In the shipping world, finding the best freight shipping rate can be like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Often, companies without a transportation management system or third-party logistics partner have to manually search for the best freight shipping options and carrier rates. It’s a waste of time and labor, but more importantly, money—because without enough visibility into your supply chain, shipping volume and cargo, the rate quotes will be higher than they should be.
But there’s a better way.
The Importance of Visibility in Negotiating Truckload and LTL Freight Rates
Freight shipping companies (carriers transporting goods domestically and internationally) have numerous variables to consider when estimating shipping rates, from origin and destination to the dimensions and density of the goods being shipped. The more information a company has about its shipments, the better the freight quote will be. Why? Unsure of what potential costs might crop up, freight companies will build in extra charges to ensure their services are covered and protect their bottom line.
On the other hand, knowing the granular details of a supply chain gives freight carriers a more complete picture of what services are needed. More information and data leads to a more accurate—and less padded—freight quote.
What type of data do you need to get the best freight rates?
Essentially, the more visibility and shipment data you have, the better. For shippers that are committed to driving down shipping costs, having the following data is vital:
- Dimensions, density and freight classes of the goods being shipped
- Transit type, including parcel, LTL, truckload or ocean/air freight
- Origin and destination location
- Shipment volume, frequency and delivery time restrictions
- Common accessorial fees, like cargo that requires a liftgate, delivery appointments or residential delivery
Companies utilizing a HTS should already have this level of visibility into their supply chain and be able to extract this data quickly and easily. But for shippers that don’t, a third-party logistics partner (or 3PL) can help.
For example, when Flat World begins working with a company that hasn’t previously used a TMS, we rely on their carrier invoices. Our team conducts an analysis of past carrier charges to create a data set that will get the most accurate—and cost-effective—freight quotes going forward.