[box type="shadow"]If you need to ship freight to another business or if you are ordering something that comes as freight, you may want to estimate the freight charges ahead of time. Getting a freight estimate is a fairly simple process. The process is similar to gettting a rate quote for shipping a package through a carrier like FedEx or DHL. You may need to know a few more details than for shipping a simple package, but you can estimate freight charges on your own.[/box]
[box type="shadow"]1.) Visit several potential carriers’ websites. Some carriers are more active in some regions than others, meaning that depending on where you want to ship, you will get different quotes from different carriers. From your web browser, open a window or tab for each carrier.
2.) Specify the origin and destination in each of the carrier websites. Use the drop-down button adjacent to the text-boxes to select the origin and destination, or type in the ZIP codes, if both regions are in the U.S. For international destinations, you may use that country’s postal code or postcode.
3.) Select type of service, and any additional services from each website. In general, expedited shipping will result in the goods reaching the destination quicker, but will cost more. Additional services, which may be free or entail a surcharge depending on the carrier, include value-added services such as special pickup and delivery options.
4.) Specify shipment weight. You may include up to 10 packages or more, depending on the carrier, in a single shipment. If you have multiple packages, weigh them individually and type in the weight in pounds (lb.). Put in the weight on all websites. For goods of the same type, lighter shipments are cheaper than heavier ones.
5.) Specify the class of shipment. The class of a shipment refers to one of 18 different shipping rates, ranging from class 50 to class 500, with the former being the cheapest and the latter being the most expensive. Class largely depends on the content of the shipment, and is determined by value, density, susceptibility to damage, handling considerations and overall risk borne by the shipper. For example, shipping computer chips are more expensive than shipping cans of soda because computer chips fall in a higher class.
6.) Specify whether the shipment contains hazardous materials. Most carriers will charge extra for transporting hazardous materials. Apply a discount, if available. Some companies may give discounts if the business is from a repeat customer.
7.) Specify the date and review the information you provided to each website. View the price quotations. The quotes may be significantly different, depending on the content, destination and shipping method selected. In addition, special services such as COD (collect on delivery) may also affect the final quote.[/box]