When shipping an item via Motor Freight take the time to compare all the options available to you. Be an informed shipper.
How Freight Pricing Works:
Less than Truckload (LTL) companies use several methods to determine the price they charge to ship an item for you. The most common method is Freight Class. The US Federal Government issues a publication called the “National Motor Freight Classification” or NMFC. This serves as the rule and guide to the trucking industry and is used to determine the “classification” of shipments. The price you pay to ship an item is directly tied to its stated freight classification. Similar information for the UK can be found at the Freight Transport Association.
Shipment density is calculated to determine how many pounds per cubic foot your item is. This tells the carrier how many other shipments will practically fit into a trailer with your shipment in order to fill trailer. Dense items such as building materials, steel, engines, machinery, etc. have low classifications such as Class 50 thru 85. The lower numbered classes are the least expensive to ship. Another factor that determines freight class is the item’s likelihood for damage. Fragile or bulky items fall into freight classes 125 to 500, and account for the highest shipment cost. Your service provider should be knowledgeable in determining freight classifications and assist you in determining the freight class free of charge.
Brokers sometimes have been granted “FAK” or “Freight All Kinds” pricing with the carriers they contract with. What this means is higher classed items are shipped at a lower cost classification. As an individual, the only way you can benefit from this type of pricing is to utilize a broker. Trucking companies do not offer this type of discounted pricing to private parties.
Full Truckload pricing is generally computed by the mile. The trucking company factors the operating cost per mile, and adds a markup which totals the rates you pay.
More often than not, you will realize a big savings by dealing with a freight broker instead of contracting directly with a trucking company. Brokers can instantly shop the marketplace and obtain lower rates for you than if you tried to hire a trucking company yourself. In the Less than Truckload marketplace, private individuals are usually only provided a "Courtesy Discount" from the carrier's published rates. By using a freight broker your pricing will be lower than dealing directly with the carrier because the broker's pricing is based on the shipping volume he provides the carrier. Brokers typically receive 50% to 85% discounts from published rates, where a private individual may only be offered 5%-30% discount by a carrier.