So many different freight shipping companies. How to choose the best trucking company for your freight.

Companies that ship their merchandise across the country or across the globe need to find the trucking carrier that is equipped to make the haul, while still being affordable. Smaller carriers may offer discounts to businesses that have their merchandise on pallets and ready to be shipped. Choosing the right trucking company can make or break a small business’ budget. A trucking company’s freight quote will give a small business several clues as to how well it operates and what level of service it is capable of.

Choosing the Right Trucking Company

Businesses that are choosing a freight carrier often look for the trucking company with the most aggressive pricing. While the price can be a determining factor, there are other things a business should be concerned with:
• Does the trucking company prefer full loads or will they agree to haul partial loads?
• Are the company trucks reliable and capable of going the required distance?
• Are the company’s facilities adequate to accommodate the shippers’ needs?
• Is the company part of a larger franchise or is it all part of one large carrier?
• Are the operators independent owner/operators or are they employees of the company?

Before a business chooses a trucking company, they should find out how well they do their job. When it comes to the transportation of goods and merchandise, timing is the key. A trucking company must be reliable and able to deliver shipments on time with minimal risk of damage or breakage. Carriers that have been in business for several years normally will have the expertise and knowledge to get things done in the shortest amount of time possible. They will have also incorporated training techniques that keep employees on their game, knowing which methods work best for transporting different types of products.

Carriers must also have the equipment to move large shipments, quickly and effectively. They must have adequate manpower as well as the necessary equipment to move freight from place to place. Fork trucks, hand jacks and portable dollies are employed by most trucking companies so that merchandise can be loaded and unloaded as quickly as possible. In some circles, a company’s workforce is just as important as the type of equipment they use. Adequate training techniques give employees the tools they need to be productive and reliable.

Different Companies, Different Freight

Some trucking companies prefer to haul loose freight, while others are better equipped to haul merchandise loaded onto pallets. Loose freight takes longer to load and requires more manpower during the loading and unloading process.

The tradeoff is in the fact that more boxes can be maneuvered to fit inside the trailer. Depending on the type of merchandise being palletized, they can only be placed in the trailer one layer deep. Unless they are stacked high with boxes, valuable space can be wasted. Palletized merchandise remains more secure and can be moved quickly from place to place with the use of a fork truck or hand jack. When getting a trucking company freight quote, carriers will normally ask if the merchandise that is being transported is palletized or loose. Depending on the carriers’ capabilities, the quote may vary depending on how much handling of the merchandise needs to be done. Manpower costs money. The more manpower that is needed the higher the quote from the carrier. Transporting merchandise from one place to another must be cost effective if a company wants to continue to remain in operation for any length of time. A trucking company’s freight quote depends not only the type of merchandise being transported, but also the distance it is to be shipped and how much product will be moved at one time. Many companies will offer discounts to businesses who book several shipments at once. For example, a business making several shipments within a month’s time may get a better quote than a company who is only making one run. Choosing the right trucking company is based not only on the quote received, but also their ability to consistently and repeatedly meet delivery deadlines.