How third-party trucking companies choose to charge for transport services depends on the country, the context, the anticipated needs of the contract, and even local norms and regulations. Common arrangements:
|Pre-Defined Route||Many trucking providers like to develop contracts based on pre-defined routes. The contract will stipulate a pre-established rate between two locations, expressed as either the cost of the whole vehicle, or as a rate per kg. Pre-defined route based rates are good for agencies that have a known project plan with known and commonly used destinations. Soliciting tenders based on route based rates will help planners easily identify which trucking providers are more cost effective in which areas.|
|Time-Bound||In some situations, planners and transporters may wish to specify contracts based on specific time intervals, usually daily or hourly rates. Time-based rates might be useful in the early days of a response, especially daily leasing of trucking services. Time-bound rates may also lead to poor cost controls however - if a vehicle is delayed for whatever reason, renters of the trucking service will be obliged to pay for those days unless otherwise clearly specified in the contract.|
|Distance Based||Some contracts are expressed as a rate per distance - usually kilometres - and charge renters of truck service per kg or vehicle. Distance based contracting may be similar to pre-defined routes, however it may be used when planners don't know all final destinations for delivery in advance. Planners should be careful with distance based rates - unless they have detailed knowledge of routes, they may have no way of validating actual distances covered. Planners may also want to implement a vehicle log book to track driver movements.|
In most humanitarian contexts, the only constraints to loading a vehicle are the weight of the cargo, and if the load is oversized. There are some situations in which trucking companies may charge based on what is known as "volumetric weight." Volumetric weight can be applied when cargo is very light compared to its volume. If a humanitarian agency is leasing an entire truck the density of cargo may not be important, however in situations where an agency is being charged per kg, trucking companies may include minimum volumetric weights to help recover operating costs. Planners should assume that light, volumetric cargo may be charged at a different rate.