How To Get an Accurate Freight Quote
Imagine going into a restaurant, being seated, and when the waiter asks to take your order, you request the check. Seems kind of odd right? Like maybe a few steps were missed? Well, that’s a lot like how it is to ask for a freight quote without giving all the information. A while back, we posted an article titled “How to get a Freight Rate Quote: 4 things needed for accurate pricing,” and since it’s been the number 1 asked question since I began about 3 months ago, I thought it would be a great time to go over it again.
What is the commodity?
You’d be surprised how many times we get asked to ship mystery containers. Before we can give you a quote we need to know what you’re shipping so that we can be sure it isn’t a restricted item and we know how to classify it. Improperly classified shipments can lead to delays and sometimes destruction of property, which is very costly.
Knowing what you’re shipping also tells us how to handle the item. If you’re shipping 1,000 lbs. of Wagyu Steaks, we would need to know so that your product is kept refrigerated and you don’t lose your profit to spoiling.
What is the size and weight of the shipment?
Is it 300 lbs. or 30,000? Depending on how big your shipment is, different options may be available to you, such as Air or Ocean. Air pricing depends on size and weight and Ocean is generally priced by the cubic meters the container takes up.
Some loads are too small for us to ship, but when this happens we usually have a good recommendation for other shippers. If you let us know up front, it will save you the time of finding a person who can get your product shipped.
Where is the shipment going?
Be specific, saying a shipment is going to California isn’t as helpful as a warehouse address or providing us with a port of destination. We’re able to give you an accurate quote when we know exactly how far a shipment is going. Remember, if a trucker has to move your goods from the port to the warehouse that’s additional man power, and it adds up.
We also like to ask about destination because there are some countries that, due to Embargos or acts of war, have restrictions on shipments going in and out of the country.
Logistics is all about timing. If you get a shipping quote too early, you run the risk of it not being valid when you’re ready to ship. If you get a quote too late, you might not get the best quote, and, worse, you might not be able to ship when you want. Try to get quotes around 30 days out from when you would like to receive the shipment. Quotes are good for around 30 days, so you won’t need to worry about prices changing.
The bottom line is if you’re new to shipping, it can all seem overwhelming. Making sure you correctly categorize your commodity, checking shipment sizes, and figuring out the perfect time to get a quote is complicated. At Universal Cargo, we’ve been CARE-ing about your cargo for over 30 years, and we know what we’re doing. Give us a chance to take CARE of any of your shipping and logistics needs.