Regardless of who you call, you will always need the same basic pieces of information to obtain an LTL freight quote. An LTL freight quote is only as accurate as the information used to obtain it. In this article we will discuss things you should consider as you gather your information so that you can get an accurate rate.
Having accurate information for your quote is really important. If your information is not accurate or changes, you rate will change. If the shipment has already picked up, this will come in the form of a rebill. Unlike a quote, you often can not negotiate the charges on a rebill. For this reason it is really important to get good information up front.
Origin & Destination
The first thing you need to know to get a quote is where you are picking up at and where you are delivering to. In the freight business these are called the shipper and consignee. At a minimum to get a quote you need the city, state and zip code for your shipper and consignee. While this is the minimum required it is important to understand the type of location each is. LTL carriers charge fees for different kinds of locations. It is important to know the right questions to ask your shipper or consignee.
Weight is extremely important to the development of your freight rate. All transportation rates are based on weight or weight is a critical component. It is not a good idea to guess your weight. If you do, you should be prepared for the charge to change after pickup. Also, carriers typically don’t tell you when the rate goes down because the rate is less. If you are not able to get your weight using a certified freight scale, you will need to “guesstimate.” One calculation that might be helpful using the dimensional weight. This isn’t full proof but it is a good gauge or indicator of weight. Dimensional weight is calculated by taking the cubic feet and dividing by 166.
If you are getting an LTL rate from a common carrier, you are likely going to need your freight class. Determining your freight class can be tricky. If you are unsure it is a good idea to ask an expert. Often times the carrier or broker you are working with can help you. In general the freight class is based on the density of the shipment adjusted for stowability, handling and liability. The class can be found in the NMFC classification system.
There are three important components of your cargo details you should know:
- Unit Count: This is the number of handling units you are shipping. This is often the pallet count or number of crates.
- Piece Count: This is the number of items on each handling unit. This is often the boxes or number of items on the pallet or in the crate.
- Dimensions: This is the length, width and height of the handling unit from the outer most point on each dimension.
Special services are things that you will want the carrier to do that don’t come with a typical business to business shipment. There are several different scenarios to consider. Here is a helpful article to understand the special services carriers offer and charge for: Six Common Services Carriers Charge For
Thanks for reading this article. We hope it was helpful for you as you navigate your transportation journey. Having accurate information at the time of your freight quote is very important. There is a lot to know. At BAM Freight we are experts in this. If you could use some help understanding your options, covering loads or getting better pricing we are happy to help!
Transportation Executive with experience in developing processes and controls for early stage start up companies. Specialties include: Sales, Marketing, Transportation, Trucking, Brokerage, Project Transport and Rail Operations.,Organizational Design, Process Development, Accounts Receivable Management, Leadership, and Business Start-ups.
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