FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The freight shipping business can be complex especially to first-time shippers. While we all wish shipping freight could be as simple as sending a message in a bottle, the reality is, there are a number of regulations and processes in place to ensure valuable freight is safely delivered to its final destination.

To help make the shipping process easier from start to finish, we’ve outlined 5 of the most common freight shipping questions. While these aren’t the only common questions and answers related to the freight shipping industry, we hope this post serves as a useful resource next time you have freight to ship.

WHAT IS A THIRD PARTY LOGISTICS COMPANY?

A third-party logistics company, like Dubois Global Logistics, partners with businesses to help develop a supply chain management system. The goal is to develop a system that provides businesses with an efficient and cost-effective way to move products from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world.

A logistics company is not a trucking company or a freight company. Simply put a logistics company offers an intangible service. Logistics companies do not own equipment to transport freight. Rather, logistics companies have the knowledge, experience and partnerships to move freight.

WHAT IS FREIGHT CLASSIFICATION?

The freight classification system was created by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) to provide a standardized freight pricing structure for all types of shippable commodities.

Commodities are grouped into 18 freight classes, signified as numbers between 50 and 500. The classification of your freight is determined by the weight, dimensions, density, ease of handling, value and liability (probability of freight damage or theft). Typically, the lower the class number, the lower the freight shipping price per pound.

HOW ARE SHIPPING RATES DETERMINED?

Freight shipping rates are typically dependent on a variety of factors, including the type of freight being shipped, mode of transport, weight, distance and more. Here’s a quick snapshot of how these rates are determined based on the selected shipping option:

LTL Rates are largely dependent on the freight class. Other fees are typically applied for additional services and actions like delivery appointments and liftgate services.

Truckload Rates are determined by an amount per-mile which may or may not be inclusive of the fuel surcharge. Further charges may be added for things like detention and driver assistance.

Flatbed Rates are based on the type of equipment, mileage and total weight of the shipment. If there is oversized freight onboard, extra charges may apply and additional transit time could be necessary.

CAN I ESTIMATE MY FREIGHT DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT?

Freight dimensions and freight weight should never be estimated. It’s critical to measure the length, width and height to the nearest inch, especially for LTL shipping, as these carriers rely on exact dimensions to determine how much freight can fit on one truck. Incorrect or estimated measurements could result in a costly carrier adjustment.

Much like freight dimensions, weight needs to be accurate as well. Freight carriers typically use the listed weight to determine how much freight can fit into an individual truck. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has truck weight regulations in place and incorrect weights will likely also lead to pricing adjustments.

CAN TRANSIT TIME OF FREIGHT BE GUARANTEED?

While freight shipping services are very reliable, shipments do not typically come with a guaranteed transit time unless it is requested. Pick up day is not included in the qualification and calculation of transit time.

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