Freight brokerages received a surprise notice via email late Monday informing them the monthly subscription amount they pay for the DAT Load Board and add-on features would be increasing starting with the next billing cycle. The decision to increase the monthly fee in what some consider to be a soft market is not what has these brokers on edge. It is the varying amount of the increase from one broker to the next.
Monday afternoon several independent freight brokerage owners began posting copies of these emails online. The letter starts off like any other marketing email. It talks about the growth the company achieved in 2019 and touches briefly on some of the highly-anticipated features DAT Solutions is releasing,
“We are committed not just to your current needs, but also your future success, with more exciting features launching every quarter of 2020. We continue to invest in operational intelligence that helps guide your business decisions, from individual transactions to long-term contracts.”
This is where the email gets interesting. The letter states that “As a result of the significant investments DAT continues to make to deliver the best digital marketplace in the industry, you will see a price increase of…” and this is where the similarities in the emails end. The amount of the increase was different for nearly all of the small brokerages that replied to Freight Broker Live’s online inquiry. Some reported an increase of up to 35% of previously paid monthly subscription.
The price increases are really all over the place. Freight Broker Live surveyed over 20 brokers who all subscribed to one of DAT’s logistics offerings, and all but 4 had completely different price increases. One broker told Freight Broker Live he was informed he would have a price increase of $128 per month for one user, while another reported an increase of $28 for the exact same product with one user. Others reported a per-user increase of $22 while another reported an increase of $14 per user. It really did not make a whole lot of sense. Yet another broker reported an increase of $64 with three users while another reported an increase of $114 for the same product for two users.
“Why ding me $124 but the next guy $22,” said one broker in an email to Freight Broker Live. The varying user increase puzzles him. “It’s BS. I’m wondering if they’re trying to trim the number of users but keep the same revenue.”
“We got the same % of increase. (as other online posters) It said 12%. So we were thinking no big deal,” said another Facebook poster. ”It turns out to be about a 35% increase ..What Are they thinking ??? What business drops a 35 % increase on customers,, and do not expect them to say C ya?”
While the broker side of the software seems to have increased, carriers are not reporting an increase just yet. Many think it is just a matter of time.
Freight Broker Live reached out to DAT Solutions and was unable to get a comment at the time of publication.