Monthly Archives: July 2009

Intermodal Freight Services –

If you’ve ever been to an international port or if active railroad tracks run through your city or town, you’ve most likely seen intermodal freight shipping in action. Intermodal shipping merely means that freight is moved via more than one mode of transportation: ship, rail and/or truck. is a simple way to arrange for easy-to-manage intermodal freight shipments.

Large international companies often ship their goods across the oceans via large containers on ships. You may have seen freight yards near shipping ports filled with stacks of these trailer-like, metal containers. Once the container is removed from the ship, it is either placed on a truck or a rail car to be transported within the country.

Domestic manufacturers can also benefit from intermodal transport for very large shipments moving over 1,000 miles. Truckload freight is loaded into a container or special trailer, then taken by truck to be loaded onto a specialized rail car. After the container arrives at its destination by rail, it is transferred to another truck for final delivery.

In the right situation, intermodal service can save a shipper substantial money compared to standard truckload rates. A single train can deliver multiple containers or trailers for a company in lieu of a complicated caravan of several different truckload haulers. The efficiencies of intermodal shipping are apparent in terms of time and money.

The coordination of such intermodal freight though can become extremely complex. Fortunately, has the resources and relationships available to manage domestic and international intermodal shipments with ease. In addition to its phenomenal network of reliable carriers, Freightquote can access any domestic railroad or stacktrain service for a company’s intermodal freight needs. Freightquote can even arrange for the quick drayage service which trucks a container or trailer from port to railway.

As you might imagine, the coordination involved in making sure that multiple international and domestic carriers across several modes of transport are all on the same page for any particular shipment can be daunting. makes the entire process painless by handling all carrier coordination and scheduling, managing all freight activity from start to finish and combining it all into one simple invoice while keeping you updated on how to ship.

Choosing the Right Freight Class – has an amazingly user-friendly quote request interface. Shippers simply log into their account (which is free to set up), enter some pertinent information like weight, dimension, origin, destination, special equipment and freight class, and click a button. Almost instantly, the screen fills with quotes from different carriers, sometimes even from different modes of transportation. The shipper can compare prices and transit times before making a shipping decision.

In order to make sure that the quotes received are the best and most accurate quotes for a particular load though, the shipper must really make sure that he or she has entered the right freight class for the load.

Freight class helps a carrier determine how best to fit specific cargo into the trailer. Pallets of cement blocks probably shouldn’t be loaded in on top of cases of ceramic restaurant dishware. So, the right mix of freight on the trailer is necessary. The cement blocks and the dishware have different freight classes to help with this.

Many shippers consider their freight as “top load only” – believing that nothing should be stacked on top of it. Too much “top load freight” can hamstring a carrier. If nothing else can be stacked on certain freight, filling a trailer is difficult. Because of its limiting nature, “top load freight” is more expensive to ship. Bottom freight can tend to ride on the top or the bottom whereas top freight is eliminating use of 50% of the trailer. Naturally, as you may expect, top load freight is more expensive to ship.
Freight classes range from 50 to 500 – the higher the number, the more easily damaged, the higher risk (and more expensive to ship) the freight is. If your freight has a higher classification, a change in packaging can help drop it down a bit. Any reduction in the risk of damage can help bring the freight class and shipping cost down.

Sometimes, by taking a closer look at the packaging, you could feasibly end up saving some money in the long run.

Freight classes for all products can be found in the National Motor Freight Classification book, generally referred to as the NMFC book. Almost every category of product is listed in the NMFC book, complete with sub-categories.

Each distinct product has a corresponding freight class.

If a shipper has trouble determining the appropriate freight class for any particular load, Freightquote’s expert staff can help identify the right class.  In general, freight classes are determined by the density of the item being shipped. A correct freight class determination is imperative to receiving an accurate quote and not being surprised by a higher charge after delivery is made due to miscalculated freight class.

To make sure that the best possible rate is quoted and charged for freight, a shipper must pay special attention to freight class. Sometimes, just making sure the right freight class is entered can save headache and money in the end. Other times, adjustments can be made to cargo so that the freight class is actually lowered. In any event, shippers can trust the freight experts at to help make the call.