Monthly Archives: August 2009

Navigating Freightquote.com

One of the best parts of freightquote.com is its easy navigation. They make it simple to quote and buy freight. All the pages of the freightquote site can be found at their sitemap. For example, you will find everything from Freight Tracking to Los Angeles Warehouses. They also feature a navigation bar which provides all the main sections of the site that you will need in order to quote and buy freight.

Why use Freightquote Instead of Dealing Directly with a Carrier?

There is no reason that a business (or individual for that matter) cannot contact a freight carrier directly to arrange for a shipment. Just because it is possible, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best business decision. In the case of freight, the “middle man” can actually help a small- or medium-sized business (or individual) realize a tremendous savings in both money and time.

Freightquote.com has built an online freight management system that is second to none in the shipping industry. Its user interface is simple and its personnel are experienced and responsive. Freightquote’s customers can take advantage of the system, the people and the company’s industry reputation to handle their shipping needs simply and efficiently.

While it is technically true that Freightquote is a “middle man” in arranging for freight shipments and does not ever actually touch the freight, Freightquote is in a unique position to allow shippers to get the best price with reputable truckload and less than truckload (LTL) shipments, and all without the hassle of conducting multiple carrier negotiations.

So, how can Freightquote save a shipper money? Why isn’t it cheaper to contact the carriers directly? There are two primary reasons: volume and reputation. Just like a small business can save money buying in bulk from a warehouse club, it can save with Freightquote. The volume of shipments that Freightquote places with its partner freight carriers is substantial. That volume gives Freightquote a bit more negotiating weight than an average shipper. The more shipments booked, the better the discount offered. Freightquote then passes along those savings to its customers.

Using Freightquote can definitely save a shipper money but it can also save a tremendous amount of time. As noted above, Freightquote’s user-friendly system allows an instantaneous price comparison, automated booking and BOLs as well as start-to-finish shipment tracking.  No more spending the day on the phone getting quotes, scheduling pick-ups and confirming deliveries.

In the freight industry, then, a “middle man” like Freightquote is truly the fiscally responsible way to go. As opposed to a retail/wholesale situation, in freight, going straight to the carrier will likely not save a small- to medium-size business any money at all. To the contrary, using Freightquote will save both money and time.

Why Ship Intermodal with Freightquote?

Freightquote.com and its subsidiary Twin Modal have offered shippers the option of transporting their freight via intermodal transportation for many years. But why should a shipper consider using intermodal service? What are the benefits as compared to traditional truck carriage?

Intermodal transportation has certainly been on the rise in recent years. Intermodal is the transportation of freight in containers using several different modes of transportation. Technically, this could involve any combination of rail, truck, sea and air freight transport. Most commonly in the United States, though, it refers to a truck/rail combination.

The first benefit to using intermodal is generally reduced cost as compared to trucking in a cross-country trip. (Shorter trips are still less expensive over-the-road.) One reason is the lower fuel expense of rail transport in these days of greatly fluctuating fuel costs.

A second benefit for many shippers is the increased security and reduced damages resulting from less cargo handling. The cargo is loaded onto a container at the point of origin and is not usually touched until it is unloaded at its destination. Less handling means less opportunity for damage in most instances. (It should be noted though that not all products are appropriate for rail transport. Very fragile and very heavy freight should still travel over-the-road to be safe.)

Some shippers may be concerned about the added time that intermodal shipments require. While it is true that intermodal freight takes a bit longer, the transit times are actually getting better. The railroads are now offering much more consistent service and a direct coast-to-coast delivery now usually takes just over a week.

As more manufacturers consider their environmental impact, it may also be important to note that intermodal transportation uses less fuel and produces less pollution than roadway transport for the same freight and distance.

By using the freight quoting services at Freightquote.com, shippers can easily compare the transit times and costs associated with both intermodal and over-the-road shipments.  The Freightquote system allows customers to view each option side-by-side before deciding which works best for them. Once a decision is made, booking the shipment is simple and easily managed from pick-up to delivery regardless of which mode is chosen.

Lower Shipping Industry Numbers Lead to Better Deals for Freightquote Customers

Word came this week from the American Trucking Associations that truck tonnage (or the amount of freight hauled by motor carrier domestically) fell 2.4% in June and was 13.6% lower than truck tonnage from June 2008. There had been an increase reported in May. The mixed message has had some economists scratching their heads.

Ultimately, what this means is that less product is being shipped right now due to the less-than-favorable economic conditions. Job losses and tight credit have negatively affected household spending and business profits.

ATA’s chief economist suggests that, at least for the near future, many new product orders can be fulfilled with current inventories, not new production, keeping trucks empty.

One industry insider even commented that “freight availability remains at historically low levels and pricing competition has been fierce as excess tractor capacity, buoyed by lenient lenders and lower fuel prices, continues to exist in the marketplace.”

While all of this sounds fairly depressing, it is an enormous savings opportunity for shippers. Excess carrier capacity results in dropping freight costs for consumers as the carriers compete for their business. Freightquote.com, long successful at helping shippers’ comparison shop between carriers, has responded to the current situation by implementing a broad platform of enhancements to its systems.

As a result of Freightquote’s series of improved technology, operations, and customer service, shipping quotes received through Freightquote are now even more cost-effective, timely, and accurate. The result for Freightquote has been a substantial increase in traffic despite the industry downturn, especially in the truckload shipping area.

