How to Get Fast Trucking Quotes

fast trucking quotesFor fast trucking quotes, don’t fill out online forms. That might seem contrary to all the ads, but it’s true. For a fast trucking quote, pick up the phone and make a call.

Don’t get us wrong, we love it when we receive an email from someone looking for a trucking quote. But in the time it took to complete the form, it would have been possible to make a phone call, provide the information and address any questions that might come up. And that doesn’t even include the time it takes to wait for someone to return the email with questions or a freight quote.

Now, whether you call or submit a form, you can provide specific information to speed the process. Here’s the key information to provide to your freight broker or truckload carrier.

City, State. For truckload services, skip the zip. Be ready with the city and the state of both the pickup and delivery locations.

Weight. When you call, have the most accurate shipment weight you can. Heavy loads and flatbed especially can incur big additional fees if the weight exceeds standards.

Dimensions. This factor is key for flatbed trucking quotes. Even one inch beyond legal restrictions and costs can be substantial. Now, while you can’t change the size of a shipment, especially an over-size one, it’s best to know all the details so you can work with your carrier or freight broker to find the best service and lowest cost.

Class. This element is determined by freight density, shipment value and liability and the overall ease of loading it onto the trailer. To figure out density, determine the volume of the shipment. Then divide that number into the weight of the shipment (W ÷ volume).

Description. This information is vital, particularly if your shipment contains perishable goods, hazardous goods or material in need of special handling.

Fast Trucking Quotes Made Easy

Online or by phone, trucking quotes can be easy to get. It really comes down to how much time and money you want to save. You can call truckload carriers and get quotes to find with the best price for the service you need.

Or you can call a freight broker. They can sort and filter carriers who ship from your location to your destination with the services you require and produce a list of quotes. And that’s all in one phone call or online form. Freight brokers also can assist with analytics and reporting to help develop strategies to lower freight costs in the future.

Carrier-direct or truckload broker, online or by phone, having the above information ready will get you the fast trucking quotes when you need them.

Truck load Shipping: What is it?

truck load shippingTruck load shipping involves moving an amount of similar cargo of a large enough quantity to fill a semi-truck trailer or an intermodal container. It delivers one customer’s freight dock-to-dock. Full truck load or FTL as it’s often called may also include flatbed, refrigerated, heavy haul, or hotshot freight.

There are several factors that separate truck load from partial truck load or LTL shipping.

Freight Handling. Once truck load freight gets loaded, it does not get touched until it reaches its destination dock. This differs from LTL freight that may get moved on and off a trailer on its way to the customer. Partial truck load ships more like truck load as the freight, once loaded, stays in place until it reaches the customer dock.

More Shipping Options.  Truck load shipping can handle more types of freight. Perishable freight can ship in a refrigerated truck. Large freight and heavy haul can go on a flatbed truck. Hazardous materials can ship with the special attention they require. LTL freight and partial truck load typically only ship in a trailer without the ability to accommodate special freight needs.

Faster Delivery. As truck load freight ships from dock-to-dock, it arrives faster. LTL freight makes many stops before delivery and can stop at multiple hubs on the way to its final destination. Truck load shipping serves one customer and goes from point-to-point making it a faster delivery type for long hauls.

One note on truck load delivery speed…its speed depends on it being a planned shipment. Unlike LTL freight which ships the same day, truck load needs to be arranged in advance. That’s one reason LTL is often described as a faster type of freight. The immediate solution for a business with a large amount of freight and a need to get it out the same day is partial truck load shipping.

Lower Risk of Damage. Since truckload freight doesn’t get moved after loading, there is much less risk of damage to the freight compared to LTL freight.

How to Get a Great Truck Load Shipping Service

There are really two ways to arrange truck load shipping. Call truck load carriers until you find one with the service and rates that match your need. Then you can negotiate the rate as needed.

The second option is to call a truckload freight broker like Longshot Logistics. Freight brokers work with hundreds of truck load carriers and owner/operators. Their software allows them to filter carriers to identify the ones who offer the service you need. Then they can get you already negotiated freight quotes and identify lanes with discounts to save you money, all with one call.

