what is a freight spot quote

A freight spot quote is a one-time price that a shipper pays to move a load (or shipment) at current market pricing. Spot rates are typically higher than contract rates because they are for immediate or short-term transportation needs.

Spot rates are determined by a number of factors, including:

  • The availability of carriers
  • The demand for freight
  • The origin and destination of the shipment
  • The type of freight being shipped
  • The size and weight of the shipment

Spot quotes are typically obtained through a freight broker, who will negotiate with carriers on behalf of the shipper.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using spot quotes:


  • Flexibility: Spot quotes can be obtained quickly and easily, which is ideal for shippers with urgent or unexpected transportation needs.
  • Competitive pricing: Spot rates can be lower than contract rates, especially when the market is in favor of shippers.


  • Uncertainty: Spot rates can fluctuate significantly, which can make it difficult for shippers to budget for their transportation costs.
  • Limited control: Shippers have less control over the carrier they are assigned when using spot quotes.

Overall, spot quotes can be a valuable tool for shippers who need to move freight quickly and on a budget. However, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks of using spot quotes before making a decision.