“Carriers are now starting to score shippers and receivers, and the primary way of keeping score is money,” said Cliff Finkle, vice president of Finkle Trucking, a New Jersey-based company with 250 rigs. “I’m just going to say, ‘Your place sucks, and if you really want me to go in there, I want an extra $300.’ ”
Trucking companies’ increased leverage is applying added pressure to cargo costs as accelerating economic growth bolsters transportation demand and exacerbates driver scarcity. With first-quarter trucking spot rates up 27 percent from a year earlier, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, freight expenses are crimping profits at companies from 3M Co. to General Mills Inc.
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