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Small Business Shipping

Small Business Shipping

Running a small business takes time and focus. Let FreightCenter take care of your small business shipping so you can take care of your business.

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How to Make Small Business Shipping Easy & Affordable

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Managing freight shipping can be complex and confusing, but doubly so if you’re a small business owner-operator. Finding an affordable and trustworthy carrier, completing paperwork, and learning about freight shipping to manage it internally can all be time-consuming tasks. Running a small business is a headache; you have too many things on your to-do list. Why go through the hassle when you can outsource your small business shipping to FreightCenter? We’re a third-party logistics provider (3PL) with the singular goal of saving you time and money on your next freight shipment. Let us ease your worries by taking on the most taxing parts of freight shipping so you can focus on operating your business at total capacity.

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What our customers are saying

We provide competitive freight shipping prices and an all-inclusive, easy-to-use shipping experience for our customers. Exceeding our customers’ expectations results in thousands of satisfied customer reviews and repeat business. We believe in the power of our customer relationships. Check out FreightCenter reviews from real customers, and learn what they have to say about their freight shipping experience!

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Our Certifications

Awards and Endorsements

  • 2021, 2017 & 2016 Food Logistics’ Top Green Providers
  • 2021 & 2018 Supply & Demand Chain Executives’ Pros to Know: Matthew Brosious
  • 2020 & 2019 Top Food Logistics’ 3PL & Cold Storage Provider Award
  • 2020 & 2019 Business Observer’s Top 500 Companies on the Gulf Coast
  • 2020 & 2017 SmartWay® Transport Partner
  • 2020 & 2017 Food Logistics’ Champions: Rock Stars of the Supply Chain
  • 2020 Best of Palm Harbor Awards for Local Businesses
  • 2017 Green Supply Chain Award from Supply & Demand Chain Executive
  • 2017 Tampa Bay Business Journal Heroes at Work
  • 2016, 2015, & 2012 Food Logistics Top 100 Software and Technology Providers
  • 2013 Tampa Bay Business 100 by Tampa Bay Business Journal
  • 2013 Top 100 Great Supply Chain Partners by SupplyChainBrain
  • 2012 TIA Samaritan Award Honorable Mention
  • 2012, 2011 & 2010 TBBJ Fast 50 Recipient
  • 2013, 2011, & 2010 Diversity Business Top Businesses
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Why Choose FreightCenter For Small Business Shipping?

Logistics Expertise: We have 25 years of experience in the freight broker business. We are knowledgeable about the latest industry trends and are perfectly capable of guiding you through the intricate world of logistics.

Professional Carrier Network: Our network of professional, vetted carriers is available. You don’t need to research each carrier alone; we’ll discover the right carrier for your specific needs. We’ll also leverage our relationships to offer affordable, competitive rates that won’t break the bank.

Customizable Shipping Options: We offer various customizable shipping options and services, including expedited shipping, white glove services, blind shipping, specialized trailers like temperature-controlled and flatbeds, shipment tracking, and more. No matter what you’re shipping, we tailor your shipment to your small business’s objectives. 

Friendly Customer Support: Our knowledgeable agents and friendly customer support team will guide you through the booking process, from pre-booking inquiries to post-shipment concerns. Don’t worry about filing the paperwork or figuring out your bill; we’re there for you every step of the way.

FreightCenter by the numbers
25 Years In Business
1m+ Shipments Booked
93%+ On-Time Performance
99.1% Damage Free Shipments

How Does FreightCenter Address Small Business Concerns?

Last year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce surveyed small business owners about their biggest concerns. 54% of pollers stated that their top concern was inflation; common goods and services prices are increasing, and small businesses can’t keep up with the market. Other concerns from the poll and Walden University’s own survey on small business challenges include:

  • Rising Interest rates
  • Revenue
  • Supply chain disruptions
  • Difficulty balancing growth and quality
  • Lack of time

 

However, these challenges faced by small businesses are not the only concerns occupying the minds of small business owners. The day-to-day operations of a small business require managing multiple responsibilities. Small business owners often take on the roles of owner, accountant, secretary, negotiator, and HR manager all at once. This situation is further complicated by the current economy and the post-COVID job market, which makes it challenging to find and retain loyal employees, creating a recipe for potential chaos.

