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Freight Cost

Reduce freight cost and become a more efficient and successful shipper. Compare freight cost quotes from multiple carriers.

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With FreightCenter’s online freight quote tool, you can compare freight costs across all major carriers in our network. FreightCenter is where top carriers compete for your business.

Other Ways to Control Freight Cost

Use Efficient Packaging Materials

Consider different packaging methods, and make sure you’re using the right packaging method for your commodity. Don’t simply shrink wrap an item, blanket wrap it. When you box or crate your freight, pay just as much attention to the insulation as you do the outer layer. Avoid billing adjustments and higher freight costs by making sure your shipments don’t have any overhang.

The best method of packaging would be to use a wooden crate since it offers the most reliable protection. It’s always best to package your items for ground transportation. The standard LTL service does not include air-ride suspension trucks so expect your shipment to move and bend during shipping. If you have any questions about packaging, contact one of our expert freight agents.

Consolidate Shipments

Consider consolidating multiple shipments into a partial or full truckload shipment if they are headed in the same direction rather than breaking them up. Also remember that for carriers that base their freight rates on density and commodity type, packaging materials can drastically alter the cost of freight shipping. Never forget to include the additional weight of your packaging materials in your information.

Get the Help You Need

Our freight agents are knowledgeable and will be glad to help you with any questions you may have about moving your freight. Contact us online or call us at 800.716.7608.

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Common Questions

How Freight Cost Is Determined

Freight cost is the price incurred to ship your goods. Your freight cost is determined by a number of variables, such as how far your shipment needs to go, what its density or volume is, whether or not accessorials are needed, as well as fluctuating fuel costs and truck capacity.

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How Do I Reduce Freight Costs?

When it comes to getting a quote for shipping freight, a common thought is that costs will be set at a fixed rate. For most carriers, this is not true. In general, the higher your cargo’s density, the cheaper the rate. Mode of freight also matters -- road and rail tend to be cheapest. But air freight is the most expensive. If you have several shipments going in the same direction, consider consolidating them into a partial or full truckload shipment. There are many ways to reduce freight costs, no matter the load size. It can be as easy as becoming more flexible with how and when you ship your items.


Being flexible can help reduce freight costs in a big way. Most of the time, shippers will look to move their items as quickly as possible. But when looking to cut costs and improve your overall experience, many factors can help ensure a lower fare for all involved. Try to ship on off-peak days, like Monday or Friday. These days are more open to shippers due to the demand for quick shipping times. Freezer and food items are examples of items that are not available for off-peak shipping. A different route will need to be taken to save extra dollars when shipping these items. Another option is combining your freight with another shipment headed in a similar direction. By putting multiple loads together, carriers can cut down on their own costs, and in turn, this will lower yours as well. In addition, extra planning can also help lower freight costs.

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Negotiate your Freight Costs

Getting the best price is of the utmost importance for all shippers. No one wants to pay more if they don't have to, and that's what it's all about, reducing your freight costs. When discussing the freight costs of various carriers, compare and contrast the pros and cons. FreightCenter can help assist those wishing to ship items by offering the rates of various carriers across the United States and beyond. Carrier rates vary by the minute for a majority of carriers. This means it is important to take factors like time of day, load dimensions and the size of possible dead space aboard your carrier's truck in order to reduce your freight costs. And while shopping around is completely normal, also be sure to take into account the importance of building relationships. Existing bonds with past carriers can help create a repertoire as a trusted customer, leading to possible discounted rates when applicable.

Preparation and Planning

Prepare and package your shipment to be ready for delivery at all times. You can never be too early to pack and prep your items for your carrier. This also means it's important to be someone who can load and unload their shipment at a fast pace to ensure quick turnaround for all parties involved. No one wants to wait around, and if you are the reason for slow loading times, carriers will take notice, leading to possible sour relationships in the near future. You want to keep everyone you are working with happy. Just like your carrier wants to please you with the services they are offering. By planning ahead, carriers can map out their travel according to your freight, giving you a leg up on potential fees and reducing your overall freight cost.

Final Steps to Reducing Costs

In addition to planning ahead, think about who you're shipping with and what your shipment contains. If you ship a lot, but you have found yourself racking up uneeded costs due to multiple shipments, it may be time to consolidate these shipments. By doing so, this creates the opportunity to save by receving a fixed rate for six pallets at once, in comparison with a load of three. Of course, these shipments will take up more room, so it will be important to work with your carrier to ensure all parties are benefiting from the shipping process. When everyone is on the same page, costs stay low and everyone is happy. Another way to save includes eating up a carrier's "empty miles." These empty miles create costs for them. So by adding freight to their run, you will be creating opportunites to save on your freight shipment while reducing wasted time and money for your carrier.

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How Much Does Freight Shipping Cost?

The cost of freight shipping is affected by several factors, including weight, dimensions, density, stowability, packaging, fragility, destination specifications, mode of transportation, time sensitivity and freight class.

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What Is the Cheapest Way to Ship Freight?

Several factors can affect freight cost. In general, the higher the cargo’s density, the cheaper the rate. Mode of freight also matters -- road and rail tend to be cheapest while air is most expensive. In addition, not all freight brokers have access to the best rates.

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How Do I Calculate Freight Costs?

To calculate freight costs, you need to know the following: type of packaging (pallets, crates, containers, etc.), type of goods (for classification), shipment size and weight, delivery zip code and whether there are any special handling requirements.

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