Freightquote joins Animal Planet’s “Tanked” for some fishy business

Freightquote  recently teamed up with Animal Planet’s hit series, “Tanked,” to provide the logistics to get Wayde King and Brett Raymer the supplies needed in time to create a few of their incredible aquariums.

“Tanked” follows the creation of one-of-a-kind fish tanks with the brothers-in-law who own Acrylic Tank Manufacturing.  Freightquote worked with the “Tanked” crew to ship parts for the giant lava lamp tank which was created for Spencer’s Gifts in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. This episode will air on Friday, April 5th at 9PM ET/PT on Animal Planet.

Also, don’t miss the following week’s episode on Friday, April 12th at 9PM ET/PT where Freightquote aided in  freight shipping materials to create a giant top hat tank for D Bar J Hat Company in Las Vegas. Be sure to tune in to Animal Planet Fridays at 9PM E/P to see these remarkable tanks.  You just might catch our logo on a few pallets too!

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What’s the difference between liability and insurance?

Handle with Care

In the unfortunate situation that your shipment is lost or damaged, it’s important to know what is covered by liability and what is covered by insurance.

Every booked freight shipment comes with limited liability coverage. The amount of coverage is determined by the carrier and based upon the commodity type. It covers a certain dollar amount per pound of freight.  In some situations, the included liability coverage may be less than the value of the shipped goods.

To make a liability claim, the carrier must be at fault for the damaged or lost freight. However, if the damage is from inadequate packaging, loading errors or weather-related causes, the carrier is not at fault. Additionally, if the damage is not noted on the delivery receipt, many carriers will deny any liability.

In some cases, your freight shipment might have a higher value than what is covered under the included liability.  Freightquote offers additional insurance that can be purchased to cover the full value of the shipped goods. This extra insurance covers the shipped items and the cost of freight shipping. It is redeemable under all types of loss with no proof of fault required. Unlike the limited liability coverage, with added insurance, there are no exclusions for packaging errors or severe weather.

How do these two types of insurances differ in the claims process?

If your shipment is only covered by liability:

  • Your claim must be filed within 9 months of delivery, or within a reasonable time frame if lost
  • If the deliver receipt is not noted as damaged some carriers require immediate notification
  • You must provide proof of value and proof of loss
  • The carrier has 30 days to acknowledge a claim and must respond within 120 days
  • You must prove carrier negligence
  • This means the freight was picked up in good order, packaged properly but delivered in a damaged condition

If your shipment is covered by additional insurance:

  • You will be required to provide proof of value and proof of loss
  • Claims are typically paid within 30 days
  • You are not required to prove carrier negligence

Freightquote’s expert team of Brokers can help you decide what is best for each of your shipments and provide cost-effective additional insurance.  Contact Freightquote at 800.323.5441 to speak with a Freight Broker to ensure each of your shipments is booked to meet the needs and value of your freight.

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So you’re shipping to Canada, eh?

Tips for shipping in and out of CanadaShipping to and from Canada means moving freight across an international border. Though the process is very standard, there are some special considerations and documentation needed to make sure your shipment makes it through customs to its destination.

Here are a few of the unique aspects to remember in order to ensure seamless delivery when shipping to and from Canada:

All shipments to and from Canada must utilize a customs broker.  The customs broker is responsible for clearing goods into another country and navigating the customs protocol.  Many businesses that frequently ship freight into Canada have a customs broker.  Freightquote regularly works with Willson International, an expert in Canadian and US customs brokerage.

Additional documents are required. When shipping from the US to Canada, in addition to the BOL, you will need a Canadian Customs Invoice (CCI). When shipping from Canada to the US, the shipment should be accompanied by the BOL and a Commercial Invoice.

There must be a value for the shipment indicated on the Commercial Invoice. It’s important to know the overall value of your freight and clearly display it on the customs documents because the freight’s value is verified at the border. The declared value is used to determine import taxes.

Fees are paid by the receiver. Unless specifically stated, all brokerage fees, duties and taxes are paid by the receiver of the freight.

