When should I use a common carrier?

Typically when your item weighs more than 150 lbs truck transportation is more economical than using a parcel service. Common carriers transport your item on a truck with additional small shipments so that the costs for transportation are shared.  However, carriers often place restrictions on how much you can ship at one time and still have their LTL (Less Than Truck Load) rates apply.  For example, when shipments exceed 10,000# or 12’ of trailer space they may apply what amounts to a penalty rate which could double or triple the charges.  So, it is highly suggested to confirm rates for shipments of larger sizes.

Standard service is business to business in commercial zones.  The locations would include either standard dock, or the shipper or receiver would provide necessary equipment or labor for loading or unloading.  Any service beyond that is subject to additional charges.

Are transit times guaranteed?

Transit times are guaranteed only if noted as such on the carrier options list returned for your quote. All other transit times are reliable, but not guaranteed. Transit times do not include the day of pickup.

What happens if my shipment isn’t ready when the driver comes?

Most commonly, the driver will not wait. The driver will be dispatched for the following day, which delays your service. You will be assessed a fee if the carrier charges Best Freight Rate for the duplicated pickup.

Can I estimate the weight of my shipment?

If an inaccurate weight or class is used and a shipment is reweighed or re-classed by the carrier, those costs may be passed on to you, along with a charge for the inspection and corrected billing. Reweighing may also delay delivery.

What is the claims process?

Nobody likes claims.  However, things happen.  Knowing this, we have established a claims department to take much of the burden off you.

Typically claims for loss or damage are the responsibility of the carrier who actually transported the goods and are handled directly between the shipper, consignee and the carrier. Best Freight Rate is not involved in the actual claims process and has no influence in the carrier’s claim decision.  However, we would like to assist in any way possible.

These regulations are subject to change.  Currently claims with the carrier must be filed within 90 days of delivery; however, concealed damage must be reported to the carrier within 5 days.

Do I call the carrier after scheduling with Best Freight Rate?

Please do not call the freight carrier or terminal—this will duplicate the pickup. When you schedule through our system, we dispatch the load information to the carrier electronically.

If you do call the origin terminal to see if they can pick up the shipment to meet your schedule, please tell them that you will be utilizing our system to actually schedule so as not to duplicate.

What should I do with the bill of lading?

All parties involved should have a copy of the Bill of Lading (buyer, seller and carrier). It is imperative that the BOL be given to the truck driver when he makes the pickup. Keep one copy for your records.

How should I package shipments?

Improper packaging is one of the carrier’s first lines of defense in denying a claim for damage.  Therefore it is important that you provide proper packaging.  The NMFC includes packaging requirements that we can forward to you upon request.

We are not experts in packaging but suggest that you package, crate or stack on pallets securely to prevent damage. Secure cartons to the pallet with banding, shrink-wrap, stretch-wrap or breakaway adhesive. Improper packaging may void the carrier’s liability for damage. It is also suggested that you stack cartons squarely on the skid with no overhang.

Also, label every piece or package to minimize potential for loss.

Can I schedule a shipment and have it picked up on the same day?

Yes, but note that carriers normally make deliveries in the morning and pick up in the afternoon. They require a 2 hour window, but even then, this service cannot be guaranteed due to our carriers’ capacity. Therefore it is suggested to at least schedule the pickups earlier in the day to reserve a place in line, even if the shipment will not be ready until sometime later in the day.

What is an NMFC number?

This is a numeric indicator that specifically identifies each type of product that can be shipped by a LTL carrier. The National Motor Freight Association presets these product classifications. It is helpful to have the NMFC number on the Bill of Lading in order to avoid re-classification.

What if my items are fragile?

When shipping personal or fragile items, it is best to use Blanket Wrap services (also known as Van Line Services). Freight carriers can move personal items but they will only offer 10 cents per pound in insuring your freight. Van Lines specialize in moving personal items and will offer additional insurance to cover your item’s value. Common carriers are NOT recommended for shipping costly fragile items.

Do fees apply for residential service?

Generally, yes. Your location may be considered a residence if you are located in a residential zone, even if you open and close at set times. Schools, colleges, and churches located in residential zones may also incur residential fees. If the driver is required to go inside (beyond the front door or loading dock) to pickup or deliver a load instead of remaining on the dock or in his truck, additional fees may be applied.

Are your rates guaranteed?

We have accounts set up with regional and national carriers based on our ability to give them a large volume of shipments. To ensure that you receive the Best Freight Rate that we have quoted, you must provide the driver with a copy of our Bill of Lading, BOL. This lets the carrier know to bill the shipment to our account at special contract rates we have negotiated.

What happens if I receive a bill directly from the carrier?

Simply call our customer service department at 888.802.9990 and fax a copy of the bill you received to 714.491.8028. Our customer service staff will be happy to take care of it and have the charges properly credited. This situation usually occurs when our BOL is not used. To prevent future problems, please make sure that the shipper gives the driver a copy of the automated BOL for every shipment.

What is dimensional weight?

Dimensional weight is a standard formula used throughout the freight industry that considers a package’s density when determining charges. Transportation charges are based on the gross weight of the shipment or the dimensional weight of the shipment; whichever is greater. Simply put, dimensional weight is when the weight of a package is inappropriately less than the actual size of the package. For example, a box filled with inflated balloons.

When do dimensional weight charges apply?

When the actual weight of a package is less than the calculated dimensional weight, carriers charge by the dimensional weight.