Where Can You Find the Best Truckload Rates?

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.)

truckload rates

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.

What is Hot Shot Trucking?

Hot shot trucking refers to a type of for-hire-freight hauled by a Class 3 to 5 truck in combination with different trailer types. The term itself is often loosely used to describe a variety of freight types. Sometimes expedited freight runs are called hot shot.

A true hot shot load has four characteristics: truck type, urgency, freight type, and delivery area. Let’s take a closer look.

Truck. A Class 3-5 truck hauls hot shot loads. Trucks like these are commonly a U.S. manufactured ¾ to one-and-a-half-ton pickup or cab and chassis rig. They’re made to handle weight and connect to a flatbed or trailer.

Urgency.  Hot shot freight is defined by its need to deliver fast. It’s rarely a planned shipment, originating out of a sudden, urgent need for parts or equipment at a specific location.

The term is said to have originated in the oil fields of Texas. When a rig or some of the machinery broke down and needed a part urgently, a call would go out to an independent owner/operator to pickup and deliver ASAP. A lot of hot shot haulers still perform roles like this for power companies, energy companies, and others dependent on the fast delivery of essential equipment.

The element of speed has led to the term hotshot also used by some to refer to expedited freight. While hot shot is a form of expedited freight, other forms including van, straight trucks, and T/Ts can deliver expedited freight too.  Whether it’s hotshot or expedited depends on these different factors.

Freight.  Although owner/operators can decide how they want to haul, dock-to-dock or LTL, the urgency of true hot shot trucking typically limits it to a single customer. The freight travels on a flatbed trailer. Some call it flatbed expedite though a most often expedited shipment simply means it needs to ship and deliver fast.

Delivery Area.  Hotshot loads don’t have lanes.  They go from point-to-point within a specific local or regional area. Due to their urgency, freight shipping nationally wouldn’t qualify as hotshot.

Do You Need to Ship a Hot Shot Trucking Service?

The urgent nature of a hotshot load makes finding a qualified hauler a top priority.  At Longshot Logistics, we typically recommend you have a list ready so when the need arises you know who to call.  To save time or for an immediate need, call a freight broker. They will have a list of vetted and top quality hotshot delivery teams ready to serve you.

What is Flatbed Trucking?

flatbed truckingFlatbed trucking is a type of trucking where a truck tractor, or cab, hauls freight secured to an open, flat trailer. Flatbed loads have “legal” dimensions. If the load exceeds these requirements, additional and substantial fees may apply.

Flatbed Dimensions

A legal flatbed load must be equal to or less than 8’6” high, 8’6” wide and 48’ long.  Some states may allow for a little overhang without permits, but if freight is close, it’s best to confirm.  A good legal maximum weight for flatbed freight runs around 45,000 lbs.

An extra inch in any of the dimensions can mean thousands in additional cost.  Exact weight is also important. Excess weight can translate into big, additional fees.

Scheduling a Flatbed Trucking Shipment

If your freight won’t fit into a dry van, it may be necessary to ship flatbed, also called an open-deck trailer.  You’ll need to provide exact dimensions and weight.  Also, make sure the carrier you call has the equipment necessary to secure your freight to the trailer deck.  These include chains, straps, binders, and tarps.

Carrier-direct or Freight Broker?

If you will ship flatbed freight regularly and to the same location, it may make sense to go carrier direct. If flatbed is new or only an occasional type of shipment, a freight broker may be the better option.  Freight brokers are staffed with logistics experts who understand all types of truckload shipping.

A freight broker’s staff can walk you through the process from start to finish.  They’ll ensure you meet all the necessary requirements and they can help avoid additional fees.  If your freight does exceed the “legal” dimensions, they’ll be able to tell you upfront to prevent unwanted surprises.

In many cases, freight brokers can also offer lower rates.  As they work with many different carriers, they can connect you with the one who offers the best services and the best possible rate.  This saves companies a lot of time and energy in terms of man-hours spent working out the details themselves.  If a truckload broker sounds like it might best for you, find one who specializes in truckload services.