We will cover some important factors that you need to keep in mind while going through the Freight shipping on WooCommerce and Shopify. This way these factors will help you take better decisions when it comes to Freight shipping rates. But before that, we’ll take a look at freight shipping and how exactly is it different from the normal shipments, and the WooCommerce Shipping plugins&Shopify Shipping apps that offer this type of shipping.
Freight Shipping – An Overview
While shipping products across the globe, it is very common to commit mistakes. Sometimes you may miscalculate package weight or even the shipping carrier you have chosen may not be the best suited for the job. These small mistakes may cost a little while shipping common products. But this is not the case with Freight. While shipping normal products may or may not be a risky job, when it comes to freight shipping, things need to be perfect. With bigger shipments, even things like shipping carriers, shipping services, and even the mode of transportation can cause serious trouble. Freight shipping comprises transporting cargo, goods, and commodities in bulk by the means of air, land, or water transport. In other words, freight can be defined as the goods shipped by truck, train, ship, or plane. Freight shipping is mostly carried out using trucks, railroad cars, and large ships that can carry huge containers. Check out the WooCommerce shipping plugins that offer WooCommerce Freight shipping.
Also, check out the Shopify shipping apps that offer Shopify Freight shipping.
How is Freight shipping different from normal shipping?
Normally parcel shipping is associated with products that are smaller in size and quantity. In most cases, the shipments are allowed to contain products weighing up to 150 lbs. But this is not the case with freight. Freight shipping involves shipments that weigh more than 150 lbs. Apart from the weight differences, there are also other things that vary in freight shipping. These include,
Classification of Freight products
Freight shipments are considered to help avoid shipping rates confusion among consumers and carriers. It is a standardized method that has helped to generate a uniform pricing structure for freight shipping. There are about 18 different freight classes based on package weight, density, and value. The freight class number lies between 50 and 500. For more information, you can visit Freight identification and classification.
Modes of shipment
There are various modes of freight shipment. They include,
- Full Truckload (FTL) Supports shipment weight above 15000 lbs.
- Less than Truckload (LTL) Supports shipment weight ranging from 150-15000 lbs.
- Partial Truckload (PTL) Supports splitting the cost of a truck with other shippers, suitable for shipment weight above 5000 lbs.
- Intermodal Includes multiple modes of transportation for a single shipment.
- Expedited Freight Faster, but costlier freight shipping mode.
Factors Affecting Freight Shipping Rates
Below are some of the factors that affect shipping rates when it comes to freight shipping.
- Weight of the shipment
- Density of the shipment
- Distance between source and destination
- Freight Classification
- Shipping Mode
- Fuel Cost
- Tariff rates and Negotiated Rates
Now, we will discuss each factor in detail and to how each one of them affects the cost of freight shipment.
Weight of the Shipments
Be it standard shipping or freight shipping, the weight of the shipment is among the most important factors affecting the shipping rates. But in the case of the freight shipping, there seems to be a slight change in the way weight affects shipping rates. Freight rates tend to be cheaper when it comes to shipping price per 100 lbs. The reason behind this is the pre-defined freight groups. As the weight of the shipment increases, it tends to move to the next shipment group. Once in the next shipment group, the weight is considered in the lowest weight category in that particular group. Hence, the weight is matched with the corresponding shipping rates of that particular group. Moreover, there is one more reason the weight of the shipment is among the top factors that affect the shipping rates. Weight, along with density, helps to identify the freight class. Hence, becoming the deciding factor when it comes to shipping rates.
The density of the Shipments
Before we talk about how the density of the shipment affects the shipping rates, first let’s talk about how to calculate the density. Ideally, to calculate the density, you need to divide the total weight of the shipment by the per cubic feet (cu. ft.). However, in the case of pallets, use the dimensions of the pallet, the total height of the pallet with the carton, and the weight of the pallet to calculate the density. After calculating the density, you can determine the freight class for your packages. This will determine the shipping rates for your shipment. Moreover, the density of the shipment also allows the carriers to pinpoint the space that the shipment will occupy and most importantly, how easy it is to break. This way it will increase the shipping rates for you.
Distance between the source and destination
The distance between the source and the destination follows a very simple rule – More the distance more will be the cost of shipping. However, this is not that simple and the shipping rates may vary from place to place. This variation is due to the fact that shipping carriers may or may not cover the exact geographical location. In the above cases, one shipping carrier may contact another carrier to complete the shipment. This way the carriers will eliminate the issue of covering shipping addresses. However, the difference in the carrier, different sources and destinations per carrier, and various other factors can affect the shipping rates to a large extent. Incase of a single carrier, the source and destination’s distance from the nearest metro city is taken into consideration. Also, different locations may vary the capacity for shipping and may also increase the shipping rates.
As we discussed in the above sections, the freight class has a huge impact on the freight shipping rates. Freight classes comprise two extreme points – Low freight classes and high freight classes. Freight classes are defined on the basis of the weight of shipment, the density of the shipment, handling as well as liability of the shipment. So based on these factors, the freight class on the lower end will have lower shipping rates. It will include shipments with a higher density that won’t be prone to damage easily. As a result, the products will be easier to handle. On the other hand, the higher freight classes will have products with higher shipping rates. Reason being the lesser density, shipment being too delicate to handle and easily prone to damage. As a thumb-rule, the higher the freight class higher will be the shipping rates.
As we discussed various shipping modes, these too affect the shipping rates in the case of freight shipping. Shipping modes only affect the time aspect of the shipment. Once you have selected the freight class, the only thing that counts is how urgently you want your shipment to reach the destination. Based on the urgency, a shipping modes like Expedited Freight Shipping will result in faster but costly shipping. This is because of the additional charges that are added when you select a much faster shipping service.
It is obvious to say that the shipment cost also depends on the price of the fuel. However, it is not as simple as it seems. Shipping carriers have no way to compensate for the increase or even decrease in fuel charges. Hence, the only feasible option is to pass the difference in the fuel charges over to the consumers. Now, in case the fuel prices go up, the shipping rates will be higher. This is mainly done by introducing a fuel cost component among the shipping charges. The same thing happens if the fuel charges go down. The shipping carriers may choose to levy off the fuel cost or decrease the amount so that the shipping rates are cheaper but still they manage to make profits.
Tariff rates or Negotiated rates
Working with the shipping carriers is similar in the case of the parcel as well as freight shipping. The shipping cost depends on the type of shipping rates you get from the shipping carrier. Hence, based on whether you are going for the tariff rates or opting for the negotiated shipping rates, your shipping cost will vary. In such cases, the best possible option is to approach third party logistics (3PL). Shipping carriers generally offer 20-25 % discount as negotiated rates, if the company has been shipping multiple shipments to multiple locations. If not, then opting for the logistics will easily affect the shipping cost in a positive way. This way, they might provide you with the price negotiation that you directly won’t be able to get. So this was some insight into freight shipping and some of the most important factors affecting the freight shipping rates.
This article covers freight shipping rates. In the modern world, with E-commerce flourishing, anything and everything is available online. This has resulted in shipping being an important field. Especially when the items to be shipped are huge. Freight comprises shipments with weights above 150 lbs (68 kgs). Being heavy, there are some very important factors that make freight a bit different and difficult to ship than normal packages. This article covers some of the important factors that make up freight shipping costs. With the help of this article, you can easily get an idea of how costly or cheap your freight shipments would be.