If you’ve got a truckload shipment, you want the best truckload rates, right? Of course, you do. The challenge is finding them.
Let’s start with where you won’t find them. You won’t find the best truckload rates on the internet. Yes, you can do a search and you’ll find ads for companies as well as results on your Google page. If you click an ad, you might even be directed to a page where you can key in a little information and get a free quote. (Like you see at the side of this page.)
Online forms and internet ads are great ways to find a company and get a fast quote. But don’t expect to get the best truckload rates.
Several factors determine your best truckload rate. Yes, price is one factor, but it’s not the one. Another vital factor is delivery time. And yet another is post-delivery support.
Before you can know what your best rate is, you need rate the value of the price. For example, you wouldn’t choose the lowest rate if you knew it would result in an unhappy customer due to a delivery mishap, right? If customer satisfaction comes first, then make sure to consider other factors before price.
After all, many factors can influence a truckload rate. Weight, class, delivery distance and urgency are only a few. Urgency for example is often a customer-determined factor.
Another factor most companies overlook is post-delivery support. If something happens during delivery, will it become a head-ache for you and your customer? After all, even if the mishap isn’t your fault, you need to deal with it.
So before you even look for a rate, ask these questions:
- How soon does my customer need the delivery?
- Does the shipment have any special needs?
- How important is support to me and my customer if something should happen?
- Will this be a one-time shipment or do I have an ongoing need?
And then, the final question –
Carrier-direct or Truckload Broker?
One-time shipments or shipments that will always be the same cargo and go to the same destination may be a good reason to go carrier-direct. If your needs will vary, a truckload broker may be a better option. Companies like these have access to hundreds, sometimes thousands, of truckload carriers and owner/operators who may be ideal for your freight. And most of these carriers and owners “bid” for your business through a freight broker, so you get the lowest possible rate.
Freight brokers also have experienced logistics experts who can walk you through shipping all different types of freight. Many even help with post-delivery issues like when you need to file a claim.
Plus, they often provide logistics analytics and reporting. Data like this helps to identify areas where you can lower your truckload rates. Based on this, they may even be able to work with you to develop strategies to lower your entire supply chain budget.
Now You’re Ready to Go Online…
Once you determine the best option for you, now you can go online to do a search. Once you find some options, then here’s what we always recommend – call them! A phone call can answer all your questions faster than a back-and-forth email exchange.
In the end, the best rates won’t come from an online form. But the online form is a great place to start a conversation to get you the best truckload rates possible.