What Costs are Included in Shipping?
There are several factors that determine the cost of shipping. Effective freight shipping requires specific details and information regarding the freight before anything can begin the journey from point A to point B. This leads to a common customer question: what is included in shipping costs? Here is a quick break down of some of the factors that determine the final shipping price.
Pallet Counts and Dimensions
In the past, freight rates were generally calculated by weight only. The actual dimensions of the packages started to matter because, all too often, small products were put into large packages that took up valuable space on trucks. While the product didn’t weigh very much, it still prevented other products from making it onto the truck. Large packages and higher pallet counts will have higher costs because they are taking up more room on the truck.
The weight of the inventory is important because all trucks have limits. If a load is too heavy, it can damage tires, axles, and even the engine. It also slows down the speed of the delivery. If the shipment ends up traveling through checkpoints or weigh stations, the cost can increase for heavier loads. If it goes over, another, larger truck may have to be used. Dispatchers should be able to help provide quality service and faster delivery times by determining the optimum weight for each truck.
Distance and Delivery Area
Fuel is one of the largest costs for shipping companies. The further the shipment must go, the more fuel it is going to require, which is why it is taken into consideration when determining the overall shipping costs. And, unfortunately, fuel prices continue to rise for everyone, which means shipping costs have to change to compensate for that fact.
The delivery area can also have an impact on shipping costs because there are many areas or towns or even cities that are not accessible by 53’ trailers or bobtails. These locations will need special equipment to complete the delivery. Other areas simply aren’t direct points for trucking companies, so, depending on the pick-up/delivery area, these companies will have to pull a driver from their normal route to pick up or deliver to this area. These types of special accommodations will likely come with higher costs.
The handling portion of “shipping and handling” has always been a large, unknown aspect of shipping services for many customers. Drivers go through an extensive training process to ensure they understand how to properly and safely handle, manage, and transport your freight. Dispatchers, are also part of this process and are trained to arrange the driver’s route, optimize cargo schedules, and track the fright with expensive, cutting-edge systems to keep the customers updated every step along the way so they never have to ask: “where’s my shipment?”
From the time a product comes into a shipping service’s care until it arrives at its final destination, it is the trucking company’s responsibility to take care of the merchandise. This means that there is a liability that requires insurance coverage in the case of lost, stolen, or broken items. There are also insurance costs for the driver and the truck itself. Insurance is a critical part of the safe delivery of your products, but it does add to the costs of shipping a product.
Accessorial costs can be accrued for a range of special services, too. Generally speaking, if the shipment is not business-to-business or dock-to-dock, chances are you’re going to need some type of special shipping service.
Just a few of the most common special services include:
- Liftgate services
- Delivery appointments
- Guaranteed deliveries
- Overweight and oversized pallets
- Temporary warehousing
- Residential deliveries
- Pallet exchanges
- Driver detention
- Fulfillment center deliveries/pick-ups
- Special equipment requirements
- Lumper services
- Guaranteed Same Day Delivery
Finding the Right Shipping Partner
While you can provide all of the necessary information to receive an accurate cost, you would also need to find the right shipping company that will transport your freight efficiently. Customers gain more value for their money when they work with a company that is committed to delivering the safest and most efficient way.
This means that professionalism in shipping is important for both the trucking company and the customer. When pick-ups or drop-offs are scheduled, both parties should communicate well so that both are there on time and ready to work. Any interruptions in this process can cost trucking companies a lot of time and money while companies doing the shipping or expecting the shipment are losing money by sitting around waiting.
There is a level of quality found in local trucking companies that can’t be matched by the national chains. Whether you are looking for a quality shipping service, local freight companies, or services like same-day pickup and delivery, next-day delivery, storage, transfers, or cross docking, we can help. Our professionals are experienced and ready to provide the solutions you need.
Every detail needs to be considered when finding the right shipping partner for your needs. If you need a quote or want to learn more about your options for shipping, contact us. We are always happy to help.
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