07 Oct 2019

How to Get the Best LTL Rates

LTL freight

Whether you are an experienced shipper or you are new into this field, we have compiled a list of factors on how you can get LTL freight quote.

1. Understanding the tariff rules

You may get LTL freight quote online but it may not include all the hidden cost and rules that apply to that freight carrier. This is called as rules tariff. You can see if the carrier agent has extra pickup and drop service fees and location surcharges like residential fees or access charges. The metro and highly populated cities charge additional fees due to heavy traffic. This fee can be or often not be a part of the freight rate that you receive from them. Hence, it is important to ask them if any tariff charges are involved.

The reputed companies demystify the hidden fees and let you to compare the hidden charges of the carrier against the hidden charges of other carriers. They will provide you with the net cost so that you can understand the tariff rules better.

2. Consolidate the shipments

In order to get the lowest freight rates, it is important to consolidate the shipments into larger shipment whenever possible. The research by the experts suggests that thousands of shippers can save up to 92% of their cost by consolidating their shipments. In fact, a large percentage of shippers can save 100% by doubling up their shipments. This is one way how customers can save their money.

3. Understand the carrier lanes

For those who are unaware of the shipping jargon, there are two commonly used term in the shipping industry

4. Headhaul

It refers to the primary shipment or the shipment that goes on the street in the first place. The carriers charge a hefty amount because they don’t want any business in headhaul lane as their truck orders are already full.

5. Backhaul

It is cargo that is shipped back on the return trip. No carrier agent wants to go back empty-handed, so backhaul rates are typically discounted.

So, it is important to understand both the terms so that your shipments can be effectively priced.

6. Understand the liability of the carrier

If you want to get the lowest freight rate, it is important to understand the liability of the carrier. There are some logistics companies that allow full freight compensation in the form of insurance while others don’t cover the losses wholly. So, it is important to understand the limitation of carrier’s liability.

7. Domestic or National Carrier

While finding a carrier agent, you need to find the distance of your freight. It is the best way to calculate the shipping rate. The national companies are reliable and offer you with excellent freight services but they may charge a premium amount. However; if you are shipping to the shorter distance, using a regional carrier service is the best as they provide you with faster service at a significantly low cost.

8. Spot pricing versus shipping rate

While the automated shipping rate can save a lot to the shippers and offer them with an additional discount on top of that. If your shipment is taking more space and weighs more than the freight centers can often check if the carrier is willing to offer a low rate for the shipment. This is what is called as a spot rate and it is based on the carrier’s available capacity. Through this, you can reduce rates by an additional 50%. It is the best way to get the lowest freight rates.

9. Net cost and Line haul charges

When you look into different freight carrier shipping rates to find the lowest rate, you might look only at the line haul rates and no additional fees like fuel surcharge or additional charges discussed above. The discounts may seem misleading. The line haul rates vary from one carrier agent to another. It may be a possibility that a freight carrier offers you 60% off on their line haul rate and others may charge you 85% less. So, it is important for the shippers to understand the net cost and line haul rate to get the best deal.

Apart from that, you can get the best quotes online. A trustworthy online platform is the best way to decide which carrier will provide you with the best service.

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