Ready to start shipping and need a freight quote? You'll want to make sure you complete the quote form correctly so you get an accurate quote. Think of it like a recipe; putting in the right ingredients and the right amounts ensures your dish comes out tasting great!
At FreightCenter, we’ve made getting a quote easy for everyone. Let’s start by going through our quote form and process step-by-step.
One of the most important steps is to gather ALL relevant information regarding your shipment. It’s going to save you a lot of time and headaches.
Step 1: Shipping Mode
- Determine if you are shipping less than truckload (LTL) or full truckload. In our example, we’re shipping LTL, so let’s check that.
Step 2: Start Location
- Next, fill out the start location zip/postal code. Easy enough. The hardest part will be making sure you’ve entered the zip code correctly.
- Now, select the location type. You have options here and it’s crucial you select the right one to get an accurate quote. Certain locations require additional services. We’ll get to that in a minute. It’s easy for the lines to blur a bit between each location type so here’s a breakdown:
- Business: If your business doesn’t have a dock, or access to a forklift, you will need to add lift gate at pickup point as an extra service. In addition, if you’re shipping your items to a trade-show, opt in for tradeshow delivery to ensure your items will be placed in holding until you’re ready for them to arrive at their end location.
- Freight Carrier Terminal: The best and cheapest way to ship. Terminals already have a dock, which means you won’t have to add (or pay for) a lift gate with this location type.
- Home-Based Business: Note that this is still considered a residential location, so be sure to check limited access pick up as an extra service. You will want add a lift gate as well, unless you have a forklift at your house and can use it to load your shipment on/off the truck.
- Residential/Home: Same as above.
Step 3: End Location
All the same rules apply, with a few additions:
- Call before delivery: Just like it sounds. Have a truck driver call you before they drop off your shipment to guarantee someone will be available. Keep in mind that some carriers automatically include a call before delivery as part of their standard operating procedure. Some carriers do not. Ask your agent which way your chosen carrier operates.
- If you are shipping to a residential/home, home based business or freight carrier terminal location, and a call before delivery is not included by default with the carrier, you will want to opt in for it.
- If you are shipping to a business, carriers will assume you are operating under the hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. M-F and that there will be someone available to accept the shipment at any time during those hours of operation. If this is not the case for your business, you will also want to inform your agent of your unique business hours and opt in for call before delivery.
- Hazmat: We can ship hazardous materials, we just need to know about it before hand.
Step 4: Items to be Shipped
- Enter all the information regarding your item. This is a relatively easy step but you need to make sure all information is correct, otherwise you may get a cheap quote and then incur additional charges. For example, when a driver comes to pick up your shipment and discovers it is an additional 300 pounds contrary to the information you entered when getting a quote. The most important piece of information is to remember to always measure around the widest point for the dimensions.
- When you get to freight class, this is where things can get tricky. If you don't know the freight class, you can either call your FreightCenter Account Manager or use our Freight Class Lookup Tool to help you determine the class. If you enter “I don’t know” as the freight class, it will default to class 85. However, if it is determined that the correct class is in fact 200, the cost to ship will increase (the higher the class number, the higher the cost). It’s perfectly okay to enter I don’t know, but please keep in mind that when an agent helps you complete the booking of your shipment, they will need to change the freight class to the correct one, and this may cause a change in price.
Let's wrap it up
After you've completed the form, one of our freight agents will give you a call to help complete your order and answer any additional questions. To get the most accurate quote from the beginning, please provide as much detailed information as possible. Informing your agent of all relevant information upfront will help them determine if any additional services are required. The rest is a piece of cake!