When it comes to general rate increases, Pitt Ohio Express swims against the current.
"We haven't taken a GRI for the second straight year. We just don't believe in them," said Chuck Hammel, president of the Pittsburgh-based Mid-Atlantic regional carrier.
Despite higher costs, the company resists the year-over-year across-the-board price increases common to the LTL industry. Eventually, he said, shippers will just say "no."
"We do not believe we can continue to pass on our increased cost to the customer base," said Hammel. It's important that we get our arms around costs and stop raising prices. We need to have rate stabilization and in many cases rate reduction over time."
Pitt Ohio approaches pricing customer-by-customer, he said, in hopes that more shippers will sign long-term contracts locking in rates while guaranteeing Pitt Ohio profitable business.
"It takes cooperation with your customers, but more and more shippers are willing to listen to how they can keep a lid on their rates," said Hammel. "When you get cooperative customers who will work with you, there are a lot of savings to be had."