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How Freight Brokers Calculate Freight Rates

If you are the owner of a trucking company, determining which rate to charge customers is a vital part of operating a successful business. Rating freight requires careful analysis of your company’s operating costs, including mileage of your trucks, fuel and vehicle maintenance costs, as well as fees charged by brokerage companies. Freight rates are determined by taking these factors into consideration and applying the rate to the corresponding freight class. Setting a desired profit is also useful when rating freight.


  • Calculate the annual costs that it takes to operate your trucking company. Add up all expenses, such as fuel, maintenance of your fleet (trucks), wages paid to employees, rent of your facility space and fees paid to brokerage companies. Divide the total amount by the number of miles driven in a year. The answer is your per-mile operating cost.
  • Forecast your sales for the next year and set a goal for profit. Refer to updated fuel cost lists by region and other valuable tools to estimate your sales for the future. Use the desired per-mile profit to base the rates for freight.
  • Determine rates for freight. If you company offers full truckload service, set the rate at an amount that guarantees profit by covering your per-mile costs. For less than truckload rates, set rates based on the class set forth by the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC).