Freight Shipping Trucking FAQ categories

Freight Rate Central

Freight Rate Central can help you access the precision scheduling and low prices you need on your shipments, and our automated quotes are dependable and easy to use. If you read our FAQ categories, then you should have the background information you need to fill out the quotation form for a straightforward shipment. However, Freight Rate Central works with specialized carriers as well standard dry van carriers. If you do have any additional questions, then just give us a call at 1-800-870-6294. We’re always happy to help.

Freight Rate Central offers a wide range of freight shipping trucking services and can provide free and automated online quotations for all of them. We work with thousands of fleets and carriers nationwide, so we can deliver bulk discounts to big businesses, small businesses and even private households. You can access pretty much every service that’s part of the nationwide commercial shipping network through Freight Rate Central.

FAQ categories – General Freight Questions

If you’re new to Freight Rate Central, and especially if you haven’t worked with a trucking logistics company in the past, then you may have some questions about the services we offer. You are always welcome to contact us and ask, but we’ve provided answers to some of the most common questions here on our website so that you can find the answers you need quickly and conveniently.

Three things set us apart from our competition:

  1. We have a true, fully automated online quoting system that provides instant, reliable results when given full and accurate information.
  2. Our rates are the lowest in the industry.
  3. We provide a huge variety of shipping options, including:

  • Full Truckload
  • LTL (Less Than Truckload)
  • Dry van shipping
  • Flatbed and flatbed stretch trailers
  • Step Deck Trailers
  • Removable Gooseneck Trailers (RGN)
  • Stretch RGN trailers
  • Lowboy trailers
  • Power Only (PO)
  • Extendable Double Drop Trailers
  • Refrigerated Trucking
  • Conestoga
  • Heavy Haul
  • Sidekit Trailers
  • Over-dimensional freight trailers

We also provide 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year shipment tracking, even for shipments that occupy less than a truckload.

If you have freight that requires shipping or trucking, then you have many different options:

  1. You can ship through a parcel service like UPS, FedEx or the US Mail.
  2. You can use professional movers, known in the industry as “van lines.”
  3. You can use common carriers, with Freight Rate Central handling the logistics. We can arrange for either a full truckload (FTL) or less than a truckload (FTL).

How do you choose your shipping method? Generally speaking, you should be using a freight shipping service rather than a parcel service if you’re shipping more than 100 pounds. For more than 8,000 pounds, you will probably need a partial (half) or full truck.

The standard service for common carriers requires that you arrange for the loading and unloading; the driver does not have the ability to do so unless specified before the shipment is scheduled.

Taking into account the size and weight of the freight you need to ship and whether or not you need loading and unloading as part of the package, get estimates for shipment by van line and by common carrier. Here at Freight Rate Central, we can give you free, fully automated quotations on our website.

If you have a favorite local carrier that you usually use, but need to make a remote shipment, then ask them for a quote on the service and compare it to what we can offer you here at Freight Rate Central. You will almost certainly find that Freight Rate Central can get the job done at a lower cost. In general, local carriers are fine for local shipments, but a logistics service like Freight Rate Central can give you a better deal on long distance and interstate shipping. Try our instant, automated quotation service today.

You can certainly call the trucking company directly to find out what they’re willing to offer you, but you will almost certainly pay less if you use Freight Rate Central. If you deal directly with the shipping company, you’ll probably pay full price. If you use Freight Rate Central, you’ll benefit from our bulk discounts and from our freight management services, too. In fact, we offer as much as 75% off standard shipping rates. Can you get a discount if you talk to the trucking company directly? You might, but only if you can offer them enough work to make it worth their while, and even then, you probably won’t be able to beat our rates.
Yes, we are happy to arrange for most types of shipments, with the exception of shipments that are less than 100 pounds and personal shipments of fragile, valuable items. For example, we can arrange for international shipment, shipment of hazardous materials, shipment of non-stackable items and trade show shipping. Please visit our Trucking Types page for more details. Also, please note that we can arrange transport by a variety of methods — not just by truck. If you can’t find an answer on our website, then please feel free to call or e-mail us with your questions.
No, Freight Rate Central does not own any trucks. We’re a shipping logistics company. Our job is to negotiate low, bulk shipping rates for our customers and coordinate loads, scheduling and carriers. We manage your shipments, but we aren’t the ones who move them. We work with some of the top carriers in North America, and we can get your shipment where it needs to go at the lowest cost in the industry. We have trusted carriers like Schneider, J.B.Hunt, YRC, Landstar, North American, UPS Freight, FedEx Freight and many more on our team.

You do not need to confirm with the carrier, and calling them directly after booking with us could result in a double-booking. At Freight Rate Central, it is our job to coordinate logistics, and you can depend on us to manage the carrier(s). Feel free to confirm with us by phone.

When you arrange your shipment with Freight Rate Central, you will be provided with a Bill of Lading. A Bill of Lading, or BOL, is issued by Freight Rate Central and legally transfers ownership of the goods from the sender to the receiver. They are also used for proof of shipment and payment. Without a BOL on board, the shipment may not be completed or the receiver might be charged for the shipment on a COD — cash on delivery — basis. This could potentially have a very negative effect on your customer relationships, so be sure that the BOL is in order. Give a copy to the carrier and keep one for your files.

If you’re having Freight Rate Central act as your logistics coordinator, then you will not want to use your company BOL. Doing so will void the rate that we quoted and result in a full-price invoice from the carrier. If there’s a reason why you don’t want our name on the BOL, then we can prepare one that does not include our company information. However, the other information on the form will still be needed in order for you to claim your discounted shipping rate.
The short answer is “yes.” The slightly longer answer is that either you or somebody else who can sign off on the shipment and the Freight Rate Central BOL must be there when the truck arrives in order to handle the paperwork. Failing to have an authorized person present will almost certainly result in a delayed shipment and additional fees.
Yes, we may be able to arrange a same-day shipment for you. However, it isn’t guaranteed, as there may not be any carriers in your area who can take the job on such short notice. There may also be timing issues, and you should be prepared for delays. If you need a same-day shipment, then get in touch as soon as you can and we’ll see if we can help.

There are only a few things that you need to do after scheduling a shipment; Freight Rate Central takes care of the rest.

  1. Make three copies of the BOL (Bill of Lading). One is for your files, one is for the driver and the other is for the recipient.
  2. Make sure that the items you’re transporting are properly packaged.
  3. Make sure your shipment is ready to go on time.
  4. Make sure that you or someone else who’s authorized to sign off on the shipment is present when the truck arrives.
  5. Make sure that the trucker signs your BOL and attaches the pro label.

FAQ categories – Full Truckload and Less Than Truckload

Not sure whether you should be looking for a Less Than Truckload (LTL) or Full Truckload (FTL) service? Are you wondering what “partial truckload” means in logistics? Looking for packaging guidelines? Find your answers here or give us a call or an e-mail.

