Whether you're a business that needs to transport goods to customers across the country or a manufacturer that needs to quickly move your product to distributors, cargo transportation helps you get your items to their necessary locations. Before you hire a cargo transportation service, you need to make sure they're capable of serving your transportation needs. Here are a few questions that you should ask to check that the company is a good fit for your business.
1. How long are your transit times?
You need to know how long the transportation service takes to see if it will be compatible with your business's needs. Some companies will provide you with a designated arrival time; for example, they might state that the cargo will arrive within a specified five day period. Other companies might give you a broader range for the arrival of your cargo (ie. the cargo will arrive within the next 21 days).
If your cargo is time-sensitive, you need to make sure that the cargo transportation service will be able to move your loads within your preferred schedule. Otherwise, you risk upsetting your vendors, distributors, or customers with late shipments.
2. What factors influence your shipping rate?
There are numerous factors that influence a cargo transportation service's shipping rate; you need to have an understanding of these factors so that you have can more control over your shipping costs. It's common for shipping rates to vary based on the amount of mileage the cargo needs to be transported and the chosen method of transportation.
Typically, there's an additional charge if the cargo is heavy or abnormally shaped. Usually, you'll pay more if you ship your cargo via rail or a temperature-controlled environment than if you opt for a large trailer.
Some companies might offer a discount if you ship your cargo on a specific date. You may the option to reduce your shipping costs by loading and unloading your own cargo.
3. Can you transport goods to Canada or Mexico?
If you know that you'll need to ship goods across either border, you want to work with a cargo transportation provider that offers these services. Or, if you anticipate expanding your operations, you might want to know what options you'll have to help you expand your business.
Make sure to get quotes for transporting your cargo into Canada or Mexico so you can make sure the rates fit your budget. You should also inquire if discounts are provided if you decide to ship large loads.