A freight shipment is a large-scale movement of goods, which can be loose or secured on pallets. Freight charges change frequently, sometimes as often as once or twice per year, often due to higher gas prices. If you are a business that needs to save on shipping charges, there are a few steps that you can try to get the best possible rate possible. Even if you are an individual who makes a large one-time shipment, you may be able to save some money when you inquire.
1. Call the sales division of the freight company directly and ask to establish an account. Explain your shipping volume and ask the representative if you can take advantage of any special customer program discounts. The representative may offer you a better program compared to what you might find by booking online.
2. Provide the sales office for the freight company with information about your company that shows that you ship a significant volume of goods each year. For instance, a history of your previous shipments from your last freight company might be proof enough of your business potential.
3. Bring your shipping history to your current freight provider after a year to ask if you can negotiate a lower rate program.
4. Join industry groups and organizations that are related to your business. Check the benefits package—some organizations have made special arrangements with freight companies to offer group discounts to members. For instance, Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN) is an industry group for publishers that has a freight discount program.
5. Consolidate your shipments to the same recipient. Economies of scale come into play when you send more items at one time to create a larger shipment—one big shipment will cost less than several small shipments to the same place.
6. Pack all of your shipments on pallets (also called skids). The rates for palleted items are often lower as compared to loose shipments.