Your Freight Shipping Questions Answered
Browse this page by subject heading to find answers to our most frequently asked questions.
Freight Shipping Costs
How do I determine my shipping cost?
The quote process is simple and fast at FreightCenter and is available 24/7. To determine your shipping cost, all you need is the shipment’s origin, destination, weight, dimensions and contact information. Your free, instant freight quote results will list real-time freight rates from the trusted carriers in our network which meet your shipping requirements. Select the quote you prefer and click the CHOOSE button to save your quote. That way, your freight agent will be able to access the quote and review it with you before you book your shipment. If you prefer to get your quote by phone, call us at 800.716.7608.
How to save on shipping costs
What is a freight class and how does it affect my shipping cost?
According to the National Motor Freight Transportation Association, Inc., there are 18 freight classes, ranging numerically from 50 to 500, that classify a commodity based on an evaluation of 4 characteristics: density, stowability, handling and liability. Freight class is an important factor in determining the total cost charged by the carrier for shipping your item(s). If you aren’t sure of the freight class of the commodity you are shipping, use our Freight Class Lookup Tool, which covers many popularly shipped items. Our instant freight quote tool allows you to get quotes from multiple carriers without knowing the exact freight class of your shipment by calculating the freight class for you, based on density. Just plug in the numbers and the tool does all the work. Once you run a freight quote, your agent will verify that the freight class entered is correct. To get help determining a freight class, call us at 800.716.7608.
Do quotes expire?
Yes. Quotes are based on freight class, dimensions and weight, but pricing is also subject to fuel price fluctuation. Due to fluctuating fuel costs, a rate or quote is only considered valid for 24 hours. In order to lock in the discounted rate, the details of your shipment need to be 100% accurate and the shipment needs to be booked within 24 hours of receiving your quoted rate.
How do I add another item to my quote?
Click the +Add Another Item button on the quick quote form to include an item of a different packaging type, weight, dimensions or freight class. Ex: If you’re shipping 1 pallet and 2 boxed or crated items, add the pallet shipment details first and click Add Another Item to enter the details for the other packaged items.
Are there additional fees for residential delivery or pickup?
Yes. There are residential delivery fees that apply to shipping freight to a primarily non-commercial location, including apartments, residences, farms, estates, remote locations, and possibly even schools and churches. Please note that home-based businesses in residential zip codes are billed as residential due to special arrangements that need to be made by the carrier. The cost to ship also can change when delivering to a limited access location (i.e., construction sites, military bases, camps and storage facilities). Be sure to ask your FreightCenter representative if you are unsure if your location would fall into one of the above categories.
Can I estimate the weight of my shipment?
No. It is critical to the integrity of your quote that you determine the accurate weight of the freight items you are shipping. If you book your shipment at a weight that is incorrect, the freight carrier will discover the error when they weigh the freight (which they can do at any time). If an inaccurate weight is used in booking, a billing adjustment will be made at the carrier’s non-discounted rate and added to your account. Incorrect weight is the cause of more than half of all billing adjustments FreightCenter customers receive. Don’t guess. Get the weight right.
Are your rates final and certain?
Due to the high volume we ship through our network of carriers, we are able to secure deeply discounted shipping rates. Your shipping quote is based on the information you provide to FreightCenter at the time of booking. Any changes or differences in the weight, class, size, or location can result in additional shipping costs direct from the carrier. To ensure that your shipping rates stay in line as originally quoted, be sure to use the FreightCenter BOL provided. This lets the carrier know to bill FreightCenter.com at the pre-negotiated freight rates and discounts.
Booking Your Shipment
How far in advance should I schedule a pickup?
Depending on the time of booking in your time zone, we can try to arrange for same-day pickup. Always speak to a FreightCenter freight agent directly for special arrangements and urgent bookings. Please allow a 4-hour window of time for freight pickup, and note that most shipping companies make pickups in the afternoon and spend their mornings with freight deliveries.
Do I need to be present at pickup?
Someone who is authorized to sign over the shipment and FreightCenter BOL must be present at the time of pickup. If the driver arrives at the pickup location and either the freight is not ready or there is no one available to sign the BOL, he/she will not normally wait. The pickup must then be re-dispatched, which some freight companies charge an attempted pickup fee for to cover extra time and miles.
Is my shipment automatically insured?
It’s important to understand the difference between freight insurance and carrier liability. The industry-standard liability cargo insurance coverage offered by all LTL carriers booked through FreightCenter is $0.10 cents per pound. That doesn’t cover the value of most shipments, so FreightCenter offers its customers the ability to purchase supplementary freight insurance accessed directly during the freight quote and booking process.
Who will transport my shipment?
We are a freight broker that utilizes the trucks of the largest, most reputable carriers. We ship thousands of loads through our extensive carrier network. To see a list of the carriers available and the shipping costs to move your freight, get a quote now. At FreightCenter, we present carrier options. You choose the carrier.
Are transit times guaranteed?
Freight transit times are not guaranteed unless specifically noted on the freight quote option you select when booking you shipping rates. All other delivery times are estimates only that cannot be guaranteed, though they are normally reliable. Freight shipping transit times begin the day after your freight has been picked up.
What is a Bill of Lading (BOL)?
A bill of lading is standard, mandatory paperwork providing the carrier and driver with all pertinent information related to the shipping costs and information. This paperwork allows for proper billing to be processed by the shipping company and FreightCenter. All parties involved should have a copy of the BOL (shipper, receiver and carrier). It is very important that the FreightCenter BOL be given to the carrier at the time of pickup. Also, keep one copy for your records. Not using our paperwork could result in more hassle and extra shipping costs from freight carriers. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FREIGHTCENTER BOL
How should I package my freight?
