With an increase in the number of freight service providers, it has become even more essential for businesses to intensely study the facilities provided by each of them. This makes it obvious that there are certain things that you as a business manager should keep in mind while asking a freight quote so that you get an all-inclusive and precise freight quote.
7 Pre-requisites to keep in mind before requesting a freight quote:
- Shipment Dimensions: Dimensions of the cargo play a very significant role in the freight charges. Therefore, make sure you measure the shipment in advance before requesting a quote of the incurred freight charges. In case there is any change in the weight or the dimensions of the cargo, one may have to incur penalty fees as it would make it challenging to stow or handle the cargo. Also, the larger your cargo size is, the more vessel space you would need. Therefore, knowing the size of the cargo will help a business determine what container would be the best suitable. Another reason why you should measure the dimensions of the cargo is to ensure if the agency is using a certified freight scale or not.
- Consignment Ready Date: Ideally you should start requesting your freight charge quote about two weeks before the consignment is ready for shipment. This will give you adequate time to compare various quotes. This parameter is also important because the freight quote is not indefinite but is only available for a pre-specified amount of time.
- Information on Incoterms: International Commercial Terms or Incoterms rules are the rules specified by the International Chamber of commerce or ICC. These laws provide sufficient insights into the risks involved, the freight charges and other costs one may incur, and the tasks associated with transportation. This aids you to ensure that you consider agencies that can help you the best.
Apart from these, there are numerous other factors as well that you must consider while requesting a freight charge quote. You must first answer these questions before starting to ask the quotes:
- Do I need packing services?
Some cargo shipment agencies provide packing facilities while others may not. This makes it important for the suppliers to first decide if he needs these services or not. Not only will this learning help in cutting down the cost by mentioning it while requesting but also help in doing away with quotations from agencies not providing the facility in case he needs it.
- When do I need my cargo to reach the destination?
There might be instances when a supplier may want his cargo to reach the delivery point urgently. In this case, he cannot spend much time analyzing various quotes but would just need the one which could serve the purpose. The supplier needs to communicate this information to the agency in advance so that it can make the arrangements.
- Do I need help with customs clearance?
In case the supplier needs help with customs clearance, he must ensure that he is aware of whether the agency provides this facility. If a freight service provider does not provide this facility, he might have to find a broker for this purpose.
- What is the network of the service provider?
A logistics service provider needs to have a good and extensive network across the geographies. This helps in making the process streamlined and seamless. In case a business is shipping door to door, in that case having a freight service provider from the same location as that of the firm acts as a big advantage.
To sum it all, a business manager should acquaint himself with all his requirements from the freight shipment agencies and make sure that the agency is clear about his main goal which could be an urgent delivery, though at a high cost or a usual delivery but at a low cost. Different businesses have different requirements, therefore one must request quotes from agencies which it feels would serve their purpose the best.