How To Ensure Your Freight Quote Is Accurate

Written by Paul Forand
     

accurate-freight-quoteAre your customers complaining about inaccurate freight quotes?

Shipping can become a significant sticking point when fulfilling orders.  It can add large amounts to the final bill, even in the best of cases.  In the worst of cases, a buyer can end up with a shipment at their receiving dock and a bill that's twice what they were quoted because the initial estimate was wrong.

If this happens more than once or twice, they're likely to find a new supplier.

The regulations are complex, and are only getting more complex, so it's vital for companies to deliver accurate freight quotes the first time and every time.  Even a single "oops" can potentially endanger a strong business relationship.

Important Elements In Creating Accurate Freight Quotes

1 - Accurate data on your own products.

First and foremost, you need a complete database on everything you may be shipping, including physical dimensions, weight and individual shipment characteristics. The more complete and accurate this information is, the more trustworthy the resulting quotes.

2 - Up-To-Date Freight Class Regulations

The specific rates and fees for a shipment will depend largely on what is being shipped, and these classifications change.  As an example, items like glassware and metalworks are now being charged based on their density rather than their weight, a change that would take many off-guard if they lacked this information.

A mistake here can result in additional charges that are several times larger than the original shipment price!

3 – Understanding FOB Pointsfreight-quotes

"FOB Destination" and "FOB Origin" are terms determining at what point during a shipment the responsibility changes hands.  This is usually based on who's paying for the shipment, and determines liability in case of accident or penalties. 

FOB Destination shipments are, effectively, collect-on-delivery, with the shipper guaranteeing the shipment to its endpoint.  FOB Origin means the buyer is taking over control at the point it leaves the originating warehouse.  

Understanding FOB transfer points, and the times/places this can happen, is vital for proper estimates and freight insurance. 

4 - Automated Watchdogs

In the best cases, these are all tied together into a single rating service that automatically creates estimates based on rules\fees\classifications already in the system.  These can also be used as watchdogs to warn when a shipment may need additional attention before it becomes an unpleasant surprise.

Or, Consider A 3PL...

If your organization lacks the budget or on-site expertise needed to implement these systems, look to a Third Party Logistics provider.  The best in the industry already have tools in place to help you create a simple, automated system for shipment orders and estimates.

ReTrans Freight can provide you with the tools needed for executive level control and visibility of your shipping operations, and help you realize both hard and soft dollar savings with process efficiency improvements. To learn more, just ask for a free cost savings analysis.  

photo credit: karindalziel via photopin cc photo credit: karindalziel via photopin cc