It wasn't long before the allegations of "reverse price gouging" aimed at freight brokers operating in the spot market began to emerge from a variety of areas of trucking.
[Related: Low rates in troubled spot market prompt protest, letter writing campaign]
While it bears noting that in terms of market fundamentals we're nowhere near the dire nature of that calamity now more than two years gone, the "reverse gouging" notion did rear its head in conversation with longtime operator Scott Carlson.
Carlson's no stranger to the game when it comes to negotiating with brokers, though he's a company driver today with Regal Service out of Ripley, New York, after a long career in a variety of freight niches. Carlson does heavy and oversized hauling work with the company -- which typically hauls more garden variety DC-to-DC box freight under contract -- and has long been empowered by the company's president to book his own loads.
"You know more about this than I do," the president long ago told him, Carlson said, when it comes to the "permits, escorts and more that goes into the price" to move a heavy and/or oversized load. On a recent trip out of the east with "a couple of buildings into Kansas, 16' wide on a double-drop" trailer, he said, he was negotiating a load to get him back toward the Chicago area where he lives in Northern Indiana and had a specific figure in mind for the non-oversized haul a broker with Armstrong had: $4/mile. That's not far off the general flatbed average out of the greater market in which Kansas sits, according to DAT Freight & Analytics -- $3.64/mile.