There’s only so much a business can handle alone. Freight shipping shouldn’t have to be one of them. A freight broker like FreightCenter can address a small business owner’s worries and simplify shipping your goods. Choosing us means choosing quality, affordable service that doesn’t overcomplicate freight shipping your products to your customers.

How to Ship Items as a Small Business with FreightCenter

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So, you’ve decided to ship your freight with FreightCenter. Awesome! Now that you’ve made up your mind, let’s look at what comes next and what every business owner needs to know about freight shipping with us.

1. Choose Your Shipping Service Type

Before booking your shipment, you must determine what kind of shipping you need. FreightCenter offers several types of shipping, but let’s focus on the two most popular ones: Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) and Full Truckload (FTL or TL) shipping. Each one has its pros and cons, but what you choose will ultimately depend on what kind of shipment you’re making. This blog post details the differences between LTL and FTL, so we’ll only touch on the basics.

Less-Than-Truckload (LTL)

LTL is when your shipment is one of the many inside a trailer. You’re sharing the trailer with other packages, heading towards a similar destination. Your shipment will make several stops along the way, including at terminals where it is consolidated and put into a new trailer. This is a good option for businesses that don’t need an entire trailer for their shipment and aren’t time-sensitive. LTL freight must weigh over 150 lbs and must not exceed 15,000 lbs.

Full Truckload (FTL or TL)

FTL is when your shipment is the only thing being transported by the driver. Your shipment goes to its destination without any other stops (except for fuel) and doesn’t deliver any other packages. This is a great option for businesses with heavy loads and/or have a shipment that needs to be on its own. Most FTL shipments weigh over 15,000 lbs, but smaller freight can use a whole trailer if needed.

(There are other kinds of shipping, including partial truckload, which is between LTL and FTL, along with other modes of transportation like air, ocean, and rail cargo shipping. Your FreightCenter agent will review your options and help you pick the right one for your business.)

Which one is the right shipping type for your small business? It depends on what you’re shipping. LTL is arguably the cheaper option. Customers shipping with LTL share part of a trailer with other shipments, so they only have to pay for a portion. However, LTL is also not good for fragile or extremely heavy shipments, as they’re tossed around in the trailer during transit. If not properly packaged, your shipment could risk getting damaged or destroyed. There are additional costs and fees you’ll need to consider, like if you need extra services or accessorials, such as a liftgate, which can increase the price.

FTL is technically the more expensive option, but it’s also the most personable option. Your shipment is the only thing being transported, so you won’t have to worry as much about damage occurring during transit. Your shipment is also not being handled by multiple people throughout the entire trip. LTL relies heavily on your shipment’s exact weight and may add to your bill later if your weight dimensions are off. But FTL doesn’t question your shipment’s weight beyond ensuring it complies with the 80,000 lb weight limit required by law. The only person concerned is the receiver when it arrives at its destination.

Ultimately, choose the one you believe is right for your shipment. If, for example, you’re a landscaping company shipping 20,000 lbs worth of fertilizers on pallets, then you’ll have to go with FTL. If you’re a sports manufacturing company shipping 400 lbs of baseballs in crates, you can go with either LTL or FTL, though LTL makes more sense if your freight is that small. Again, however, it depends on your freight. If there’s an issue with your chosen shipping type, your FreightCenter agent will notify you and present other shipping options.

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2. Quote and Book Your Shipment

Now that you know how you want your freight shipped, it’s time to book! There are two ways to book with FreightCenter: get a free quote on our website, and we’ll call you back to review the details, or call us directly at (800) 716-7608. There will be a few things you’ll need to know when you make a quote for the first time:

  • Your item’s dimensions and exact weight 
  • Your packaging type (pallet, crate, box, roll, bale, drum, or barrel)
  • Both the pickup and delivery location addresses and zip codes 
  • Any extra services at pickup and delivery
  • Optional: your freight class. This is how carriers know what type of freight they’re handling and how you’re billed a fair price. Classes are calculated based on density, handling, stowability, and liability. If you don’t know your freight class, that’s okay; we’ll figure it out for you. If you want to try figuring it out yourself, we offer a density calculator to estimate your freight class.

 

Once you fill out this information in our quote tool, you can see a list of carriers, estimated transit times, and initial rates. Compare the offers and pick the one that best suits your budget and needs. Remember, this is only the initial quote; any additional information you give during the booking process may alter the rate.

