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How Much Does Freight Shipping Cost?

March 17, 2021 by FreightCenter
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How Much Does Freight Shipping Cost? As a small or medium-sized business owner or manager, controlling your company’s freight spending and managing expenses are some of your top priorities. You want to deliver your customers the best product and experience at the best price. That includes getting affordable shipping rates when it’s time to ship. We will show you what you need to know about shipping costs to make better decisions regarding your shipping options. By following FreightCenter, you’ll walk away with a practical understanding of shipping costs that’s informative and easy to use in your business’s operation.

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What Factors Affect Freight Shipping Costs?

Several factors may affect your freight shipping cost. These factors include:

  • Weight
  • Dimensions
  • Density
  • Stowability
  • Packaging
  • Fragility
  • Destination specifications
  • Mode of transportation
  • Time sensitivity
  • Freight class

Weight, Dimensions, and Density

Which costs more to ship: 100 pounds of bricks or 100 pounds of feathers? If you guessed 100 pounds of feathers, then you are correct. When shipping freight, important cost factors are an item’s density, or weight, versus dimensions. In other words, 100 pounds of feathers takes up more space in a truck than 100 pounds of bricks, even though they weigh the same. Therefore, shipping the feathers would be more expensive.

Similarly, an item broken down into smaller pieces makes it easier to transport and can be less expensive to ship than when fully assembled. For example, let’s say you are shipping a dresser. The freight class for a made (aka stand up, or SU) is 125, and the freight class for an unassembled dresser (aka knocked down, or KD) is 85.

When completely disassembled or knocked down flat, i.e., Ikea furniture, a dresser has a lower freight class than if it is assembled. Shipping a dresser from Florida to Texas costs $148.97, disassembled, but $161.86 was made. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a freight specialist to determine the most cost-effective way to ship your item. Another option is to use our freight shipping calculator.

Stowability, Fragility, Packaging, and Destination Specifications

The shape, breakability, and packaging can all play a role in determining freight shipping costs. For instance, think about shipping a kayak along the same lines as our feathers versus bricks example from above. This item could weigh anywhere from 35 to 60 pounds and range from under seven to over nine feet. Compare this with an item that weighs the exact amount and is packed in a crate or box placed on a pallet. Which do you think will be more expensive?

LTL shipping loads are frequently unloaded and reloaded, making more significant, more awkward items more challenging to ship. Additionally, larger kayaks are more likely to incur overlength freight charges. Therefore, the price to ship a kayak will likely be higher than the shipment of a crated or boxed and palletized item boxed item of the same weight.

On the other hand, fragile and complex items also require special handling. These items might include:

  • Electronic devices or robotics.
  • Industrial equipment (commercial refrigeration, restaurant equipment, etc.)
  • Furniture.

You may have to select various types of freight shipping add-ons or accessorials, which impact freight shipping costs. For example, requesting a call before delivery, ordering inside delivery, or delivering to a limited access location can increase costs. Limited access locations can include:

  • Storage units.
  • Churches.
  • All types of schools.
  • Commercial establishments not open to the public.
  • Construction sites.
  • Farms.
  • Fairs or carnivals.
  • Military Bases
  • Temples
  • Prisons
How Much Does Freight Shipping Cost?

Mode of Transportation and Delivery Time

There are several different modes of shipping freight, including truck, train, ship, or airplane. The method of transportation often depends on the type of shipment and delivery time. For example, air shipping is more expensive but ideal when you need to accommodate a deadline. On the other hand, LTL shipping or train shipping tends to be less costly but not ideal for tight deadlines.

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Freight Class

An item’s freight class will impact the freight shipping cost as well. The National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) standard determines an item’s freight class. This classification system compares commodities and groups them into one of 18 classes, ranging from a class of 50 on the low end and up to 500 on the high end. This freight classification is then used in quoting to provide a more accurate estimate.

Essentially, freight classes describe an item’s transportability, considering its density, stowability, ease of handling, and liability. Liability in shipping refers to the value of the item and the chances of attempted theft mid-shipment. Generally, the higher the freight class, the more expensive the thing is to ship.

Do you need to determine an item’s freight class? Use our freight density calculator tool to get an item’s freight class based on the dimensions and weight of your packaged freight.

Ready to Get a Freight Shipping Quote?

While we are all about educating our customers on the ins and outs of shipping, remember that you always have a team of freight shipping experts ready to help and answer any questions.

FreightCenter’s team of freight specialists makes it easy to find the best way to ship your item. If you’re ready to ship, you have options. Get an online quote or work with one of our shipping experts at 8007167608.

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