how to ask for a freight quote

Requesting a freight quote involves providing essential information about your shipment and clearly expressing your requirements to potential carriers or freight brokers. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to ask for a freight quote effectively:

1. Gather Shipment Details:

  • Origin and Destination: Specify the exact pickup and delivery locations, including city, state, and zip codes.
  • Freight Type and Dimensions: Clearly identify the type of goods being shipped, such as dry van, refrigerated, or flatbed. Accurately measure the shipment’s length, width, and height.
  • Weight and Volume: Weigh the shipment and calculate its cubic feet (volume).
  • Special Handling Requirements: Determine if the shipment requires any special handling, such as liftgate service, hazardous materials handling, or temperature-controlled transportation.

2. Prepare a Request for Quote (RFQ):

  • Subject Line: Use a clear and concise subject line, such as “Request for Freight Quote – [Origin] to [Destination]”.
  • Introduction: Briefly introduce your company and the nature of your shipment.
  • Shipment Details: Provide the detailed information gathered in step 1.
  • Desired Transit Time: Specify your desired delivery timeframe, considering the urgency and distance of the shipment.
  • Additional Services: Request any additional services you require, such as liftgate service, insurance coverage, or real-time tracking.
  • Contact Information: Include your complete contact information, including name, email address, and phone number, for easy communication.

3. Identify Potential Carriers or Freight Brokers:

  • Online Freight Quote Platforms: Utilize online freight quote platforms like Freightquote, uShip, or DAT to compare rates and receive instant quotes from multiple carriers.
  • Industry Directories: Consult industry directories like Transport Topics, LogisticsIQ, or The Journal of Commerce to find reputable carriers and freight brokers.
  • Networking and Referrals: Seek recommendations from colleagues, industry contacts, or business partners who have experience with freight transportation.

4. Contact Carriers or Freight Brokers:

  • Email: Send your RFQ via email to the sales or customer service representatives of the carriers or freight brokers you’ve identified.
  • Phone: If immediate assistance is required, call the carriers or freight brokers directly to discuss your shipment details and receive quotes.

5. Compare Quotes and Select a Carrier:

  • Thorough Evaluation: Carefully review and compare the quotes received from multiple carriers or freight brokers.
  • Pricing Considerations: Evaluate the overall cost, including base rate, fuel surcharges, accessorial fees, and any additional services requested.
  • Carrier Reputation: Assess the carriers’ reputation for reliability, service quality, and safety compliance.
  • Communication and Responsiveness: Consider the carriers’ responsiveness, communication style, and ability to address your specific needs.

6. Confirm Booking and Establish Logistics:

  • Booking Confirmation: Once you’ve selected a carrier, confirm the booking in writing, ensuring all details are accurately reflected.
  • Bill of Lading (BOL): Prepare and provide the carrier with a complete and accurate BOL, including shipper and consignee information, shipment details, and special instructions.
  • Tracking and Communication: Stay informed of the shipment’s progress by utilizing the carrier’s tracking system or maintaining open communication with their representatives.