13 May 2015
Obtaining a quote before shipping can be a great way to save money on a potentially costly load. Quotes are often used for shipments with certain special characteristics, such as time critical moves, low-density products and high-volume loads, to name a few. Sometimes shippers also request quotes on regular LTL shipments under the assumption that freight charges will be lower than what their contracted rates allow.
However, this is often not the case. The carrier may be working under the assumption that the shipper is requesting a quote because they do not have applicable pricing, and therefore may apply higher charges. Many shippers’ contracts contain provisions for rating density minimum charge, cubic capacity and expedited shipments. The rates prescribed in these items may or may not take precedence over quoted rates, depending on what the pricing and the quote instructions state.
Conversely, a shipper may be quoted a better rate than what their contract allows. Consult the carrier’s rules tariff for information regarding quotes. Here you should be able to find what information needs to be indicated on the bill of lading to ensure that the quoted rates are applied correctly. Often carriers require that the quote number be indicated on the bill of lading, and sometimes the quote amount,
The bottom line is: sometimes it is advantageous to obtain a quote and sometimes it is not, but you are not necessarily bound to the rate which was quoted to you. This is why a freight audit by AMTR is highly valuable. We are experts in contract verbiage and precedence of rates so you can always be sure that you are not overpaying.