Canadian Postal Code format is unique. Canadian postal codes follow a six digit letter, number rotation pattern.  Example: A1B2C3

Canadian national holidays differ from the US. To ensure your transit times are accurate make sure to consider holidays on both sides of the border.  Below is a list of observed Canadian holidays that are commonly not considered transit days.

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day January 1
Good Friday Same as US
Easter Monday Same as US
Victoria Day Monday before May 25
Canada Day July 1
Labour Day First Monday of September
Thanksgiving Day Second Monday of October
Remembrance Day November 11
Christmas December 25
Boxing Day December 26

Freightquote’s team of dedicated logistics specialists have moved thousands of shipments in and out of Canada. We work to maintain constant communication with the shipper, the customs broker and the carrier to make sure we meet all border regulations and requirements – ensuring your freight arrives hassle-free. If you have shipments in and out of Canada, contact Freightquote to get the expertise and dedication you need for your freight shipments.

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Godiva Freight Shipping: Chocolate Covered USA

Freight Broker Sarah Carter helps Godiva to bring Valentine's Day chocolates to you.
Freight Broker Sarah Carter loves working with Godiva Chocolatier to bring Valentine’s Day chocolates to you.

Valentine’s Day is all about love, but have you ever thought about the logistics? Americans will purchase 48 million pounds of chocolate in the days leading up to February 14th. It takes heart-felt effort to get these chocolates to you and your special someone.

Specialty chocolatier Godiva, looks to Freightquote to ship their premium chocolates and truffles across the United States. Starting in December, Freight Broker Sarah Carter, works vigorously with Godiva to keep the chocolates on the move.  To prepare for Valentine’s Day, Sarah works nights and weekends managing the loads of chocolates as they move from the Godiva’s distribution center in Orefield, PA to store shelves, in time for your celebration.

Sarah takes extra care to make sure Godiva’s chocolates reach store shelves ready for Valentine’s Day. All chocolates are shipped on pallets in refrigerated trucks. Keeping the chocolates set at a consistent temperature of 28⁰ C for the duration of transit ensures they remain in flawless. Even in the winter cold it’s important they are shipped frozen so the chocolates arrive in peak condition.

Most shipments are long weekend hauls from the east coast to the west coast. While preparing for Valentine’s Day, Godiva has extended hours for pickup which allows for many trucks to pick up in one day.  Sarah works very closely with Godiva to book appointments for each pickup and delivery to meet this strict appointment schedule.

Freightquote’s extensive network of certified carriers helps make this happen. We utilize our numerous relationships with truck drivers and carriers to help meet these firm deadlines.

All of this careful planning ensures you have the sweets you need for your sweetheart.  “I love knowing that my hard work helps people celebrate,” said Sarah. “Godiva is an excellent partner and an integral part of Valentine’s Day.”

Freightquote is delighted to be matched with Godiva to help bring Valentine’s Day to you.  If you are a freight shipper and want exceptional service please call us at 800.323.5441 or visit at freightquote.com.

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Holiday Freight: Oh, Christmas Tree! Oh, Christmas Tree!

Pine TreeIt’s that time of year again where you can find a real Christmas tree for sale on almost every street corner. From the Boy Scouts and local churches to national hardware stores and large retailers, fresh, green trees are in abundance. But have you ever wondered how all these trees find their way to your town?

For many years, Freightquote has been called upon by some of the nation’s largest tree farms to transport the holiday essential all over the nation. Most of these farms are located in Oregon, Washington, California and North Carolina. They use our services because we understand what it takes to move a load like this. Shipping real trees by truckload is difficult to cover, with a lot of carriers simply refusing to move them. Trees are best moved by dry van or a refrigerated truck. Flatbed trucks should be avoided, as well as a shipment with three or more pickups and/or deliveries scheduled. We also make sure there will be delivery assistance for the driver so they aren’t stuck unloading up to 40,000 lbs. of Christmas trees by themselves. Not doing this would definitely get us on the naughty list!

Overall, we are proud of the work we do every year to ensure trees are delivered on time and in good shape. These seasonal shipments have landed all over the country. Who knows – maybe the tree in your home was transported by one of our contract carriers. Regardless, we hope you enjoy this holiday season and all the joy it delivers.

