Important Questions to Cover With a Potential Freight Transport Company

Posted on: 3 September 2015

Before hiring any freight transport company for your production or warehouse facility, you want to ensure they can do the job for which they're hired and deliver your goods safely and on time. While it may be their responsibility to work with your deadlines and requirements, it's also up to you to do your own due diligence in hiring a reputable company that has the trucks and transport you need. You also want to ensure there are no surprises in your bill later down the road. Note a few important questions to ask and go over with any potential freight transport company before you hire them.

1. Is there an extra charge for special handling?

Special handling of your freight can mean refrigerated or temperature controlled freight, hazardous goods, oversized pallets, and the like. If you're shipping anything other than standard boxes and standard-size pallets for your freight, you want to ask about any potential additional charges and not assume that all freight is the same or all transport is the same price.

2. Can cargo insurance be negotiated?

Cargo insurance is needed for your freight, but you might want to negotiate how much coverage is offered for your freight in particular, either to raise the rate or lower it and save on your own costs. If you're just shipping inexpensive office supplies or skincare products, you may not need tens of thousands of dollars in cargo insurance coverage, the cost of which is reflected in your own bill. On the other hand, if you're shipping prototypes or computer equipment that would be nearly impossible to replace, you may want more cargo insurance to cover your costs in case of theft or damage while in transit.

3. Are the drivers self-employed?

Some freight and transport companies hire self-employed drivers with their own rigs to handle their transport, and this can be problematic. While many self-employed drivers will have a good reputation for their reliability, this isn't always the case; a driver can get sick, delayed in an area, or have problems with their truck. Hiring drivers who drive trucks owned by the company might mean that the freight company has more backup drivers and trucks available in case a driver doesn't show up as expected, or if there is a mechanical problem with a truck. If possible, opt for a freight or transport company that hires their own drivers and maintains their own fleet of vehicles to ensure they will always have both readily available for your delivery needs.