How Organizations Can Ensure Freight Quote AccuracyWritten by Paul Forand
If you're looking to ensure the accuracy of your freight quotes, the rule is simply: the more data, the better.
It's true that freight can be complex and there will always be externalities that crop up. However, a company with the right information and technology can still deliver highly accurate quotes.
By putting as much data as possible into a central source, you can quickly build lookup systems and accounting audits that guarantee quotes are as accurate as reasonably possible. Without such systems, you risk nasty surprises every time an invoice comes due.
The Three Basic Things You Need For Freight Quoting
I. Information On Your Products
If it gets shipped, you need exact and accurate information on the products going onto a truck. This is the cornerstone of your freight quoting system. Incorrect product information will lead to incorrect quotes.
This should include, at the least:
- Full weights and physical dimensions for every product.
- Data on product packaging, such as pallets and wrapping.
- Regulatory details for all products, such as hazmat requirements.
- Product handling requirements, such as the need for freeze protection or the ability to be stacked.
There are multiple ways to obtain a product database. One option, of course, is building it yourself. Another option is to license a pre-made database of products, although this can be expensive. Or, partner with a 3PL who can help with the cataloging, usually at lower rates than DIY methods.
II. Know Your Customers.
If you have an accurate product database, you'll be well on the way to obtaining accurate quotes, and the more information you have on a shipment, the better equipped you'll be to refine the quotes to suit their specific needs.
- Is the shipment time sensitive?
- Does the consignee need notification before delivery?
- Facilities at the receiving end: Is there a dock? Is it a commercial delivery?
- The type of facility, which can affect relevant freight cost. For example, shipments to a school may be subject to a limited access fee.
If you have full data on your products AND you have a good idea of what's happening on the receiving end, your estimates will be highly accurate.
But what about the occasional accident, mishap, or act-of-god?
III. A Buffer Fee
Some shippers may choose to add a small fee to the bill specifically to cover any unexpected mishap. They treat it essentially as a layer of insurance, and the size of the fee is their judgment call.
Accurate Quotes Save Everyone Money
Optimized freight quoting saves you money and brings savings to your customers as well. That makes a quote upgrade a real one-two fiscal punch, when you're looking at the big picture.
Let ReTrans Freight help you ensure the accuracy of your freight quotes.