Overlooked Benefits of Freight Transportation CompaniesWritten by Neal Willis
There are other advantages, besides freight rates and freight cost, that a shipper should consider when deciding whether to partner with a freight transportation company. Here are a few benefits that are frequently overlooked.
Freight transportation companies provide shippers with economies of scale for freight-related support functions. Freight transportation companies employ and maintain the payroll expense for a workforce who serves shippers and their shippers’ customer’s needs. They hire, train and employ professionals who are dedicated to serving as an extension of their clients’ companies, and they commonly perform and process freight-related support functions much more efficiently than the average company’s transportation personnel.
Not only are they more familiar with the industry and all of its nuances, but freight transportation companies have highly skilled workers who are usually specialized in one particular capacity, making them experts in their job function. Whereas a typical company with a transportation department might have several people performing multiple duties, such as freight payment and audit and obtaining freight rate quotes as needed, freight transportation companies will generally have one person dedicated solely to freight bill audit and another employee dedicated exclusively to obtaining and providing rate quotes for customers. In any given amount of time, an employee who is highly skilled in one specific function can complete much more work in their area of expertise compared to another worker who is only sufficiently trained for the task.
In addition to keeping up with the latest industry news and regulations, another benefit that’s often overlooked by shippers when contemplating using the services of freight transportation companies is access to The National Motor Freight Classification® (NMFC®). With their subscription to the NMFC, which is published by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA®) and is the standard by which commodities are grouped into a particular freight class ranging anywhere from class 50 to class 500, depending upon the characteristics of the commodity, freight transportation companies can provide shippers with professional assistance and the most up to date information and answers to questions regarding freight claims, classification and/or packaging guidelines and procedure.
Commodity classifications and industry guidelines are frequently reviewed and sometimes changed by the Commodity Classification Standards Board (CCSB). Having access to the NMFC helps shippers make sure they’re using accurate commodity classifications and properly adhering to the most current industry guidelines with regards to packaging and the processing of freight claims. A subscription to ClassIT®, which is the NNMFC’s online class information publication, costs several hundred dollars for one user license, and it can be challenging to navigate and understand, especially for someone who isn’t terribly familiar with the industry and/or the publication itself.
Shippers who are seeking help with their freight are sometimes focused merely on attractive freight rates. As you can see, freight transportation companies provide other benefits as well.