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Natural Disasters Simply Can’t Stop America’s Trucks.

When a natural disaster strikes the nation some aspects of the affected area must come to a stand-still in order to access, and even process, the damage. While that’s true for many things, it does not apply to truck traffic. Allowing trucks to continue their routes is critical to the safety and well-being of those in the immediate area, as well as for Americans throughout the country.

According to a report prepared by the American Trucking Associations, here are a few examples of how halting truck traffic can put citizens at risk:

  • The nation’s food supply will suffer significant shortages in as little as three days, especially for perishable items. Supplies of clean drinking water will run dry in two to four weeks.
  • Essential basic medical supplies, such as syringes, catheters and oxygen, will be jeopardized and could even be depleted, especially if the natural disaster causes a medical emergency. Hospitals and nursing homes will exhaust their food supply within a day and pharmacies will see their inventory disappear.
  • Fuel supplies will run out in just one to two days. Without access to automobile transportation, people won’t be able to get to work, emergency response vehicles will be paralyzed and accumulating garbage will quickly cause health and environmental hazards. This will also cease air, rail and maritime transportation – our nation’s economic lifelines.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg of affected industries. Major manufacturers will see assembly lines shut down, banks and ATMs will use up their cash supplies, even the Department of Defense could see crippling effects.

Natural disasters, like the one the Northeast just experienced with Hurricane Sandy, are devastating on many levels, but making sure we literally keep the country running with truck traffic is essential for a speedy, healthy recovery. We, at Freightquote, appreciate everyone in the trucking industry for their heroic efforts transporting much needed supplies in and out of the Northeast in the wake of Sandy. As always, we extend our offer of assistance in all your trucking needs.

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Freight Demand

Freight demand has been lower than expected. We demanded to know why.

Freight demand was lower than expected in late September and early October. Traditionally, this has been a peak shipping point in the season due to retailers stocking up merchandise to accommodate for holiday shopping. However, this peak has been less prevalent in recent years, and especially appears to be down in 2012. We used our industry knowledge and insights to uncover two fundamental reasons why:

1. Shift in inventory models

It’s difficult to prove this concretely, but there are those who theorize that many firms decided to shift further away from traditional inventory models (where retailers stock up their shelves during strong economies) and move closer to the concept of a Just-In-Time inventory model.

The Just-In-Time inventory model has merchandisers minimally stocking their shelves during September/October and only ordering more product when needed. This way, they avoid over spending up front and not having the sales to match the large cost of their inventory. The prior thinking was to fully stock your shelves in September/October and bank on a strong holiday season.

2. Slow or stagnant economy

Even with the shift in inventory models, 2012 demand seems to be well below average for this time of year. This could be an indicator that growth for the 3rd and 4th quarter may be slower than originally predicted – most industry forecasters called for gross domestic product (GDP) to grow between 2-3% over this period. A slow economy and an underperforming GDP are a good recipe for reduced freight demand.

What does this mean for shippers?

Regardless of why demand is down, or what this indicates, the fact remains that there is less freight moving in the market. This translates, at a macro level, to generally lower pricing and more available capacity. As of right now we are anticipating the softer demand will last through the remainder of 2012 and into early 2013. The next significant demand surge will likely occur in February/March of 2013, but a lot could change between now and then. We believe shippers would be wise to take advantage of this lull in freight demand and the potential pricing benefits it brings.

Find out if rates have lowered in the lanes you ship in by visiting www.freightquote.com.

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Freightquote, Old Hickory Bat Company and Roadrunner Play Real Life Moneyball

In the hit movie Moneyball, Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, is portrayed as one of the best general managers in baseball because he successfully replaced marquee baseball stars with unheralded players who had reputations for working hard and getting the job done.

When Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s recently needed a rush supply of baseball bats they turned to Old Hickory Bat Company to come through in a pinch. Old Hickory Bats, who is a major supplier of baseball bats to organized baseball teams, went through the Freightquote online booking process and selected Roadrunner Transportation to handle this important shipment.

