Securing Optimal Freight Rates Amidst Cost Fluctuations

How to Get the Best Freight Rate in Current Conditions

Posted on:
Jul 22, 2020

Today, the freight market is fluctuating and freight rates are unstable. Many shippers struggle with their businesses and face challenges while trying to arrange their transportation process. 

Securing the right capacity and reasonable freight rates were always a priority for shippers, and now it’s even more important. There are a few tips shippers can utilize when it comes to getting the best freight rate and enhancing their efforts.

6 effective ways to get the best freight shipping rate

Plan ahead

Carriers and shipping companies are living in the same uncertainty as shippers, so both parties have an interest in advanced planning. If you secure a rate sooner, it will be significantly lower than if you were to try to partner with a carrier within a few days of the pickup date. Freight carriers provide the option to pay 1-2 months prior to the shipping date.

Combine shipments

Consolidation has always been a time and cost saver for shippers, and we don’t recommend neglecting it now. If you ship freight less frequently, in large volumes, and have a few locations in the close area, try consolidating. 

Properly stack your shipments and prepare them at a single point where the pickup will take place. Consolidation makes shipment tracking easier as well.

Partner with a 3PL

Partnering with a reputable shipping service can reduce stress and save costs. You can compare shipping rates from a wide variety of carriers and choose the option that fits your business needs in terms of service, capacity, and equipment.

Select a Carrier-Based On Your Route

Different freight carriers have their own respective routes. This is because some trucks are bigger and heavier than most. They carry different cargo and require different permits and documents in order to deliver goods from one location to another. Because they use different freights, you also pay different rates depending on the service you choose. 

If you know what kind of freight services are available on your route, you can choose the best one and the best rates for your business. 

Use the Right Freight Classification

Freights come in different classifications. Each classification has a different set of pricing. Knowing which freight class you need for your shipment will help you determine how much you need to allot for your budget. It also gives you a solid basis for choosing freight service providers and negotiating better prices.

Maximize Your Pallet Space

Oversize fees and oversized freights can eat away at your profits. Going for a smaller freight class and maximizing your entire pallet space are great ways to combat the cost. 

Pack your pallet as full as possible without risking damage to your goods. Aside from being able to maximize the space, you are paying for, being smart with your pallet space also means that you won’t have to move up a freight class. 

Tips for Packing Your Freight Pallet

You naturally want to use up all of your pallet space to save on costs. But if done wrong, you might end up damaging your goods instead. 

So your friends at GoShip.com are here to give you a few effective tips to safely fill your pallets to the brim, save on shipping costs, and lower the risk of damaged goods. 

Heavy stuff at the bottom

Create a more stable base by laying down the heaviest boxes at the very bottom. This prevents your goods from tipping over during transit, loading, and unloading.

No matter what you’re planning on shipping on your pallet, always make sure that all the heaviest boxes are properly placed down at the bottom. 

Don’t go over the edge

Filling your pallet to the brim doesn’t mean going over the edge. Make sure that your boxes line up to the edge properly.

Doing this makes it easier to create an even base for you to stack more boxes on top. It also ensures that you are not risking getting charged with freight re-bills or reclassification fees.

Stack boxes like bricks, not a pyramid

Assuming that you are stacking boxes of the same size, laying them down the same way you would bricks can lower the risk of tipping or sliding during transit. As much as possible, avoid stacking boxes in columns, facing the same direction. This method is not very stable and many clients have had to deal with the headaches of damaged goods. 

Avoid stacking your goods like a pyramid. It may look aesthetically pleasing in the warehouse or in stores, but it’s not ideal for transit. Doing this will compromise the structural integrity of your goods. 

Use packing bands

You may think that the next step is to add your shrink wrap, but, we suggest securing your packing bands first. Use at least 2 packing bands to hold down your stack and prevent it from moving around during the drive. To add more stability and security, try adding cardboard corner boards and slip sheets.

Shrink wrap the whole stack!

Finally, it’s time to put out the shrink wrap. Aside from keeping food fresh, shrink wrap is excellent for keeping stacks of boxes from spilling over. It helps bind items together, so they move as one unit, instead of many individual boxes. 

Don’t skimp on the shrink wrap. Make sure to wrap each layer at least twice for better security and stability. The last thing you want is for one corner of your shrink wrap to tear and cause all your products to topple down.

Wrapping a pallet of boxes can take time if you do it by hand. So we suggest investing in a pallet wrapper. These equipment are able to wrap pallets much quicker and with better consistency compared to manual wrapping. 

Freight Deals with GoShip

Sticking to your budget with freight services can be tough, but it’s not impossible. If you are unsure where to start, just refer to the tips we gave above. 

That said, being new to the world of freight services can easily overwhelm anyone. But we’re here to help. Get all the assistance and support you need for all your shipments at GoShip!