Freightquote’s pioneering technology gives customers the most competitive and accurate truckload pricing every time. And Freightquote’s position in the industry allows it to negotiate far better freight prices than most small- to medium-sized businesses might otherwise be able to achieve

Truckload shipments booked through Freightquote have more than doubled recently as a result of the company’s response to the industry downturn and excess capacity. Its customers have been pleased in the results of these efforts and have shown their appreciation by booking more freight shipments on Freightquote than ever before.

Freightquote has long been the freight industry’s leading provider of web-based freight transportation management services. Its spot-on analysis of the market and its reaction to the sluggish industry have not only solidified Freightquote’s position at the top but also created continued growth in an otherwise gloomy global economy.

Freightquote – Saving Money by Choosing a Regional Shipper

Over the last ten years, Freightquote.com has established excellent working relationships with some of the shipping industries most reputable and reliable carriers. These include long-haul, regional and super-regional carriers. In fact, Freightquote calls on thousands of carriers on behalf of its customers. With over 750,000 loads managed each year, Freightquote certainly commands the attention of a diverse group of carriers.

Large national carriers get a substantial amount of media attention – companies like YRC, Roadway, Old Dominion, ABF, FedEx Freight and the like. What many shippers don’t realize though is that there are hundreds and thousands of local and regional shippers across the United States. Some restrict their services to one state; others serve a larger region such as the Southeast.

These regional carriers might not immediately come to mind when a shipper needs goods hauled. Freightquote, however, frequently includes such regional carriers in its quotes to customers. If a load is not traveling coast-to-coast, a regional carrier may represent a substantial price difference for the customer as well as a quicker delivery.

Freightquote’s instantaneous online freight quoting system allows the shipper to compare the pricing and delivery terms of each carrier side-by-side before making a final choice. Just as buying generic at the grocery store can save consumer money on an identical item, sometimes booking freight with a lesser-known name is equally economical.

Shippers can let Freightquote do the footwork for them by identifying and double-checking the dependability of the smaller, regional carriers. If a load is booked through Freightquote with a regional carrier, the shipper can be assured that the carrier is dependable and trustworthy.

Freight Solutions for e-commerce with Freightquote

For 10 years now, business experts have debated the value of brick-and-mortar stores vs. online only sales outlets. Will physical stores survive or be outpaced and replaced by low-overhead e-commerce sites?  Will the Amazon and eBay business models change the face of American (and international) retail and wholesale? Even after 10 years, the answers aren’t black and white.

Ultimately, yes, Amazon and eBay have changed the way America does business. And some brick-and-mortar stores have certainly fallen by the wayside due to internet competition. Others though thrive by maintaining both regular and internet storefronts.

Consumers have become more and more comfortable with the idea of purchasing goods online. Thousand, or even millions, of businesses operate solely through an online outlet. No storefront to welcome local customers and to enable them to inspect and touch the items for sale. This is increasingly not a problem for today’s consumers who have been trained to ask the right questions, demand liberal return policies and look for indicia of security like VeraSign and other consumer protection programs.

Another indicia of security (as it relates to getting the goods from Point A to Point B) is an online retailer’s (or wholesaler’s) use of an integrated freight calculator provided by Freightquote.com.

For businesses that sell heavy items like furniture or engines, large volume items or anything weighing over about 150 pounds on the internet, an automated, integrated freight solution will be key to keeping transactions simple and efficient. The Freightquote application can be integrated into many different e-commerce platforms and used seamlessly with a company’s online sales system.

Buyers can input delivery information for a spot-on cost estimate. Sellers can use the system to accurately quote freight shipments from some of the country’s top national and regional LTL and truckload carriers. Specialty shipments including those needing flatbed or refrigerated trailers can even be handled through Freightquote’s integrated e-commerce freight solution.

Shipments can be scheduled and tracked via this same system. By even paying online, the entire shipping process is automated. And an easy transaction start-to-finish makes for a much more satisfied (and frequent) customer.

Insuring Freight Shipments with Freightquote

Many freight shippers ship with the misconception that their freight automatically has full insurance coverage. Unfortunately, this mistake is generally only discovered once the freight is damaged. By then though, it is too late to insure the shipment.

Because Freightquote is not the actual carrier and is, instead, the broker of a freight shipping relationship, Freightquote actually bears no liability for in-transit damage.  Freightquote.com’s expert customer service representatives are trained to assist customers who have damage claims to make.  But they can’t create coverage where none exists. Unless the shipper purchased freight insurance prior to shipping, the carrier is only liable for the maximum liability under the terms of the carrier’s General Rules Tariffs and shipping instructions.

It is important to note that the filing of a claim does not relieve the shipper for payment of freight charges. In fact, payment of the freight charges is necessary in order for a carrier to process a damage claim. Freightquote’s customer service reps do an excellent job of assisting in the resolution of freight claims, despite the fact that Freightquote has no responsibility or liability for the damage.

Depending on the carrier and the type of cargo damaged, the maximum liability of a freight carrier can be as low as only $0.10/lb – $0.50/lb. And to even collect that amount, the carrier will have to accept responsibility and agree to pay the claim.

Fortunately, the organized and thoughtful shipper can obtain relatively inexpensive freight insurance. Such coverage will ensure that damaged goods do not cost the shipper or the shipper’s customers any additional money. Additional freight insurance will almost certainly be the only way that the shipper will see full reimbursement in the event of damage.

Shippers concerned about appropriate coverage should speak with their Freightquote account representative prior to booking and scheduling a shipment.