The A’s, who happened to be in the middle of a heated pennant race, needed the bats delivered the Tuesday after Labor Day as they faced the Los Angeles Angels that night. The problem was the bats were not scheduled to be available for delivery until late Tuesday. In a panic, the A’s contacted the Freightquote LTL logistics team who worked directly with Roadrunner Transportation to figure out a solution. Roadrunner terminal employee, Tom Kelly, ended up putting a load of bats in a rental truck and, with the help of another terminal employee, made the delivery to the Oakland A’s in time for Tuesday afternoon batting practice. “We simply needed to make it happen!” said Kelly when asked about the success of the timely shipment.

People say baseball is the ultimate team sport and Freightquote, Old Hickory Bats and Roadrunner definitely worked together like champions to help out the A’s. At Freightquote we call that true moneyball.

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A Cure for Freight Class Fever

Freight Classification can be a tricky thing. There are thousands of item numbers to choose from and once you find one that looks right, you have to determine if there are packaging requirements, density requirements or some other hidden note that you didn’t spot.  In total, there are 18 classes to choose from ranging from 50 (lowest) to 500 (highest).

Let us break it down for you. The NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification) classifications provide a standard way to analyze commodities. The class assigned to each product is based on four factors common in transportation: density, stowability, handling and liability. Evaluating products in the marketplace and assigning classifications to them makes it easier for shippers and carriers to negotiate rates.

Classification aims to separate distinct items like hardwood flooring (class 50) from hairdryers (class 100), while at the same time combining items with the same general characteristics, like shoes (class 150), for example, into one classification. This makes communication about the product much easier for both shippers and carriers. So instead of having to worry about what kind of shoes, what brand name or size you are shipping you just look for shoes. Easy, right?

Enough with other examples, you just need help finding the right class for your product! Not a problem –  there are a variety of resources available to you. You  could always start by calling us and we can assist you. If you’re the do-it-yourself type, you can check out the product list at NMFTA.org where you can buy a book or a subscription to their online product called ClassIT. Or, if you only have a few items, you can pay a small one-time fee and the National Motor Freight Transportation Association (NMFTA) will tell you the proper NMFC to use.

If you’re going to venture out on your own and try to find the right freight class for your product here are 3 helpful tips:

  1. Use density as a starting point.  Learn to calculate freight density to determine your classification range. You can find more  info here: Freight Density.
  2. Read the notes. Many items have notes that explain the specifics requirements for that class.
  3. There is only one correct item number for your product. If you get stuck, ask for help.

That’s enough about freight classification for now. More to come later so keep checking in with us. Happy shipping!


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At Freightquote, We Have a Taste for Wine.

Many people think that shipping alcohol is just like shipping anything else, but it isn’t. Freightquote has been a key player in the wine distribution business for many years so we have gotten used to all the intricacies of the business. We handle shipments coming off the ship and load them to our trailers to be delivered all over the country. There are many moving parts to this process and it has to be coordinated perfectly from the ship to door. Each state has their own laws governing how liquor can be transported to and through the state. In order to facilitate the movement of alcohol we have to be licensed in each state to know what each requires and provide the right solution so the alcohol is delivered legally and intact. Since there are such varying degrees of transportation law from state to state, we have to make sure we know the value of the shipment and whether or not the carrier we choose is the right one for the job. You would be shocked at the difference in value from shipment to shipment of alcohol!

For the past three years we have handled a project of Beaujolais Nouveau – translated to “the first grape.” The distribution date of this particular wine is the third Thursday of November, but French law does not allow the wine to leave France until the very end of October. Once it hits the port in New Jersey, we have less than a week to distribute over 1.2 million bottles of this wine throughout the U.S. The coordination of this project takes months to work out, but we are very good at it. And we are proud to say we have never missed our deadline.

That is just one example of the complexities that go along with shipping wine. Thankfully, our expertise has allowed us to form strong relationships with distributors. If you have questions about shipping alcohol, or anything else for that matter, visit us at Freightquote.com or call one of our Account Representatives at 800.323.5441.

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