If you’re looking around for a truckload rate, there are some things you need to have ready before getting an accurate quote. Truckload rates are totally different from LTL rates. Freight class, for one, is not considered in truckload shipping, but it plays a huge role in the pricing of a standard LTL quote.
So what information do you need before you reach out to your friendly neighborhood freight broker for a truckload rate? We’ve compiled a list of 7 things you need for a truckload rate. Make sure you familiarize yourself with this list before you reach out for your quote. We get that time is money, and if you’re small business shipping (or any size business to be honest) you probably don’t have time to fuss or fight over a truckload rate. You want the best available, and you want it as soon as possible. No problem, but help your broker help you, and have this information handy when you make the call. Here are 7 things you need for a truckload rate:
What are you shipping? You’ll need an exact description of your freight. No estimates. No maybes. Some carriers will ship items that other carriers won’t move. The list is too extensive to get into here, but if you’re shipping perishable items you need to check with your broker or operator BEFORE scheduling the pickup to confirm that they’ll transport your freight. The same goes for hundreds of different items that, due to restrictions or even just preference, certain freight carriers will not move. Step one, know your commodity.
How many pallets are you shipping? And what are their dimensions? Are they all the same size? Are they standard-sized pallets? And you need to ask yourself if your pallets can be stacked on top of each other. If you’re shipping something fragile we wouldn’t recommend stacking anything, but if they are stackable then the carrier can fit more pallets, and thereby more of your freight, in the same amount of truck space. By determining your pallet count, you can figure out if your shipment is available for partialling, or a myriad of other ways to get you a cheaper truckload rate.
Pickup & Delivery Locations
You’ll need the exact pickup and delivery addresses before you get your truckload rate. Depending on the broker and the situation, the zip code may be enough to get an initial truckload rate, but eventually you’ll need the full address information including street address, city, state, zip code, and contact information for the person or persons overseeing the pickup and delivery. You’ll also need to be familiar with the locations to know if any additional services will be required. If locations have shipping docks, or if worksites have forklifts available, are details that will play a role in the price of your rate.
Getting a solid truckload quote is a timely experience, so knowing the exact shipping date and time is key to the process. Because the market for truckload shipments is always fluctuating, exact times and dates are very important. Not only the date (Monday, Tuesday, etc.), but also the time of day that the freight will be available for pickup. If the freight will not be ready until 3:00PM, then the carrier and broker needs to know.
This can be an approximate number as often times shipments weigh in the tens of thousands of pounds, but a good estimate will be needed for your rate. Trucks have weight limits, and differing weights can affect transit time, transportation costs such as gas, and regulations on how much a certain truck can transport. Remember to include the weight of all packaging (such as pallets) with your estimate, not just the freight or commodity that you’re shipping.
Value of the Freight
Freight operators carry varying amounts of freight insurance in the case of loss or damage, so it’s important to know the total value of your freight before you get a truckload rate quote. This value needs to be exact and notated on a commercial invoice. This invoice will be required for any payouts if a freight claim for loss or damage is filed. Make sure that you use a carrier with the right amount of coverage for your freight.
If you’re shipping items that are not crated or palletized, exact dimensions will be needed to get a truckload rate. Machinery or other large equipment can be accommodated by flat bed trailers or step decks, but exact dimensions are required to make sure the freight will fit on the truck. Incorrect or false dimensions can significantly affect the ability of a carrier to complete the shipment, and therefore directly affect the price of the quote.
And that’s what you need to get a cheap truckload rate from FreightPros. Pretty simple, right? Remember that getting a good truckload rate is a matter of timing, weather, and shipping lane. You’ll need a great freight broker to get you all the information you need, as well as auditing for the best service from the best carriers. There are a lot of owners and operators out there who may not be accredited, or don’t have the correct licenses for your shipment, so freight brokers are a must when getting a truckload rate.
Logan is a Content Marketing Associate at FreightPros in charge of social media and content creation. He has a writing degree from the University of Oklahoma, but lives life on the edge and resides in Longhorn country. He loves Murakami books, Tarantino movies, and Vonnegut books. Lots of books. One day he will own a dog, but first he'll have to get a yard.
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