How To Get The Most Accurate Freight Quote For Your Shipments

It has probably happened to you. You get a great freight rate to move your LTL load, then receive a nasty surprise when you receive your freight bill. The nasty surprises are typically the result of reweighs, freight reclassifications (for LTL), and additional accessory charges.

While true that carrier bills often do exceed quoted rates (an average of 4-8% of carrier bills state overcharges), many times the blame for the surprise does not rest with the carrier. Rather, the blame lies with the information given to the carrier or freight broker at the time of freight quoting. For example, many shippers do not have scales, so they estimate the weight. Most folks don't have experience as weight guessers, so they are often wrong. Whether 500 or 1000 lbs., its not moving when you push it, and there is no way to tell what it really weighs just by looking at it. As a result, there is an unexpected reweigh charge on the freight bill.

Another problem is freight reclassifications. Many items (e.g. plastic goods) are "dimension weighted", which means the dimensions of the item along with the weight affect the freight class assigned. Customers often guess at what the ultimate dimensions of the shipping unit will be, and often fail to include the pallet or other packaging in the equations. This can result in the item having a lower dimensional weight and a higher class. If the information the customer provides to the shipping agent has the dimensions incorrect, the freight class assigned will be lower. But when the carrier terminal manager looks at the freight, they'll see the mistake and upclass the shipment. This can result in substantial upcharges.

The bottom line for freight shippers is to make sure you give All Cargo Solution the most accurate information possible at the time of obtaining a freight quote. Do not guess and hope for the best, or buyer beware when the freight bill comes!

Package Your Freight Properly To Avoid Damage Claims

Any person who has shipped a lot of LTL freight has experienced freight damage. For sure, many times freight damage is the result of careless carrier handling. But many times, damage could have been avoided by proper packaging.

Every item has its own reasonable and commercially acceptable packaging requirements. The packaging requirements for a freight shipment of heavy scrap metal will be very different than a plasma screen television. The key is to know your product and what it takes to protect it in transit. There is no such thing as being overly protective when it comes to packaging your freight. Things to keep in mind are proper distribution of the load on the pallet, sufficiently thick and secure shrink-wrapping, correctly gauged cardboard box density, and appropriate protection fill.

Another thing to keep in mind is that carriers may deny claims if the packaging does not meet their rules established by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (www.nmfta.org). These rules are hard to understand and are used by aggressive adjusters to deny claims. So make sure you know what is commercially acceptable packaging for your freight!

Fortunately, at All Cargo Solution, our carriers are vetted carefully and they are very good at processing damages claims. Our Personal Shipping Agents and customer support teams work hard to resolve any freight shipping claims issues as they arise. It really helps to have a expert on your side when facing carrier claims adjusters.

Please also remember that we offer packaging and containerization services. Please click here to learn more about our services!!!

More Tips On Freight Packaging

The key to understanding proper freight shipping packaging is the two categories, "Outside the Box" and "Inside the Box".

"Outside the Box" means things like:

  1. corrugated cardboard boxes and strong packing tape;
  2. wooden crates for bigger items;
  3. proper palletization, especially of larger loose/unboxed/uncrated freight.

"Inside the Box" means things like:

  1. sufficient fill (bubble wrap, packing peanuts, paper packing);
  2. freight orientation and balanced packaging.

Bottom line, at a minimum, use GOOD COMMON SENSE when you package your freight. Understand that, especially with LTL freight or Truckload freight, freight gets shaken, jostled, vibrated, and sometimes punctured or dropped.

And remember, freight companies will outright deny an otherwise valid damages claim on the grounds of improper packaging. Make sure your freight is always packaged in commercially acceptable manner for your type of business.

Avoiding Costly LTL Freight Reclassifications

Most LTL carriers are interested in one thing - maximizing profits! That means when you ship freight, you need to be careful about the ways carriers can increase the cost of your loads.

One way is very simple. It is called "re-classification". That is when the carrier claims that the freight class you put on your bill-of-lading is incorrect, and the carrier changes the class to what they think is right. Terminal managers can be really aggressive when it comes to reclassing freight, especially for lower volume shippers who don't have the power to fight back.

This can cost you lots of money and result in a nasty surprise when you get your freight bill. I have seen carrier charges increase over 200% because of a reclass! If you are a small business, you need to be sure you are shipping at the correct freight class. The best thing you can do to be sure is to contact a professional who can help you sort through the freight classification maze.

International Car Shipping: Foreign Governments

Many foreign governments have laws that can effect your international vehicle shipment and impose duties on your cargo shipment. Please be prepared to provide receipts for any new merchandise in your international vehicle shipment. Our partners strive to accurately inform you of all potential charges you may face for the international shipment of your vehicle. Any destination and importation charges accrued through the port of destination are ultimately the cargo owner’s responsibility.

In advance of making the shipment, it is recommended you check with the consulate of the foreign government to which you are shipping cargo to, or receiving cargo from, to determine any levies or restrictions that would affect your move.

Provided below is a link to the major embassies and consulates that can provide further information on duties and policies that may effect your international vehicle shipment:

http://travel.state.gov

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