Industry Insights & News

How to Master Mini Bids: Your Guide to RFP Season

October 27, 2023

As the shipping industry charts its course through the complexities of procurement, the ability to execute successful bids stands out as a defining skill. The burning question for many: "When is the opportune moment for a shipper to set a bid in motion?" The answer lies in understanding the nuances of the freight market, strategically navigating RFP seasons, and leveraging the power of mini bids.

Navigating RFP Season:

RFP season, the period during which many shippers release Requests for Proposals for their freight contracts, is a critical juncture. It's not just about adhering to a schedule; it's about strategic timing. Shippers should consider the state of the market, economic conditions, and any regulatory changes that might impact freight costs.

Running a bid on freight contracts during RFP season is an art that requires both timing and precision. However, the traditional challenges of this process are now being addressed by innovative solutions that empower shippers to be more proactive with their RFP bids.

The Dynamics of Mini Bids:

Mini bids, a term gaining traction in procurement circles, refer to the practice of running smaller, targeted RFP bids outside the traditional annual bidding process. Shippers are increasingly turning to mini bids to respond swiftly to market changes, capitalize on emerging opportunities, and ensure competitiveness.

Procurement Platforms: A Strategic Solution:

Enter procurement platforms—a game-changer for shipping companies looking to streamline their contract freight bidding processes and gain a competitive edge. These platforms offer a suite of tools that make it easy to push out bids of all sizes, from the comprehensive annual bids to the nimble and responsive mini bids.

  1. Connecting to the Right Carriers: Procurement platforms act as a bridge between shippers and carriers, facilitating seamless communication and collaboration. By leveraging these platforms, shippers can ensure they are connected to a diverse pool of carriers, enabling them to choose the right partners for each bid.
  2. Direct Carrier Bidding: One of the standout features of these platforms is the ability for carriers to bid directly on freight contracts. This opens up new opportunities for carriers to participate in bids that align with their strengths, fostering a more dynamic and efficient bidding process.
  3. Benchmarking Capabilities: Access to benchmarking capabilities is a game-changer. Shippers can leverage current and historical lane data to make informed decisions about when and how to go out to bid. This data-driven approach empowers shippers to navigate volatile freight markets with confidence.
  4. Strategizing in a Volatile Freight Market: The freight market is known for its volatility, and shippers have often found themselves reacting to sudden changes. However, with the tools provided by procurement platforms, shippers can now take a step back and adopt a more proactive approach. Mini bids become not just a reaction to market shifts but a strategic move to stay ahead.


In the fast-paced world of shipping, mastering mini bids and strategically navigating RFP seasons is essential for success. The advent of procurement platforms has transformed the bidding landscape, providing shippers with the tools they need to connect with the right carriers, bid directly, and make data-driven decisions.

Shippers can now embrace a more proactive stance, leveraging these platforms to navigate the complexities of the freight market. The ultimate guide to RFP season is not just about timing; it's about adopting innovative solutions that empower shippers to be thought leaders in their industry, driving success in an ever-changing market.

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