - and I personally can't grasp the reason - A lot of drivers aren't maximizing the program. As of about 4 weeks ago the program had about 30 drivers - myself and 3 other drivers had accounted for almost 40% of the loads booked to that point in time. So I don't think you have a lot to fear about Swift O/Os impacting the spot market ... yet.
Your last point is a key here. Despite the prognostications of many here, Swift isn't out to screw their O/Os. Swift has made a legitimate effort to keep their O/Os moving and giving them an opportunity to increase their revenue and profitability. And as any business decision should be, it is a win, win, win. The O/Os get more revenue opportunities. Swift gets additional revenue, with very little increase in overhead - actually with cutting out the planners, a case can be made for decreased overhead. And like you said, the broker gets access to a fleet of trucks, with which to increase their business.
If you don't control your business - every aspect of the business - the business controls you and will send you on the quick slide to failure.
I have to admit that since I have been on the load board, I have been having some of the same issues that I have with Swift, bad area for fr8. Almost got one the other day, Toledo to Miami, but I could not get mt in time. Also many that I have been offered, lots of time for no miles, like 700 miles for 3 days.
Page 4 of 17