A securely, properly packed shipment is your greatest protection against potentially damaging road and warehouse conditions. Please make sure that all items being shipped are properly and securely packaged to prevent damage. All freight should be packaged, crated, or stacked and secured onto pallets with banding, stretch-wrap or breakaway adhesive. Improper packaging may decrease or nullify the carrier’s liability for damage claims or loss. Labels should be placed on every freight piece in multiple places.
FreightCenter offers tips to help you with palletizing, crating, proper skidding and wrapping.
Packaging and Crating Freight Shipments
Does FreightCenter sell or provide packaging material?
No. FreightCenter does not sell or provide packaging material, nor does your driver carry with him items used to properly package your freight. Before the arrival of your driver, your package should be secured to a pallet and protected from damage.
Where can I purchase packaging materials?
Packaging materials can be found at any home improvement store or parcel shipping store.
How do I ship unpackaged furniture?
A: The safest mode of shipment is to use white glove or blanket wrap service. At an additional cost, this shipping option includes secure packaging by a professional and safe delivery by truck. Ask your FreightCenter agent about white glove or blanket wrap services.
MORE ON PACKING FURNITURE
Can I ship my motorcycle uncrated?
Yes. Our motorcycle shipping specialists have custom pallets that allow for the safe transportation and safe loading and unloading.
How do I track my shipment?
A: Enter your PRO number or Shipment ID number to track the location of your shipment after pickup has been made. If you are having difficulty tracking your shipment on our website, contact customer service using the chat feature in the lower-right-hand corner of the page or call 800.716.7608.
What is a PRO Number and how do I get one?
A PRO number is used by carriers to organize and track the progress of each shipment. Your dedicated freight agent should be able to give you the PRO number for your shipment. If you encounter problems tracking your shipment on our website, contact customer service using the chat feature in the lower-right-hand corner of the page or 800.716.7608.
What is proof of delivery?
Your driver will bring with him a Proof of Delivery Receipt (also known as a Delivery Receipt or DR). This is a document signed at the time of delivery by the consignee, notating freight received in good form as well as the time of delivery and the name of the receiver.
How do I check my shipping status?
The best way to check your shipping status may depend on the carrier you selected. In some cases, your driver or your FreightCenter agent will notify you before pickup or delivery.
Why did I receive a billing adjustment?
A billing adjustment represents a portion of unpaid freight shipping costs as reported by the carrier. Most billing adjustments are the result of the incorrect weight being communicated by the shipper. Incorrect freight class and the need to add accessorial charges for residential or limited access locations account for a significant percentage of billing adjustments.
How can I avoid receiving a billing adjustment?
When obtaining a freight quote, the type of commodity, weight, dimensions, pick-up and delivery location, and distance all influence the cost to ship. The best way to avoid a change in shipping rates is to ensure that all information given to FreightCenter at the time of booking is 100% complete and accurate. When scheduling your freight shipping, make sure you are as honest and accurate as you can be about the contents, size, and weight of your freight. Where can I view my bill?
To get to view your bill, click the LOGIN or MY ACCOUNT button in the top right hand corner of any screen. If you are not already logged in, you will be prompted to login with your email address.
What are my payment options?
FreightCenter accepts all major credit cards for freight shipments booked online or over the phone with a Freight Agent. Arrangements for other payment options, such as domestic wires, international wires, or business checks, are accepted on a case-by-case basis. READ MORE
General Shipping Questions
I’m in business and my needs are more specialized. Why should I use FreightCenter?
FreightCenter is a 3rd-Party Logistics provider that manages less-than-truckload (LTL) freight shipping, truckload (TL) freight shipping, international shipping, trade show shipments as well as specialty shipping. Our top shippers are business customers, many of which rely on us multiple times each month to handle their shipping needs and reduce their supply chain costs. We integrate our proprietary technology solutions with service delivered by your dedicated account managers to provide an unsurpassed level of service at the lowest available price. No matter your shipping problem, we will find a cost-effective solution for you.
What are estimated transit times?
Transit times are dependent on location, destination, service options, mode of transportation, weather and carrier chosen at the time of booking. FreightCenter makes every effort to offer the most cost-effective mode of transportation. Transit times are provided by carriers and are estimated, not guaranteed.
Can I ship to a trade show?
Yes, our carriers are experts in shipping in time for trade shows, exhibitions and/or expos. Shipment can be to a warehouse or directly to the show, depending upon the date and number of transit days. Trade show shipments can be picked up from and/or delivered to the show site outside regular business hours only when the show dates demand alternative scheduling.
What is LTL shipping?
LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) shipping handles freight shipments ranging from 100 lbs to 20,000 lbs. When the item you need shipped or transported is too large to take to the post office or your local parcel company, freight is seen as a more economical approach. Freight shipping is the easiest way to move large and bulky items quickly and efficiently while keeping shipping costs low.
How are claims handled?
If your freight arrives damaged, it is important to accept the shipment in order to document the claim correctly. A claim must be filed within 48 hours of delivery, and can be done directly online on our site. FreightCenter will act as liaison and assist the customer in processing the claim and filing all necessary paperwork, though we cannot guarantee all claims will be accepted from the shipping company.
What happens if I receive a bill directly from the carrier?
This usually occurs when FreightCenter’s BOL is not used at the time of pickup, which results in a double booking in two systems and a change in shipping rates. Our freight brokers will promptly take care of the paperwork and have the charges properly credited for your freight shipment when notified. Simply contact our customer service department at 1-800-716-7608. They will instruct you on the best way to send us the bill you’ve received from the carrier.
Have questions we haven’t answered here? Call FreightCenter at 800.716.7608.