Have you ever needed to transport goods on short notice and at a competitive rate? Did you know your options for transporting the shipment?

Truckload spot rates allow you to transport freight quickly and efficiently. A truckload spot rate can differ drastically from a contract rate. Keep reading to learn more.

What Are Truckload Spot Rates?

“Truckload spot rate” refers to the cost a freight provider charges for moving a truckload of goods on short notice or on a one-time basis. The rate can fluctuate based on demand and market conditions, whereas a contracted rate is previously agreed upon. 

Truckload spot rates are typically based on the following:

  • Fuel costs
  • Driver wages
  • Equipment expenses
  • Insurance
  • Overhead costs for the carrier

Even factors like seasonal demand, available capacity, and supply and demand in the freight market can impact the rate. 

Truckload spot rates are quoted on a per-mile basis. The origin and destination, the goods in movement, timing, and market conditions all influence the shipment rate. Sometimes spot rates change daily as a result of market volatility. 

Benefits of Truckload Spot Rates

Truckload spot rates are based on market conditions — so there’s potential for them to change frequently. Carriers and brokers can set spot rates from industry trends and cost structures. 

Competition also plays a heavy role, as carriers and brokers must balance their pricing to stay competitive and bring in business.

Here are the advantages carriers and shippers can gain from truckload spot rates:


Shippers can book freight on short notice without being tied to a long-term contract. Carriers can use truck space from empty backhauls and fill capacity by accepting spot-rate orders.

Cost Savings

Truckload spot rates have the potential to be more cost-effective than contract rates. For example, if there is low demand or excess capacity in the market, spot rates may be more affordable. Shippers can secure lower rates during market fluctuations by negotiating ideal terms with carriers.

Drawbacks of Truckload Spot Rates

While truckload spot rates offer benefits for carriers and shippers, there are also disadvantages, including:

Price Volatility

Truckload spot rates are at risk for frequent fluctuations. The rate can change quickly based on current market conditions, supply and demand, fuel prices, and other factors. This can be challenging for shippers to budget accurately.

Hindered Relationship Building

Spot rates can make it difficult for carriers and shippers to build and maintain a professional relationship. Without contracts, there are fewer opportunities for shippers to form strong partnerships with carriers. This could affect the quality of service and minimize collaborative work processes.

Truckload Spot Rate vs. Contract Rate

The key difference between truckload spot rates and contract rates is that spot rates are subject to fluctuations depending on the market conditions. On the other hand, contract rates are typically an agreed-upon rate.

A truckload spot rate is an alternative option for quicker and more flexible deliveries. While the freight industry usually runs on contracts between carriers and shippers, spot rates allow carriers to move goods more quickly and without long-term commitments. 

Truckload Shipments With Beitler Logistics Services

Beitler Logistics Services has a vast network of carriers that allows us to transport your shipments wherever they need to go (and at a competitive rate).

The Beitler team has extensive experience in many industries, including retail, trade shows and event logistics, fixture deliveries, and much more. We offer nationwide service throughout the U.S. and Canada. 

To learn more about our truckload services, contact BLS today.