The Ultimate Guide to Getting an FTL Freight Quotation

Shipping freight across the country in full truckload (FTL) quantities can be costly, but it doesn’t have to be with the right preparation and research. Getting an accurate freight quote for an FTL shipment is crucial for any business to ensure they are getting the best possible rate for their budget. With so many factors influencing pricing, it can be challenging to know where to start when requesting FTL freight quotations.

Understanding the complete process and best practices for obtaining a quote for an FTL freight can make a big difference in the rate you ultimately pay. Whether you are an experienced logistics manager or shipping your first FTL, having a guide to getting freight quotes can save significant time and money. With the right information and preparation, you can feel confident that your company is getting the best FTL freight quote possible on every shipment. 

Know Your Shipment Details

The first step is to know all of the important details about your shipment.

– Origin and destination zip codes- Total weight of freight- Freight class – Any special services needed (lift-gate, residential delivery etc.)- Pickup and delivery time-frames

Having this information ready will allow freight brokers and carriers to give you an accurate quote. Be sure to overestimate weight if you are not exactly sure to avoid any unexpected accessorial charges.

Research General Market Rates

Do some research on general FTL rates in the freight lane you will be shipping in. Check online load boards like DAT or to see what rates other shipments are being posted at. This will give you an idea of current market conditions.

Get Quotes from Multiple Carriers

Make sure to get FTL freight quotes from several carriers and brokers. The more quotes you get, the better chance you have of getting competitive bids. Reach out to carriers you have existing relationships with. Also use online load boards and freight broker networks to get additional quotes.

Consider Factors Impacting Price

Fuel prices, demand, and equipment availability all impact FTL rates. Expect to pay more for longer lengths of haul, remote location pickups/deliveries, and peak seasonal shipping times. Be flexible with timing and pickup/delivery if possible to get better rates.

Communicate Any Special Needs

Make sure to communicate any special needs upfront so carriers understand what is required. This includes lift-gate service, residential delivery, temperature control, stopping in transit for partial loading/unloading, or hazardous materials. Special needs may impact your FTL quote.

Compare Quotes and Negotiate

Do a side by side comparison of all the FTL freight quotes you received. Reach back out to carriers that provided competitive bids and see if they can do any better on price. Negotiating with them or leveraging bids against each other can often result in lower pricing.

Confirm Details in Writing

Once you select a carrier, make sure to get a firm offer in writing that confirms all the important details – price, pickup/delivery times, special needs, etc. This will protect you and ensure there are no surprises once the shipment is in transit. 

Following this guide will help you receive competitive FTL freight quotes tailored to your specific shipment. Taking the time to get multiple quotes and negotiate pricing is well worth the savings you can achieve. With a few simple steps, you can lock in the best rate for your FTL freight shipment.