One of the most confusing things about shipping freight is understanding freight prices. You may think that you are paying a particular rate, only to find out that you shipped in the wrong freight class, forgot to mark your shipment as a residential delivery and didn’t include a lift gate. Read over the following factors to consider when creating an LTL shipment in order to understand how LTL pricing works and prevent any surprises for you or your customer.

Freight Class– Each shipment is rated different depending on the freight class which it ships. Freight classes are based on density and commodity. There are 18 classes that your shipment can fall under, ranging from class 50 (the least expensive) to class 500 (the most expensive). It is important to chose a class based on the commodity you are shipping and it’s respective NMFC #. If you do not know your freight class, you can typically ship based on the density of your particular shipment. ShipHawk has a great tool built into the rating process which provides an estimated freight class. Be careful that you select the correct freight class as your shipment can be subject to expensive re-class fees if not correctly noted on the BOL.

Accessorials- Each carrier has several accessorials available for purchase. Each carrier’s accessorials differ in price per tariff. Common accessorials are: Remote Delivery, Residential Delivery, Liftgate Pickup or Delivery, Inside Pickup or Delivery, Appointment Delivery. It is extremely important to select the proper accessorials up front. Also make sure to take into account the type of address your freight is shipping to as well as what the consignee will be expecting upon delivery.

Carrier Type- Depending on the type of carrier you plan on using, you may see different rates. Carriers like RoadRunner, Clear Lane and Frontline often move freight intermodal, meaning that freight is shipped OTR and by rail. This often results in longer transit times but can provide cost savings for the bill to. For shipments in need of expedited shipping you will also see drastic price differences. For extremely urgent shipments many utilize Air Freight, this is an extremely expensive method of transit.

By taking into account this information, you can easily and accurately find freight prices. For further help, you can also use ShipHawk, a shipping software platform that automates this process by with a step by step pricing and quoting pricing for clear and transparent rates.