ATS Transportation Blog

3 Advantages of Receiving Multiple Quotes for Your Freight Shipments

Spreadsheet of Freight Quotes on Computer

You value great service. That’s why you constantly strive to build a transportation network of dependable companies. It’s nice to know your bases are covered; that when the time comes, the arrangements you made for your freight will hold. 

This same desire sometimes leads people in your position — those in charge of managing their company’s supply chain logistics — to seek multiple quotes for their shipments. 

And more power to them. There is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion, or two. . . or three. 

In fact, as an industry-leading transportation company, we endorse this tactic at Anderson Trucking Service (ATS). Nearly seven decades of experience have taught us that you can never be too careful when shipping freight. 

So, if you’re in charge of securing transportation coverage for an upcoming shipment, you’ll probably want to get more than one quote (from more than one provider, in all likelihood). 

Getting multiple quotes for a freight shipment is usually a good idea because.  . .

  1. You get a baseline understanding of the going market rate
  2. Some providers may ask questions that others didn’t
  3. You have the opportunity to receive quotes for multiple modes/services

Freight transportation isn’t simple. This process is never cut and dry. Planning and executing a shipment, from start to finish, can be done in a lot of different ways. 

However, the most successful companies ensure the decisions they make are as educated as possible. Fielding multiple quotes is just one way to do so. 

1. You Get a Baseline Understanding of the Going Market Rate

Pricing freight is an intricate affair. There are tons of factors that, together, drive the cost of transportation services. Though there are third-party tools, created to gauge current market price ranges, they merely provide baseline figures and leave ample room for interpretation. 

That’s why it’s possible to receive vastly different rates from one carrier to the next. 

Variables like the load-to-truckA ratio in your pickup/drop locations, your appointment times, current weather patterns and your commodity’s size/dimensions — to name a few — influence your price. However, how heavily they influence the rates you receive will change (marginally) between providers

Market-Rates-Graph

Competent transportation providers, that are familiar with your lane and cargo, are experts at calculating freight rates. They do it all the time and, as you’ll find, the best companies will offer you, relatively, similar rates. These prices were calculated to execute your shipment and reflect the going market rate for transportation services. 

That said, not every transportation company is cut of reliable cloth. Instead, be it due to inexperience or otherwise, some providers will quote you a rate that is substantially lower, or higher, than the price of executing your load

Without getting more than one rate, however, shippers can’t avoid or identify the outliers. In the end, these companies run the risk of underpaying or overpaying to move their shipments — two equally damaging results. 

So, get multiple quotes for your shipment so that you can make sure the price you’re paying is enough to get the job done, no more and no less.

2. Some Providers May Ask Questions That Others Won’t

Every transportation company is different, offering these services in different ways. When you’re fielding quotes for your shipments, expect the conversations you have to change from one provider to the next

Salesperson Asking Questions

Having a variety of discussions about your shipment and its requirements can play to your benefit. With multiple parties questioning your shipment, you can ensure your bases are truly covered. 

And, should one provider ask some questions that others didn’t, opening your eyes to additional possibilities and/or downfalls, all the better. Getting more than one opinion is truly invaluable in the transportation industry where issues happen quickly and the more information that is shared between parties the better. 

Related: 8 Tips For Receiving The Most Accurate and Effective Spot Rates Possible

3. The Opportunity to Get Pricing for Multiple Services and Modes

No matter which industry you work in, or what cargoes you ship, we’re willing to bet there’s more than one way to do so. 

Take a load of 26 pallets, for example. This single shipment can be hauled in a wide variety of ways, depending on the company's timelines and loading/offloading capability. 

For one, these 26 pallets can be shipped in a dry van trailer, a classic solution for hauling palletized freight. With a little more timeline flexibility, two sets of 13 pallets could be moved within a straight truck or separated into partial loads. 

Alternatively, provided the shipper/consignee can load/unload these pallets from the side, a flatbed trailer with tarps could become an option. Perhaps a Conestoga or curtainside trailer? Maybe these pallets could be sent intermodal via rail and truck?

As you can see, there are plenty of options for moving any given load. That said, with so many potential services to offer — services that are each intricate — a single transportation company can’t specialize in all of them. Instead, carriers usually get good at a handful of services. 

This is where getting multiple quotes for your cargo gives you a leg up. By reaching out to more than one provider, presenting your freight to them and soliciting their expertise, you’re expanding your pool of viable transportation solutions. 

As a result, securing your truly best-fit solution will be far easier. In an industry as competitive as yours, you understand the value of optimizing your processes. Getting multiple quotes for your shipments opens your supply chain up to alternative solutions and helps you to optimize it that much further. 

RPM vs. Daily Rates: What’s The Difference?

Now that you understand how valuable fielding more than one quote for your shipment can be, we hope you consider doing so in the future. It’s always a good idea to make educated decisions when arranging your freight moves. 

That said, with so much to consider each time you ship freight, sometimes this is easier said than done. 

Another prime factor to keep in mind when selecting your freight rates is the difference between rate-per-mile and daily pricing. Though this isn’t something shippers typically think about, the kind of rate your receive will impact your bottom line. 

Check out this article comparing day rates and rate-per-mile freight pricing and take control of your budget going forward. 

Finally, if you’re interested in learning more about how ATS can help you move your freight on time and within budget, don’t hesitate to contact us here. We’re happy to help you in any way you need.  

Tags: Contract Rate Pricing, Spot Rate Pricing

Mike Zarns

Written by Mike Zarns

Mike started with ATS in 2011 and was onboarded as a carrier representative covering loads. A year later, he transitioned into sales, and in 2015 he moved into management. Mike has a passion for helping customers and employees by finding unique solutions to their problems.

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