I buy equipment all over the US from auctions and try to use uship to find small service carriers for LTL. The prices are usually less than the big companies and you are more able to get some TLC on shipments. I can't afford breakage or damage or missing items and most shippers understand that.
There are some people who show up at the door with a delivery and start crying about their truck broke down, or high gas prices or unable to get a load back, not the shippers problem. They just lowball the offer and strong-arm you into a fat tip upon delivery. But with that note, as a shipper get your contracts to include: What amount of time is included to load unload, and rates for waiting. Weight of shipment and cost for overages. Delivery times with pickup appointments and receiving hours, and what it means when that does not happen.
Try to get the shippers to be contractual.