Our goal is simple. We want to enable shippers to ship smarter, and ship easier. Please see our extensive FAQs below with resource links and guides to help you navigate the world of shipping with confidence - and save money while you're doing it!

shipping_freight_questions_answers

How do I negotiate a lower freight rate?

Do not back down from asking for lower rates. Negotiate, negotiate, and negotiate some more. 

To get better rates, you can:

  • Negotiate on fuel charges, freight rates, accessory charges
  • Sign contracts with multiple carriers 
  • Pit contract rates against other contract rates to see how low carriers will go
  • Use a TMS system to get quote quickly and effectively
  • Learn to write a good RFP
  • Use shipping volume to your advantage - the larger the load, the more leverage you have
  • Stay true to your word - build a positive reputation  with carriers
See also:

4 Tips on Negotiating Shipping Rates
Spot quotes and your freight
Why you should be shopping your freight rates
Carrier Rate Shopping Guide 

How do you negotiate shipping costs?

The best way to negotiate costs is to have an efficient process at your finger tips. DO NOT use a manual process of going to various carrier websites, finding out the cost for your shipment, and then negotiating from there. 

DO use a Transportation Management System (TMS) that integrates all that data into one platform that you can make decisions from. A solid TMS will even let you communicate to multiple carriers directly from your TMS - eliminating the need to write and send several emails to get your quotes.

See also:
4 Tips on Negotiating Shipping Rates
Carrier Rate Shopping Guide
How a TMS Helps You Save and Boost Efficiency
How Manual Shipping Processes are Costing Your Company Time and Money

How do I get better freight rates?

The best way to get better freight rates is to:

  • Use a Transportation Management System to help you shop around for freight quotes quickly and efficiently
  • Sign contracts with multiple carriers and pit contract prices against each other
  • Use TMS software to analyze and audit your shipping processes and spend 

See also:
Why You Should Be Shopping Your Freight Rates
4 Tips on Negotiating Shipping Rates
Carrier Rate Shopping Guide
Eliminate the Need for Freight Auditor  

What is the cheapest way to mail a heavy package?

The best way to ship heavy packages is to:

  • Establish contracts with multiple carriers
  • Negotiate your contracted rates against other carriers to get the absolute best rate
  • Maintain solid relationships with your carriers

See also:
4 Tips on Negotiating Shipping Rates
Transportation Management System Guide
How Manual Shipping Processes are Costing Your Company Time and Money

What software is used in logistics?

The most common software used in logistics is a Transportation Management System, or TMS. 

A good TMS can:

  • Improve workflow with process automation
  • Help streamline pooling shipments
  • Allow real-time carrier & marketplace rate shopping
  • Help you obtain spot quotes quickly
  • Give you powerful tools to analyze and audit spend
  • Help you better manage customers

See also:
How a TMS Helps You Save and Boost Efficiency 
Did you Know There are Different Types of Shipping Software
Transportation Management System Guide
The Future of Transportation Management Systems

What is the best logistics software?

The best Transportation Management Software will give you specific tools at your fingertips. These tools can cut your current manual processes by as much as a third. 

A solid logistics software system should:

  • Give you flexibility & functionality
  • Give you access across modes (parcel, LTL, FTL, air freight, etc.)
  • Enable workflow automation
  • Be easy to use, implement, and support
  • Be cost efficient

We highly recommend that you see our guide on shopping for logistics software, which outlines specific features you should look for and evaluation criteria to judge those features by. That guide can be found here.

See also:
A Buyer's Guide To Shipping Software
Born to Provide the Solution to Real Shipping Pain Points
It’s Time to Evaluate Your Existing TMS

The Buyer's Guide To Shipping Software

What is a digital supply chain?

A digital supply chain, in terms of logistics, refers to all the digital connections that monitor the supply chain and integrate the data together.

Digital supply chain can be used to refer to:

  • Warehouse execution systems
  • Truck fleet feeds
  • Weather feeds
  • Shipment tracking
  • Carrier rate quoting tools

See also:
How an Industry Leading TMS Supports Visibility Throughout the Supply Chain
How Manual Shipping Processes are Costing Your Company Time and Money

What are NMFC Codes?

NMFC codes, or National Motor Freight Classifications®, are set by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association to give carriers a common language. This common language makes determining the stackability of freight easier so that freight quotes can be negotiated.  

See also:
NMFC Codes for Freight Classification

How do barcodes work for supply chain management?

Barcodes, and other such digital tags, help keep the supply chain functional by giving a warehouse or carrier the means to quickly and accurately tag a package or shipment. 

See also:
Barcodes, QR Codes, & RFID in Supply Chain Management
 

How can I reduce my shipping team?

Automation tools can drastically reduce the amount of man-hours required to run your team. A solid Transportation Management System (TMS) will streamline and automate your processes by as much as 20-30%, while saving you money on shipping costs at the same time.

The best TMS software helps save you money by:

  • Cutting down on the amount of man-hours required for obtaining the best carrier rates
  • Integrating with your warehouse system for faster pulling and better tracking 
  • Showing you where you are leaving money on the table with carriers and spot quotes
  • Allowing you to reallocate people to other areas of the business to help you grow

See also:
Easy Freight Software Streamlining Your Shipping

How a TMS Helps You Save and Boost Efficiency
How Manual Shipping Processes are Costing Your Company Time and Money
How an Industry Leading TMS Supports Visibility Throughout the Supply Chain

How can I compete with Amazon deliveries?

Do not try to compete with Amazon on price alone. That would be the key thing to avoid. They are just too big.

