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Truckload Shipping Rates: What You Need to Know

April 26, 2022 by FreightCenter
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Truckload shipping rates and less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping rates will vary. While LTL shipping can accommodate a lot of shippers’ needs, it might not match your shipping needs. If your freight is large or oversized, exceeds 5,000 to 10,000 pounds (depending on commodity), requires the full trailer space, needs climate control, refrigeration or special equipment, such as flatbeds, you may need full truckload shipping. Truckload shipping is best for small to medium-sized businesses that are moving large shipments, requiring little handling and speedy transit. But, truckload shipping is different in how rates are determined. Understanding the key elements to truckload shipping rates will help you optimize your shipping strategy. Here’s what you need to know about truckload shipping rates.

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Truckload Shipping Rates

Unlike LTL shipping rates, truckload shipping rates aren’t determined by freight class. However, there are a few things to know to help you source the best truckload shipping rate for your freight. What goes into figuring out truckload shipping rates? What do you need to know before you talk to your third-party logistics provider (3PL) about shipping? Here are some key factors that affect your truckload freight rate:

  • Distance. Shipping rates change (sometimes dramatically) depending on the distance between the zip codes from the sender to the receiver. The farther your shipment is traveling, the higher your rate will go. However, calculating distance ahead of time helps you get a more accurate quote and can help you plan for the cost.
  • Shipping and handling. When you choose truckload shipping, you are also choosing less handling since your freight is the only one in the trailer. That means less loading and unloading, which reduces the chances of damage in transit and helps decrease potential costs for you.
  • Delivery. Is your shipment time sensitive? Does it need to arrive at its destination quickly? These are important questions to answer ahead of time because the more time sensitive your shipment is or the sooner your freight must be delivered, the higher your rate will be.
  • Capacity: If you’re shipping during certain peak truckload shipping seasons, then your truckload shipping rate is likely going to be higher than if you are shipping during a quieter shipping time of year. The holidays, produce season and public health needs, such as vaccine distribution, can cause capacity issues, which can drive up shipping costs.
  • Transportation and equipment type. With truckload shipping, you get options for types of transportation equipment. Because there are a few transportation options to choose from, you can bet that each option has a different cost. Here are some common truckload shipping transportation and equipment options to consider when deciding what your freight shipment requires:
    • Dry van: Using a dry van carrier is best when transporting normal packaged freight that doesn’t have any specific instructions, special requirements or need temperature control. This enclosed trailer protects your freight from the elements. It’s like your basic car for truckload.
    • Flatbed: When shipping larger manufacturing and construction equipment, choosing a flatbed carrier will often provide the best solution with its flat, open bed trailer. You would choose this transport method overlength and oversized shipments. Due to the types of cargo being shipped via the flatbed method, truckload rates for flatbed shipping may be higher because handling each shipment requires special attention and extra machinery may also be needed for loading and unloading.
    • Refrigerated: When you need to ship refrigerated, frozen or temperature-sensitive items, you will need a refrigerated container (or reefer container). Since this is a special type of equipment, refrigerated truckload freight rates are often higher than regular dry van shipments. This is because of the extra fuel needed to control the temperature during transit.
    • Step deck: When your load needs to be closer to the ground to accommodate forklift loading and unloading, step decks or drop deck trailers are the best equipment for the job.
    • Removable gooseneck: Removable goose neck or RGN refer to trailers with very low decks that can be used for hauling freight that can be driven onto a trailer (cars, construction vehicles, etc.).

TL Shipping Made Easy with FreightCenter

Ready to start shipping your truckload freight? For over 20 years we’ve helped businesses of all sizes with truckload shipping. FreightCenter’s large network of carriers means helps us source the equipment you need for your freight. Our team of expert truckload shipping agents are ready to get your cargo moving safely and securely, so give us a call at 800.716.7608.

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