ATS FreightMatch In-App Rate Negotiations: Tips for Success

Truck driver sitting on the back of his trailer looking at his phone.

In today's dynamic transportation landscape, where efficiency and cost-effectiveness are paramount, load board apps have revolutionized the way shippers, brokers, and carriers connect. Hosted online, users often pay a subscription fee to access a load board to either post loads or book freight.

There are both third-party load boards and proprietary load boards. Proprietary load boards are specific to a single broker while third-party load boards post freight from multiple brokers. 

Some load board apps (typically proprietary load boards) offer the innovative practice of in-app rate negotiations. Parties can efficiently discuss and agree upon freight rates within the digital realm. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of in-app rate negotiations — more specifically how they work on Anderson Trucking Service’s FreightMatch. We’ll also uncover the key elements that contribute to successful negotiations and propel the transportation industry forward.

This better understanding of in-app rate negotiations will help you navigate load board apps and bid on freight seamlessly. 

Freight Bidding and In-App Negotiations, Explained

If you’re new to using load board apps, thankfully they’re pretty easy to navigate. Most load boards post a take-it-or leave-it rate, while some allow bidding. For the purpose of this article, we’ll be discussing load boards that allow bidding.

Some load board apps follow auction-stye bidding. A shipper puts out a rate and drivers bid on it. The lowest rate wins. Pretty simple, right? 

For example, there may be an available load moving lumber from Florida to Texas for $1,200. Drivers would throw their bids in, going lower and lower until the “auction” runs out of time. Once it does, the lowest rate is usually the rate that wins. 

Competition is steep and auctions may run for hours. Instead of getting feedback in real time, drivers are forced to revisit the auction and update their bids accordingly. Typically, this allows drivers to bid repeatedly. 

If your bid is accepted, you’ll receive a booking confirmation with delivery details and payment terms.

In-App Rate Negotiations on ATS FreightMatch

Bidding and in-app rate negotiations on the ATS FreightMatch app are atypical when compared to other load board apps. FreightMatch doesn’t utilize an auction-style bidding war. You won’t be waiting hours to find out if you won the bid. 

Here’s how it works: 

ATS FreightMatch puts a load offer on the app with a posted rate. Any offers lower than the posted rate won’t be accepted; rates must be higher than the posted rate. The team responds to every offer. 

When drivers use the in-app rate negotiation feature, it’ll result in one of three outcomes: 

  1. You bid, we accept, and the load is yours
  2. You bid, we counteroffer, and you can either accept or reject
  3. You bid and the offer isn’t accepted

Let’s dive into each further. 

Bid Acceptance

A successful bid will result in an acceptance. You’ll be directed to a review screen for booking confirmation and load details.

Your time is valuable; you want to make quick decisions. That’s why the bid results are instantaneous. 


If you offer a bid that’s within reason but maybe a little high, we’ll do a one-time counteroffer that considers your offer and the posted rate. You can either accept or reject the offer based on your financial goals. 


If an offer comes in that doesn’t fall within our threshold, it’ll be rejected without a counter.

Man on his headset looking at his computer.

Key FreightMatch Features

ATS FreightMatch was designed to cut the noise and help you avoid the stress of painstakingly searching through several apps to find the right load. It also eliminates the pain of having to call and negotiate with someone to book a load.

Here are some of the ways it allows you to earn more, faster.

Upward Bids

Unlike other load boards, ATS FreightMatch doesn’t reward the lowest bid. You deserve to earn top dollar for every shipment you move using the platform, so bidding higher than the posted rate isn’t just recommended, it’s required.

Instant Results 

With ATS FreightMatch, the bidding process is instant. There’s no need to continuously revisit the bid to see if the load is or isn’t yours. 

We recognize you don’t have time for that. You want to get on the road, get moving, and start earning money. You don’t want to sit around monitoring bids all day. 

The response time will be the same no matter what time of day it is. Whether you’re throwing out bids at midnight or you like to start your day before the sun comes up,  you’ll still get that instantaneous approval, counteroffer, or rejection. 

Utilizing the in-app rate negotiation feature is the perfect solution if you don’t like to get on the phone to speak with a representative.