You can compete with Amazon by:

  • Targeting a niche market
  • Having a website that is optimized for the user's experience
  • Offering membership rewards
  • Making use of a solid CRM to manage customer data
  • Having shipping options 

For tips on providing shipping options, please see our post How to Keep Pace With Two Day, Overnight, and Same Day Deliveries.

See also:
The Effects of Amazon’s Prime Day on Shippers
Dynamic, Pop Up, On Demand Warehouses for e-Commerce
4 Tips on Holiday Shipping & Freight
It’s Time to Evaluate Your Existing TMS

Do I need a broker for shipping and freight?

A shipping broker arranges shipments on behalf of a shipper, however, a broker should not be seen as a necessity or the only way you can streamline obtaining quotes.

The shipping and freight industry is extremely volatile. It is a huge mistake for a shipper or eCommerce business to rely on a single broker, or even a single carrier. The rule of the game is negotiate - and negotiate often!  

Shippers do not require a broker, who will be adding their own fees on top of rates. Shippers need a Transportation Management System to help them negotiate in real-time, quickly and efficiently. 

See also:
Why You Should Be Shopping Your Freight Rates

How an Industry Leading TMS Supports Visibility Throughout the Supply Chain
Attention Shippers: Giving all Your Business to One Carrier Doesn’t Make Sense

How can I lower international shipping costs?

To get the best international shipping rates: 

  • Sign contracts with multiple international carriers 
  • Negotiate international contracted rates against other international carriers 
  • Use a Transportation Management System to get quotes in real-time 
  • Learn to write a good RFP
  • Use shipping volume to your advantage 
  • Build relationships with international carriers
  • Negotiate on all aspects - fuel charges, freight rates, accessory charges etc.

See also:
4 Things Every Company Can Do to Lower International Freight Costs
How Manual Shipping Processes are Costing Your Company Time and Money 
Carrier Rate Shopping Guide

How can I make shipping easier?

Efficiency and automation will make shipping easier. The EASIEST way you can achieve this is to use a Transportation Management System. And in this case, easiest will be cheaper in the long run.

A solid Transportation Management System will:

  • Drastically reduce the man-hours needed to obtain the best carrier rates and spot quotes
  • Enable workflow automation
  • Allow quick NMFC code determinations and shipping label printing
  • Give superior tracking abilities for improved customer management

We strongly recommend that you see our guide 5 Must-Have Tips - A Buyer's Guide To Shipping Software for more information.

See also:
Barcodes, QR Codes, & RFID in Supply Chain Management

Easy Freight Software Streamlining Your Shipping
How a TMS Helps You Save and Boost Efficiency
How an Industry Leading TMS Supports Visibility Throughout the Supply Chain
It’s Time to Evaluate Your Existing TMS

What to look for in transportation management systems?

A Transportation Management System, or TMS, is software that integrates data from carrier platforms and a business' warehouse and customer database to allow full supply chain visibility.  

A good TMS should:

  • Improve workflow and allow process automation
  • Help with pooling shipments
  • Allow real-time carrier rate shopping
  • Help obtain spot quotes  
  • Include tools to analyze and audit spend
  • Help with customer service

See also:
How a TMS Produces Savings?

4 Things Your TMS Must Be Able to Do For You
5 Must-Have Tips - A Buyer's Guide To Shipping Software
9 Questions to Ask When Buying Shipping Software

Guide to Transportation Management Systems

How do I choose a transportation management system?

A good Transportation Management System (TMS) should improve your processes at the key phases of shipping: Shop, Ship, Track, Analyze, and Audit.

A good TMS platform will:

  • SHOP - Help you quickly find the best carrier & rates for the job
  • SHIP - Include tools to process the shipment
  • TRACK - Improve shipment tracking
  • ANALYZE - Have report features to enable you to analyze the expenditure
  • AUDIT - Help you ensure all carrier charges are accurate

Please see our guide 5 Must-Have Tips - A Buyer's Guide To Shipping Software for more information.

See also:
4 Things Your TMS Must Be Able to Do For You

Transportation Management System Guide
A Buyer's Guide To Shipping Software
Difference Between SaaS and Traditional On-premise Software
It’s Time to Evaluate Your Existing TMS
5 Questions You Must Ask When Buying Shipping Software

What is a Spot Quote?

A spot quote is an on-the-fly deal made between a carrier and a shipper. Spot quote expiration dates are usually same-day, but can be an even shorter time-period than that. Shippers can request spot quotes from carriers they already have a contract with, or from carriers with no contracted agreement. 

See also:
Spot Quotes and Your Freight

How do I File a Shipping Claim?

The first step in filing a claim is to have a centralized process to manage your claims. Claims have strict deadlines that vary by carrier. Carriers also do not provide the simplest means to file a claim (they want to keep your money), making filing claims a laborious task. 

If you use a Transportation Management System,  it should include features that help make filing claims much easier.

Claim filing features to look for are:

  • A single platform to organize and manage claims with at-a-glance views 
  • Automatic reminders so carrier deadlines are not missed
  • Carrier reporting that show the type and frequency of filed claims

See also:
Prioritize and Simplify Filing Shipping Claims

Eliminate the Need for Freight Auditor

Do I Need a Freight Auditor?

Freight audits are imperative to give management insight into where money is being wasted or processes not followed through. Audits can be labor intensive, so having reporting tools to help break down information is worth the investment. 

Shippers do not, however, require a freight auditor in this day and age. Many Transportation Management Systems will provide the reporting and overview required. 

A freight audit should look at:

  • Rating errors
  • Duplicate charges
  • Incorrect weight and accessory fees
  • Incorrect freight classifications


See also:
Eliminate the Need for Freight Auditor



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