5 common mistakes in freight tenders -
and how to avoid them

These are the elements you should consider in order to carry out freight tenders safely and cost-effectively

4 min. readingtime  ·     02 May 2023  ·     Holger Niemann, Head of Logistics Consulting

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Freight tenders are an important part of transport logistics and enable companies to transport their goods efficiently and cost-effectively. However, the tender process is often complex and error-prone. Find out here 5 key mistakes that overshadow freight tenders processes, and how to avoid them.

1. Insufficient preparation and planning

Thorough preparation and planning are critical to the success of a freight tender. However, this step is often neglected, resulting in inaccurate requirements and unrealistic expectations. Give yourself the best start:

  • Accurately analyze your needs by determining the number of shipments, transportation volume, and services required.
  • Keep up to date with market developments and trends in transport logistics.
  • Secure the required internal and external resources for the tender at an early stage.
  • Create realistic timelines for conducting the RFP and implementing the selected solutions.

2. Unclear or incomplete requirements

Unclear or incomplete requirements can lead to transportation service providers offering inappropriate or inefficient solutions. To avoid such mistakes, you should:

  • Prepare a detailed service description that includes all relevant information about transportation needs, desired services, and technical requirements.
  • Establish clear and measurable criteria for evaluating offers, for example, in terms of price, delivery time, quality, and sustainability.
  • Ensure regular communication with potential service providers to clarify issues and avoid misunderstandings.

3. Lack of market knowledge

Lack of market knowledge can lead to companies not negotiating appropriate prices and terms for their freight tenders. That is why it is important that you:

  • Regularly monitor market prices and developments in the transport sector, for example through market studies, benchmarking or exchanges with other companies.
  • Research the economic, political and legal framework conditions in the relevant countries and regions.
  • Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of potential service providers to gain a better understanding of their performance capabilities and long-term pricing.

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4. Lack of transparency and communication

A transparent and open communication process is also critical to the success of a freight tender. Without transparency and sufficient communication, important information may be overlooked or misinterpreted. To avoid this, you should:

  • Establish a central platform or unified communications system where all relevant information and documents can be stored and exchanged.
  • Establish regular status meetings and reports to monitor the progress of the RFP and keep all stakeholders informed.
  • Promote an open feedback culture where questions, concerns, and suggestions for improvement can be openly discussed and addressed.
  • Actively manage communication with potential service providers by asking questions, addressing concerns, and providing constructive feedback.

5. Incorrect selection of transport service providers

Selecting the right transportation service provider is the be-all and end-all for a successful freight tender. However, a common mistake is to select the provider solely on the basis of price without considering other important factors. What you should therefore (also) do:

  • Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of bids that takes into account all relevant criteria, such as delivery times, service quality, technical competence, and sustainability aspects.
  • Obtain references and testimonials from other customers to verify the performance and reliability of potential service providers.
  • Conduct test drives or test projects to audit the nature of your cooperation with the selected service providers, in practice.
  • Seek long-term partnerships with service providers to enable continuous improvement of services and conditions.

Conclusion: Success in freight tenders with the right tips and solutions

Freight tenders are a complex task in transport management. Mistakes here lead to avoidable costs and faulty transports. Follow the tips listed here to ensure the success of your freight tenders and optimize your transport costs in the long term.

And if you want to further professio¬nalize your freight tenders, we will support you with our decades of experience. As an expert in transport logistics and a pioneer in the field of logistics software, we have both suitable software solutions and the consultative knowledge needed for successful freight tenders.

Here you will find out solutions for your Tender management

Further suitable contents:

Simulation & TenderingPortal: Organize strategic tenders more efficiently
The Städtler freight database e-freight: always find the most favorable rate

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