After choosing a carrier, you’ll complete the full booking form, including the pickup and delivery names and addresses, schedule delivery dates, add your payment method, and all the necessary paperwork. You can also manage your entire shipment inventory from the platform, including any past shipment history.

Once you’re finished, then we’ll take care of the rest. We’ll call you to review the shipment details, make necessary adjustments, and complete any extra paperwork. You’ll receive several important documents, including your Bill of Lading (BOL), essentially your receipt, where the carrier details your item’s type, quantity, and delivery location. After that, you’re all set!

Finely-Tailored Freight Solutions for Small Business Shipping

To create value for our small businesses by delivering customized shipping solutions that meet their unique needs and to fulfill shipping demands from simple to complex with expertise, guidance and ingenuity.

LTL Freight

Trust the experts at FreightCenter to give you the best prices and the most comprehensive options for all your LTL freight shipping needs.

Full Truckload

We deliver optimized solutions for full or partial truckloads and competitive dry van, flatbed, and refrigerated freight pricing. We can cover your full truckload shipping needs.

Expedited Services

Nationwide Expedited Trucking services move your freight securely and rapidly. Your freight requires fast delivery; our freight shipping experts can get your shipment fast, whether in one large box or a full truckload.

Specialized Freight Shipping

The most reliable Specialized Freight Services rates from all the top carriers are just a few steps away. From white glove service to international shipping, we've got you covered.

Density Calculator

Want to try figuring out your shipment's freight class yourself? Use our freight density calculator to determine your freight density, which will also give you your recommended freight class.

Shipping Insurance

Protect your freight from damages or loss while on the move using a third-party freight insurance company FreightCenter has partnered with.

Freight Packaging

Is your shipment ready for delivery? Properly package your freight to protect it during transport using pallets, crates, boxes, and more.

Track Your FreightCenter Shipment

Enter your FreightCenter shipment ID, your shipment's tracking number, or PRO number into our freight tracking software for live, detailed updates on your shipment.

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Small Business Shipping Guaranteed competitive pricing every time you ship.

Frequently Asked Questions about Small Business Shipping

Blind Shipping

Q. Which shipping service is best for my small business?

A.

There’s no right answer to this question because every business’s shipment differs. If your shipment is on a smaller scale (over 150 lbs minimum), doesn’t need an entire trailer’s worth of space, and is durable enough to handle being shipped with other packages, then LTL is right for you. If your shipment is larger, weighs over 15,000 lbs, or needs special treatment due to its fragility or high quality, then FTL is right for you. There are other shipping types besides those two, like partial truckload or expedited shipping. Discuss your options with a FreightCenter agent to determine which shipping service is right for you.

Q. What’s the cheapest way to ship for a small business?

A.

LTL shipping is the cheapest if we’re talking purely about price. You’re using only a portion of the trailer alongside other shipments, so everyone pays a portion of the total price. However, the price doesn’t include extra fees for services or adjustments for freight weight. But FTL can be cheaper than LTL, depending on what you’re shipping. You only need to pay the upfront cost of the trailer; you probably won’t need additional services or accessorials if you’re using FTL. Once again, it’s all about what you are shipping.  Talk to your FreightCenter agent to discuss what’s cheapest for your shipment.

Q. Should I consider using shipping insurance for my small business shipments?

A.

Shipping insurance is recommended, especially for high-value or fragile items. It provides financial protection in case of damage, loss, or theft during transit. While it does add an additional fee, it can save your business from significant financial losses in case of unexpected events.

Q. Do small businesses get shipping discounts?

A.

Small businesses can get shipping discounts through professional organizations and industry groups. Many carriers offer reduced rates for members, so charge your shipping costs to a credit card to take advantage. This way, you can benefit from the negotiated discount rates shipping companies have for their cardholders.

3 Advantages of Small Business Shipping With FreightCenter

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25+ Years of Service

We have over 25 years of experience, as evidenced by our large network of professional carriers. Our knowledgeable team of shipping experts are ready to help you optimize your small business for the intricate world of logistics.

Best Shipping Methods for Your Freight

Customizable Shipping Options

Need a liftgate? No problem! Need to ship your products quickly? We got you covered! Our FreightCenter agents can offer you tailored solutions for your specific shipping needs, no matter what kind of small business you are.

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Friendly Customer Support

Our customer support team have the answers to many of your shipping questions and concerns. We’re here to help you through every step of the shipping process, from initial inquiries to post-shipment issues.