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March 21, 2023

Helen Atkinson

Paul Brashier, vice president drayage and intermodal at ITS Logistics, sees changes afoot, but credits it more to capacity changes putting shippers once again in a position of power. “Shippers are in the driver’s seat, and they have made it a point to change language in the contracts to minimize the exposure they have to demurrage and per diem as well as taking over their own trucking,” he says.

Brashier says the largest change is the removal of “door booking,” which is where the ocean carrier is responsible for executing the domestic dray. “Shippers are taking that back, to control their transportation,” he says.

Mueller thinks it’s time for the RFP process to change, in order to reflect the new needs of shippers. “Let’s start with the [idea of the] RFP in total. This is something that’s an industry standard forever, since deregulation,” she says. “Shippers say, this is the way we go about getting carriers into our network.” The common approach has been to use the RFP to secure a one- or two-year transportation arrangement, with an expected cadence of freight, bound to traditional peak seasons or other calendar events.

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