Manage Costs

UTS Helps You Manage Costs

Transportation cost control begins with the rates you pay. We offer a free analysis of your supply chain operation that includes a comparison between your current rates and those available from UTS. But lower rates are just the beginning. We also offer a portfolio of strategic services that help you manage costs across your operation.

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Manage Costs with Informed Carrier Selections

You control the carriers used to move your freight through carrier rankings and the LTL carrier selection interface. Our carrier selection screen gives you multiple points of information to make sure you use the best carrier for every LTL shipment.

The Ranked / Preferred Carrier is the recommended choice based on your customized rankings.

OnTime is a proprietary calculation that reports how consistently the carrier fulfills its published transit time on your shipping lane. The percentage provides a guideline for predicting the reliability of each carrier. We calculate OnTime percentage using actual transit times on shipments we’ve managed over the last 90 days. We’ve found that our calculation provides a more accurate and more responsive guideline than the statistics carriers report themselves.

Liability New and Liability Used show the maximum carrier liability for new and used product. This information helps you make informed decisions about whether to purchase additional coverage.

Manage Costs with Customized Carrier Rankings

Hard Rankings: Want FedEx Priority on a critical lane? Have a customer that requires a specific carrier or group of carriers? We can set up a “must use” carrier or group for any aspect of your shipping activity.

Soft Rankings: Use rules to rank carrier options based on price, service levels, and other criteria. We recommend our Best Value Carrier Ranking Methodology, where your unique supply chain priorities drive the carrier ranking process.

  • Your preferences regarding cost and service determine the rankings.
  • Rankings adapt as individual carrier rates and service levels change over time.
  • Best Value places each shipment with a carrier operating at high efficiency on that particular shipping lane in the current environment.
  • Best Value gives us a consistent method for assigning the carrier on inbound shipments and for recommending one on outbound shipments.

Banned Carriers: Have a carrier you absolutely won’t use? We can stop any shipments from being assigned to them.

Best Value Carrier Ranking Methodology

Your supply chain priorities drive the carrier ranking process with our Best Value Carrier Ranking Methodology. This method, proprietary to Universal Traffic Service, has big benefits:

  • It bases every ranking on your preferences regarding cost and service levels.
  • It predicts service reliability for your specific shipment based on actual carrier performance over the past 90 days.
  • Rankings adjust automatically as individual carrier rates and service levels change over time.
  • It gives us a consistent method for assigning the carrier on an inbound shipment and for recommending a carrier on an outbound shipment.

The Best Value Ranking uses a scale that ranges from 100% cost to 100% service. The input can be set at any point along this scale so that both values add up to 100%.

If you tell us you’re all about price, we’ll set the ranking at 100% cost. This setting returns the carrier with the lowest total cost regardless of transit days or on-time performance. Setting it at 100% service returns the carrier with the best proven transit time on your lane regardless of price. Most likely, you will want some combination of the two variables.

Example of a Best Value Ranking:

Consider a shipment going across the country and simplified scenario of four carriers to choose from:

Transit Days OnTime% Cost
Carrier A 3 94% $601.33
Carrier B 4 89% $522.58
Carrier C 4 77% $464.26
Carrier D 6 76% $433.82


Carrier D is the ranked carrier when the Best Value Ranking is set at 100% Cost because it has the lowest total delivered price. But the ranking quickly changes to Carrier C at the 94% Cost value because the improvement in service level is so great. The ranking remains at Carrier C until the scale hits 39% Cost (61% Service). At this level, service is prioritized and the ranking changes to Carrier B. The ranking changes one last time to Carrier A at the 22% Cost level (78% Service) as service is given a much higher weighting than cost.

Infographic: Best Value Carrier Ranking Methodology

Incorporate Pricing You Hold with Carriers

Our website compares rates and service levels for all of the carriers in our network. We can also incorporate carriers you are currently using or any specialized pricing you’ve negotiated.

For truckload and expedite shipments we follow a cascading tender process based on your carrier rankings. This locks in the best available carrier for every load. Again, we can incorporate any core carriers you are currently using and automate your procurement methodologies.

Manage Costs with Comprehensive Business Intelligence

Online business intelligence helps you plan, see, and measure every aspect of your transportation activity. Our shipment activity reports show everything. You can even download a spreadsheet with over 40 fields of data for every shipment. Other reports guide you toward opportunities for improvement by showing you the financial and service impact of carrier selections, carrier rankings, and supplier deviations.

We Help You Manage Density Pricing Rules

​Carriers continue to expand the use of density-based pricing rules. Shippers are discovering—often through surprise adjustments to their freight charges—that these density rules are affecting more and more shipments, and driving up transportation costs.

Until recently, density rules applied primarily to shipments on the large end of the size spectrum. Now they’ve been expanded to apply to shipments of all sizes, including minimums.

Universal Traffic Service helps you manage density pricing:

  • We are at the forefront of incorporating density rules into the rates we show online. As long as you provide freight dimensions, we show accurate rates on the front end to avoid surprise upcharges on the back end.
  • We show a Density Alert when a carrier’s density rules affect the rate you see.
  • We show a Rate Alert when we believe we can save money by negotiating a lower price.

We Help You Eliminate Avoidable Carrier Fees

We notify you anytime a carrier adjusts the freight charges and adjudicate invalid adjustments. Additionally, we help fix recurring issues such as Weight and Inspect fees caused by an incorrect freight class to stop the fee going forward.

Supplier Compliance Program

When a supplier violates your routing instructions, you lose control over the cost and carrier service. These violations almost always result in higher direct and/or indirect costs. If a supplier violates your routing instructions, UTS notifies them and requests compliance. We also report these violator shipments to you.