I am unsure the best way to figure this out and would be most grateful for any assistance.

I have a logistics company and im needing the answer below is my example

We are contracted with several thousand truckload carriers to haul full truckload freight for us.

Moved 20 truckloads within 10 days
Using 15 different carrier companies
From Atlanta Ga to columbus oh
The average we paid $700
Lowest we paid a carrier $600
Highest $800

Our software tool doesnt give us a confidence meter of sort( what is the percentage that we will find carriers in the next 15 days to do at leaat around what we paid on average the last 15 days $700? The problem is we can run our past costs and determine from that data what we believe we're going to pay but it would be nice to have a percentage relating to our chances that will be successful using our average pay and still getting carriers ar the average cost. Make Sense?

I figured since we had used several different carriers and all happy with the average it bettered our chances the rate would work easier than if someone moved 20 loads and hired only 3 different carriers (in our industry that shows the average rate wasnt enough because only 3 different carriers used when most prefer several different carriers be used)

please let me know what additional information i can give.

Why do contract with several thousand carriers when you only use 15?
How do you hire a carrier? Do you solicit bids or request quotations?
What is a truckload? How many packages? How much weight?
What sort of software are you using?
What are you shipping?
How far ahead can you plan shipments?
Who owns and loads the trailers?

I would think you would get the best results by soliciting bids from a single carrier for a well defined amount of shipping over the course of a year.
If you can't do that, you may have to live with fluctuating market conditions.

Brian BIndependant Technology ProfessionalCommented:

Let me move the words around in your question and you can tell us if this still makes sense...

"We moved 20 truckloads From Atlanta, GA to Columbus, OH within 10 days using 15 different carrier companies.
The average we paid $700
Lowest we paid a carrier $600
Highest $800"

So knowing the above information and obviously what you paid each carrier, you want to predict how much the next shipment will cost? And also the chances that prediction will be right? You are right that is a statistical calculation called "confidence".

However that is assuming that I am right. I would like to know if I understand your problem before we take too much time trying to answer.

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jarrod marinelloAuthor Commented:

thanks so much for your reply. Almost. We have a analysis rate tool that we can put in a particular lane to pull up if and how many loads moved for past 15 days then it gives us the average rate we paid. what we would likw to have to go with our rate tool is a tool that gives us a probability the next loas that moves in the lane will be able to move at or around the average. here some figures for example. monday we had 2 loads, tues we had 3, and wed had 1 load all for same freight lane atlanta to columbus oh we used 4 different carriers and average we paid $750. so if i run this lane search it shows up $750 average and we want to add a spot on the same screen that tells us chances will be able to hire a carrier for loads we have monday for around $750 average. is it possible to do this?

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I don't think so. You are asking to predict the future.
How do your carriers decide on a price? You should talk to them.

If you have been doing this for a while, you should have a lot of historical data. Look at it, and see if you can find a trend. Is there a price spike around Christmas? How important is the price of fuel?

Rather than using standard Mean average (Total sum divided by Count of entries) it might be worth also looking at Mode and Median averages.

Mode - returns the most frequent value from a range of values
Median - returns the mid point between highest and lowest, if there were 9 values in the list it would be the 5th when sorted in numerical order. Where there is an even number of values, it is the value midway between the middle two values eg with 10 values, median is midway between values 5 & 6 when sorted.

If your Mode is higher than the Mean average it means the most frequent value is above average. This could suggest that the likelihood of matching the Mean average in future is lower as it would suggest that prices are increasing.

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Why do contract with several thousand carriers when you only use 15?

How do you hire a carrier? Do you solicit bids or request quotations?

What is a truckload? How many packages? How much weight?

What sort of software are you using?

What are you shipping?

How far ahead can you plan shipments?

Who owns and loads the trailers?

I would think you would get the best results by soliciting bids from a single carrier for a well defined amount of shipping over the course of a year.

If you can't do that, you may have to live with fluctuating market conditions.