Finding the right trucking service can be one of the most important aspects of operating a successful business. Choosing a shipping partner can help save money, meet deadlines and ensure your products arrive safely. There are several factors you should investigate before making a decision including fee schedule, load limitations, sharing loads, guarantees and special cargo concerns. By looking at all these elements and finding a trucking company with the best combination for your needs, you will help your company excel.
Usually the most important factor in choosing a trucking service is whether or not they are affordable. Different freight shipping professionals charge in different ways and it is important to not only understand the final bill, but also the method for providing these numbers. Ask prospective trucking firms for freight quotes. Most companies charge by combining a fee for the distance traveled with the weight of the cargo. Shipping companies will charge a different base amount for each and the results can vary greatly.
Depending on how much shipping you must do with a trucking service, the size of the load can be a major factor. If you are operating a small company, make sure there is no minimum weight amount for shipping and if so, if there are additional fees for this oversight. Conversely, if you are shipping large quantities of material, you might be able to negotiate lower rates because you are providing so much business.
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One way to subsidize the cost of a trucking service, especially if you only ship small quantities, is to find companies that share loads. This means that a truck will be loaded with goods from several other clients, each going to different locations. Many times this is less expensive than hiring a full truck, but can often take longer to deliver because of the added destinations.
Guarantees are essential to confidently running a business and using a trucking service. Ask the potential delivery company to put all expectations in writing. This means you should negotiate a guaranteed delivery date with the company before the truck leaves. In addition, there should be handling guarantees that outline who is responsible for lost or damaged items during the delivery.
Finally, if your cargo has special needs, you must find freight trucks that can accommodate. If, for example, your items must be kept at a constant temperature you must find a company with refrigerated cars. Knowing the needs of your product will help you narrow down the proper shipping company.