One-Time Bids

With ATS FreightMatch, you have the opportunity to bid on a load once. You get one bid per load — along with the chance to accept or reject the counteroffer. This eliminates the need to continuously revisit the app to check on your bids and allows the system to work reliably. 

You can, however, bid on as many loads as you’d like. 

Paperwork Scanning 

ATS FreightMatch is a lot more than a load board app. Some drivers like to use the app to track their load progress too. 

Even if you aren’t booking loads through the ATS FreightMatch app, you can use the app to scan paperwork. Drivers can book a load with a representative and simply use the app to view and scan paperwork. 

Talk to a Team 

Drivers interested in the freight offered on ATS FreightMatch can still book loads through our operations team if they prefer. Some drivers love the back-and-forth banter that comes with calling in to book a load, so that feature is still available to you. 

The rate negotiation process still stands: The ATS FreightMatch team negotiates upwards, not downwards. We won’t try to reduce the rate just because you’re on the phone with us. You have room to negotiate and get that win when you secure a higher rate. 

Should you need assistance or want someone to speak with, a team of driver support specialists is here to help you from booking to delivery. 

How to Negotiate Freight Rates: 4 Tips

Follow these tips for negotiating freight rates. 

Tip #1: Plan in Advance

Search for freight a few days in advance. If you’re empty and starting to look, that’s too late. Everyone around you is also empty and looking for freight, so the competition will be higher. 

Instead, plan out your loads as far as you can. It’ll take the guesswork out of what you’re hauling next and therefore take some stress off your plate. 

Related: How to Make More Money as a Truck Driver This Year

Tip #2: Look Through All the Booking Details 

Before you finalize the booking, look through all the details. This is an absolute must in order to avoid booking freight you can’t (or don’t want to) haul. The rate isn’t the only thing you should be thinking about.

Ask yourself: 

  • Do I have the right trailer to haul this load? 
  • Do I have the credentials and insurance required to haul this load? 
  • Can I accommodate these pick-up and delivery times? 
  • Can I pick up early?
  • Are there any special instructions on this load? 

If something doesn’t seem right, either let the freight go or call a carrier representative to talk through your options. 

Tip #3: Check the Load Board Often

You probably don’t have the time (or desire) to be on your phone checking load board apps constantly, but don’t be afraid to check them a few times a day to see what’s new. 

ATS FreightMatch is always changing and posting new loads. If you check in the morning and don’t find a load that meets your criteria, check back later. A new load is bound to pop up. What you see on the app today will be different tomorrow.

Tip #4: Make Informed Bids

It’s a good idea to have an understanding of spot rates and supply and demand before you throw out a random bid. Similarly, you need to know your cost per mile and what you need to earn per load to cover your costs and make a profit. 

When bidding, offer what you actually think you need. Don’t try to rig the system or you’ll get a lot of denied loads. Make informed bids. 

For example, if you always bid two or three times as much as the load is posted for, you’ll get a lot of rejected offers.

Truck driver sitting in the driver's seat of his cab on the phone.

Book Freight With Ease 

In-app bidding and negotiations facilitate seamless connections between brokers and carriers, offering a more efficient and accessible way to conduct business.

ATS FreightMatch distinguishes itself by foregoing the traditional auction-style bidding process in favor of immediate responses and encouraging bids above the posted rate — thus simplifying the process for drivers. 

The availability of customer support adds an extra layer of assistance for drivers like you navigating the platform.

Bidding and rate negotiation success hinges on making informed bids and thoroughly reviewing job details before load acceptance.

Visit ATS FreightMatch to book with confidence and find freight easily.

Tags: Carrier Resources, Load Boards

Ben Delong

Written by Ben Delong

Ben joined ATS more than 11 years ago, playing key roles in Specialized Operations & Customer Service prior to taking on his current role as Director of the Heavy Haul team 8 years ago. In his leadership role, Ben oversees the sales and operations activities for the more than 150 highly specialized Drivers and 250 dedicated trailers on the ATS Heavy Haul fleet, as well as the ATS in-house planning and permitting teams. Together, Ben and his experienced team safely and successfully plan, permit & deliver more than 10,000 over-dimensional loads each year.

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