Calculate freight rates with accuracy.
The economy, available equipment and truck drivers, along with diesel fuel price can play into freight rates. Those factors may be out of your control, but accurately calculating freight shipping costs for each of your shipments is usually quite easy when you research and prepare.
Shipping origin and destination.
You may know the cities your freight is shipping to and from, but do you have the accurate zip codes? Some cities are rather spread out and different factors like ease of access may impact freight rates in each zip code.
Drilling down, you’ll need to know specifics about the locations for pickup and delivery. Is it a business? Is it a business in a commercially zoned or residentially zoned area? Is there a loading dock? Is an appointment needed? When you want an accurate freight cost estimate, you’ll need to know these things.
If the freight delivers and there is no loading dock or forklift available to unload the freight, a liftgate will likely be used. The use of a liftgate is considered an additional service or accessorial. It’s not included in base freight rates, which typically assume each location will have a dock or a means to load and offload a shipment. If you’re unaware additional services are needed when you calculate your shipping quote, it could result in a freight rate adjustment that can eat into your bottom line.
Packaged freight specifics.
There is a lot riding on accurate notation of freight dimensions, weight and the commodity itself. Accurate dimensions tell a carrier how much space your freight will take on a truck. Correct weight factors into the maximum pounds a carrier can legally haul. Both dimensions and weight determine a shipment’s density, and that helps to determine correct freight classification for LTL freight. All of which impact your freight shipping quotes.
Your freight’s weight and dimensions may also help you determine the shipping mode best suited to your freight. While a pallet or two at 48” x 40” is likely an LTL shipment, if you have seven pallets, you may want to compare an LTL rate to a partial truckload freight quote.
The commodity you are shipping can help you determine the type of equipment you may need to move your shipment. If you’re shipping produce, you may need your freight shipping quote to include temperature controlled equipment.
In addition to liftgates, there are other services considered as add-ons and you’ll need to ask for them to be included in your freight quotes.
When your freight pickup and delivery locations are in non-commercial areas or are considered limited access, like a strip mall, make note of that when you plug the information into your freight rate calculator. When the origin or destination is a construction site or convention center, they also typically come with an upcharge to your freight shipping cost.
There are a number of other items to consider and include in your rate requests:
- Do you need a blind shipment?
- Will the carrier need to sort or segregate your shipment?
- Would you like the consignee to be called prior to delivery?
- Does the consignee require a delivery appointment?
- Is there a need for the cost of freight or goods to be collected from the consignee?
- Will you need the freight brought inside by the driver?
Once you’ve gathered all of your shipping information, use our easy freight cost calculator for shipping that comes with a truckload of reliability and stability.