Rates for freight transportation might seem like they're calculated using some complex algorithm that makes little sense. However, there are several factors that impact the rates for LTL (less than a truckload) freight shipping. Here are 6 of those factors to help take the mystery out of freight transportation pricing: 1. Classification of freight - All LTL freight to be shipped must be assigned a freight class and appropriate NMFC codes (National Motor Freight Classification) based on the type of freight it is. Different types of freight classifications have different rates. This is why working with a knowledgeable freight broker is so important--they ensure your freight shipment has the correct classification and NMFC codes. 2. Distance of shipment - Generally speaking, the farther the distance, the higher the cost. Additional costs related to distance may be added if the shipment is going to an area the transport carrier doesn't serve, and the shipment has to be transferred to a second carrier to get it to the desired destination. A good freight agent is your partner in keeping such switch-overs to a minimum. 3. Weight of freight - LTL freight weighs between 151 lbs. and 20,000 lbs. With such a large range, weight is calculated per 100 lbs. Generally, the more a shipment weighs, the lower the cost per 100 lbs. This creates a bit of a discount incentive for larger and heavier freight shipments. 4. Carrier base rate - Each carrier has their own base rate, which is calculated per 100 lbs. However, your freight broker may be able to negotiate the base rate for a particular shipment with a carrier if that carrier needs volume to create full truckloads on certain routes. 5. Absolute Minimum Charge - Every carrier has an Absolute Minimum Charge or AMC that is the lowest possible charge for that carrier. Many carriers increase their AMC over time, particularly if they have a high number of shipments at or close to the AMC because the carrier has greater costs for AMC shipments over larger, heavier shipments. 6. Added surcharges - Surcharges are added to freight rates for extra services or services beyond the standard dock-to-dock or business-to-business delivery. For example, a carrier may add surcharges for residential delivery (or pick-up), inside delivery, lift gate service, or delivery to a location with limited access, such as schools, churches, prisons and storage facilities. Additionally, fuel surcharges are typically added to every freight quote across nearly all carriers. Many factors can affect freight rates. Some of these factors are set-in-stone, like classification of freight. While working with a reliable freight broker like ShipOnSite can help with other factors, such as choosing the right carrier for the distance of the shipment (one that goes all the way to the intended destination) or negotiating base rates with carriers who are keen to fill trucks on particular routes, to keep your freight rates as reasonable as possible.
Crating is a shipping method used for items that are very heavy, fragile, unique or of high value, such as artwork or antiques. When done properly, crating helps protect your items from damage. ShipOnSite is the only certified crating shipper in Myrtle Beach and on the Grand Strand. Depending on the item being shipped and where it is being shipped to, your crating provider must ensure your crate packaging meets certain standards, and is the right type of crating solution for your item. Let's take a closer look.
Types of Crates and Crating OptionsThere are three main types of crates or crating options: full crate, skeleton crate or palletized crating.
- Full Crate - A full crate, also called a solid crate, is constructed of panels of wood to fully enclose the item. Some full crate providers do have options for a small hinged door to allow the shipper or customer to look inside to check on the item.
- Skeleton Crate - A skeleton crate may also be called a slat crate. With this crating option, the item is typically packaged with cardboard or plastic first, and a framework or protective skeleton of wood is built around the item to further protect it during transport.
- Palletized Crating - Palletized crating is most commonly used for shipments where multiple items need to be shipped together. The items are first packaged with cardboard or hard plastic and then combined onto one pallet (or set of pallets), where they are banded together and shrink-wrapped to keep them from being separated during shipping.
Crating for International ShipmentsIf the items you need to have crated will be shipping to a non-U.S. location, there are additional standards your crating must meet to be allowed through customs for international shipping. In particular, the wood crating materials must meet ISPM-15 (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15), a standard defined by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The purpose of the standard is to prevent the spread of plant pests and diseases to other plant ecosystems in other countries. All wooden packaging or crating materials must be de-barked and either heat treated or treated with methyl bromide. Properly treated wood is then stamped according to current requirements so that customs inspectors can easily verify that wooden crates and containers are ISPM-15 compliant. ISPM-15 compliance is not required for domestic shipments within the U.S. or for shipments going to and from U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico. However, if your item is being shipped outside of the U.S. and your crating shipper does not use the properly treated and certified wood materials, this will result in your shipment being rejected at customs. Certified crating shippers are experts on this and other requirements for international crating and shipping. Working with an experienced and reliable crating shipper, such as ShipOnSite of Myrtle Beach, not only ensures that your items are crated properly, using the best crating option to keep your item safe from damage, but also ensures that the proper standards are met for international shipments so your item breezes through customs inspections and moves along to the intended destination.
Working with a certified freight agent/broker assures you get the best service with a highly-trained and trustworthy freight partner. ShipOnSite is the only freight broker in the Grand Strand who is a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) through the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA). CTBs undergo additional training and testing to ensure they meet high standards of knowledge, reliability and integrity. Here are a few more reasons to choose a certified freight agent: 1. Match your shipping needs with the best options from a network of reliable and certified transportation carriers. Because freight brokers are the connection between the transportation company and the client, reputable carriers place a high value on working with freight brokers who also meet high standards. And certified freight brokers have the knowledge and experience to make sure any transportation carriers they work with meet or exceed industry standards. They also develop relationships with a network of carriers and learn their rates, their most common routes and any discounts they may be willing to give. This allows them to match your shipping needs with carriers that are dependable and as cost-effective as possible. 2. Coordinate all of your shipping needs for you. Working with a certified freight agent is like having your own shipping department--without the cost of actually having your own shipping department. Outsourcing your shipping needs to your trusted freight agent eliminates the need for special equipment, extra staff, special software, invoicing and audits. Your freight agent takes care of all of the little details for your shipping needs, saving you time, money and resources. 3. Expertise in determining the proper freight class and NMFC codes. Certified freight brokers have extensive knowledge of the different freight classes and appropriate NMFC codes. NMFC codes refer to the National Motor Freight Classification system, which is a standardized system intended to provide a uniform pricing structure for freight transport. Using the incorrect freight class or NMFC codes can result in higher shipping costs than anticipated for the content of your shipment. There are many benefits to working with a trusted certified freight agent/broker. The three reasons outlined here all add up to something very important for you and your business--peace of mind. When you know your shipping is being handled by a trustworthy freight partner, you can focus on your business and sleep well at night too. ShipOnSite is your CTB freight agent and partner along the Grand Strand.
If you've shipped a package within the last few years that was fairly lightweight but required a large box, you may have found yourself wondering about the cost to ship something that wasn't all that heavy. Your shipping charges for that package were likely determined according to dimensional weight as opposed to actual gross weight. What is dimensional weight and how does it impact your cost?