Freight Shipping Services

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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If you are a manufacturer with a product that must get to customers safely and on a timely basis, it's important for you to understand the basics of freight shipping services and to have access to quality carriers. There are two ways to achieve this. The first is to find a directory of service providers and to start making contact with as many as you can to find one or two that meet your needs. The second is to use the services of a freight broker/logistics professional organization.

Getting the Best Deal

If you have to contend with the options of air freight, rail freight, international freight, water freight, or if you simply need to move less than load (LTL) shipments on a regular basis, finding the right carrier can be a time-consuming and expensive task. How can you be certain that you are getting the best rates? How can you be sure the carrier has a solid record of safe and on-time deliveries? What kind of insurance does the carrier have, and how quickly will they address problems such as damaged freight?

Using an intermediary can make all the difference to your business. A freight broker is licensed to act on behalf of shippers and carriers and, in most cases, can operate in all 48 contiguous states. A broker negotiates rates and contract provisions, certifies the carrier's record, and makes sure the carrier has enough insurance coverage. In some cases, the broker can even negotiate the establishment of a dedicated lane between two or more destinations. Even on-site broker staff for larger shippers is an option.

Custom Shipping Needs

When a load needs more than standard shipping of any type, there can be more stringent requirements for the transportation. Large loads on highways, for example, require special trucks, signage, and even escorts. Freight shipping services can be very complex, and many shippers do not have the financial or personnel resources to insure that each shipment is appropriately handled. Brokers, sometimes called logistics professionals, not only take on all of these tasks, they do it more efficiently and in bulk so that shippers and carriers have a seamless relationship.


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