If you are planning a business venture that will require you to ship your products by truck, the freight charges to do so will be one of the major expenses you need to plan for. Without properly calculating those charges, you won’t be able to put together a realistic business plan. Truck freight is arranged through trucking companies and freight brokers; charges for the same shipment may differ quite widely between them. To figure truck freight charges you will need to provide as much information as possible on what you’re planning to ship, and time to gather quotes.
Contact someone at the freight’s destination point and find out how the shipment will need to be unloaded. The freight hauler will need to know whether there will be a forklift or a loading dock, or whether hand loading is required. This will determine what type of truck is used, especially if the load needs a truck with a powered lift gate. You will also need to provide similar information about the pickup location.
Weigh your shipment and measure its length, width, and height. Multiply the length by the width and the height to calculate volume, then divide the shipment’s weight by its volume to calculate its density. The density of the shipment determines what freight class it falls in.
Note the type of packaging used for the shipment. This is especially important if your shipment is made up of large objects or objects not packed in the standard form of corrugated cardboard boxes on wooden pallets. You will need to provide this information to potential haulers before you can get a quote.
Contact local trucking lines or a shipping broker. Online freight brokers can be found by searching online for “Truck Freight Brokers.” These companies will obtain quotes from several carriers at once, often with discounts. Trucking companies can be located through your state trucking association. Each state has an association of carriers. Contact the American Trucking Associations for information on how to reach your state association.
Talk to a customer service representative from the broker or trucking line. You will need to provide the information you’ve gathered on the size of your shipment and its loading/unloading requirements. You will also need to tell them if you require extra service such as cash-on-delivery. The companies will then provide you with an estimated price for the shipment.
Compare the different estimates. Check to see whether you could be on the hook for any other charges, such as those for badly loaded pallets or increases in fuel prices. Although these quotes may not exactly match how much you will be charged for the hauling service — as the shipment may be slightly bigger or smaller — they should be close enough.