Important Questions to Ask Any Potential Freight Company

by Ernest Perez

Before hiring a potential freight company, you want to ensure they are the right company for your particular needs no matter what you'll be shipping. This means a transport company that offers the delivery schedules you'll need and the types of trucks or shippers that work for you, as well as proper protection for your goods. Note a few important questions to ask any potential freight companies so you know you hire the right company for your shipping needs.

1. Ask if their cargo insurance can be adjusted

Cargo insurance protects your cargo while it's in the care of your freight company, and a shipping company will need to maintain a certain level of insurance to protect your goods. They usually consider their insurance costs for your goods when determining how much they charge you. However, you may need that coverage to change over time; you may have certain goods that are more valuable than your standard goods, such as a prototype or specially designed product, or your goods may decrease in value. This can happen if you wind up shipping fewer items or switch your production processes to something more affordable. Ask if a shipping company's cargo insurance can be adjusted for these scenarios so that you know your products will be protected but that you can also have an adjustment in your charges if you don't need as much insurance coverage.

2. Ask if there are additional fees for shipping to special locations

If you need to ship items to residential homes, offices versus warehouses or to waterfront docks, you may face special charges. Many freight companies are accustomed to simply backing their truck up to a warehouse facility, so they may charge additional fees for having to stop at offices or residential homes, or for any other type of special location. Be sure you ask about this so you know to expect any additional fees for these types of deliveries.

3. Ask about daily services

A freight company that can offer daily services will usually have more trucks available to their customers than any other, although you may need to also ask how far in advance you need to schedule your freight rather than assuming that daily services means same-day services. However, if a freight company does run their trucks and delivery service daily, this can typically signal a larger fleet that can offer last-minute deliveries. This might also ensure that your packages and shipments arrive on time even if the company should experience delays due to weather, a breakdown of one truck and the like, since daily services may mean that they have more trucks on the road every day than another delivery service.