Is the Cheapest Freight Quote Always the Best?
No individual or business wants to pay more for something than is absolutely necessary. Rising freight rates have made it necessary for shippers to try to save every dollar possible.
Some shippers who use the freight quote tool on freightcenter.com always select the cheapest freight quote for their shipment. While the cheapest freight quote is likely to be the most attractive at the moment, knowing a few more details will either validate that choice or let you know that the cheapest freight quote is not always the right choice.
How do you find those details? The surest way is to review your quote with a FreightCenter national account manager. It’s a free service that could very well make the difference between your shipping experience going sideways or being a great success.
For some quotes the transit times can vary by two weeks or more. Why the big difference?
When quoted transit times are measured in weeks, it often is because the freight will be transported (at least partly) by train. Shipping by train can be the least expensive and most environmentally-friendly way to ship, but it usually takes more time than shipping solely by truck. If you have the time to ship by train, it’s a great way to save money. Otherwise, stick with exclusively truck carriers.
Even with truck carriers there will be differences in transit time estimates. Note the word “estimates.” Pickup and delivery estimates are not guaranteed. Also, transit times are measured in work days, not consecutive days. Freight does not move on the weekend.
Here’s a real-world example. One carrier is estimating a two-day transit time. A different carrier is estimating three-day transit time with a less expensive quote, but the third day falls on a Saturday. The costlier quote anticipates delivery on the previous Friday, but the less expensive quote will be scheduled to be delivered on Monday.
Your account manager will explain all of this to you, so you can make an educated choice.
Is the Cheapest Freight Quote from a Dimensional-Weight Carrier?
While most carriers charge based on the standardized national freight class system, some have switched to a dimensional-weight-based system that factors into consideration how much space on the truck the shipment takes.
With a dimensional-weight carrier, the actual weight of the shipment may not matter. The carrier will determine how much the package should weigh based on its dimensions. If the dimensional weight is greater than the actual weight, the carrier will use the dimensional weight to calculate your bill.
If you choose a dimensional-weight carrier but use the actual weight, you could end up receiving a costly billing adjustment after the shipment has been delivered. Like all billing adjustments, this will be generated by the carrier, not FreightCenter.
Once again, speak with an account manager to make sure what type of carrier you’ve selected. It could be that the cheapest freight quote you received was from a carrier that will raise the price once they know that the dimensional weight is greater than the actual weight.