LTL is “Less Than Truckload,” so the fundamental difference is fairly obvious. However, not every truck has the same capacity and not every load is clearly appropriate for one shipping method based on weight and size alone. Obviously, if you’ve got 200 pounds of freight to transport, you’ve got an LTL shipment and if you have 10,000 pounds of freight, that’s a full truckload, but what if you’re not sure? If it’s not clear what type of service is best, then price out both options and consider whether or not there would be benefits to a dedicated truckload. Some Full Truckload services will combine two shipments into one large truckload. This is usually referred to as “partial truckload” rather than LTL, and it tends to be less expensive.
If you’re not sure whether or not to commission a full truck for your shipment, we’d urge you to use our free, instant quote generator to compare your costs for LTL (less than truckload) vs. FTL (full truck load) shipping. In general, you’ll find that it’s more cost effective to hire a full truck for shipments taking up more than 20-25? of space, over around 20,000 pounds, and for very bulky or oddly shaped shipments.
If you arrange for LTL, or less than truckload shipping, we will connect you with a service that picks up and delivers shipments from multiple points. They collect freight from within one city or local area, and then transport it to a distant city or region. For example, they might pick up pallets of boxes from five locations in Chicagoland and deliver the items to eight different places in the Bay Area a few days later.
It would make a certain amount of sense if that were the case, and people are sometimes confused about the definition of “common carrier.” In reality, common carriers transport both full truckload shipments and less than truckload shipments. The term “common carrier” simply means that the trucking company transports goods along regular routes at regular times and can be hired by anyone. In contrast, privately owned trucks only transport freight for the company they belong to.
Our rule of thumb is that if you need to ship over 150 pounds, you will almost certainly find it more cost effective to arrange for LTL (less than truckload) service through Freight Rate Central. We will find you a low rate on a common carrier, and it will cost you less than you’d pay for parcel delivery. If your shipment is between 100 and 150 pounds, then we recommend that you price out both options before deciding.
With a full truckload service, your freight will usually be all that’s shipped in the truck, and it will go directly from your pickup point to your drop off point. In some cases, an FTL carrier will carry two shipments in the same truck; they’ll each be a partial truckload. While the cost of multiple pickup and drop off points has an impact on the rates for less than truckload (LTL) services, partial truckloads are usually billed at the same rate at full truckloads. FTL carriers sometimes find it more cost effective to use the same large truck for two loads.

Many of our customers ask us about the difference between a lowboy trailer and a fixed gooseneck (FGN) trailer. A FGN trailer has low profile tires and is equipped with a drop-ramp at the back to facilitate loading. It also offers an extended deck length and is lighter than a standard lowboy. The gooseneck in question is at the front of the trailer and attaches it to the cab. A fixed gooseneck trailer cannot be loaded from the front, but a Removable Gooseneck Trailer (RGN) can.

Here are several other variations on the Gooseneck trailer:

  • MGN – Mechanical Gooseneck Trailer
  • MRGN or RGN – Mechanically Removable Gooseneck Trailer
  • HRGN or RGN – Hydraulically Removable Gooseneck Trailer
  • MFGN – Mechanical Folding Gooseneck Trailer

The FGN is the longest and lightest, and the MGN is second in that regard. The HRGN is heavier and shorter, but the gooseneck is relatively easy to detach. The MRGN sacrifices convenience in detaching the gooseneck for a lower weight. In the MFGN, the gooseneck can be transformed into a loading ramp.

We do not recommend that private individuals use our service to arrange for shipment of un-packaged fragile items as our freight carriers require proper packaging of all LTL freight. Instead, you should use a van line with a blanket wrap service or a professional mover. The standard insurance for common carriers in the trucking industry for used goods only provides ten cents per pound reimbursement in the event of loss or damage. If you are a business shipping fragile items such as glass or electronics, then of course you’ll be in a position to secure any additional insurance that you may need.

When you use Freight Rate Central for your shipping logistics, you are expected to follow standard business practices in regard to packaging and packing. That usually means that your shipment will be in boxes that are individually labelled, then bound together onto pallets with straps, breakaway adhesive and/or plastic wrap. The boxes should be arranged on the pallet with a flat top and no overhang. Larger and heavier items may be shipped in crates. If you have questions about proper packaging, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact us by phone or e-mail.

FAQ categories – Freight Class and Trucking Questions

The Freight Rate Central offers a fully automated, instant, online automatic quoting system. However, in order to produce a dependable and binding quotation, you need to make sure that the form is filled out correctly. Here are some of the quote-related issues that we’re asked about most often. If you’re ready to try our instant online freight quoting system, then just choose one of our three instant online freight quoting forms: TruckloadLess Than Truckload or International. If you’re not sure which one you need, then take a quick look at our FAQ for Types of Freight Shipments. If you’re not sure about how our service works, then read up on Logistics Basics. Of course, you’re always welcome to give us a call at 1-800-870-6294 if you haven’t found what you need and want to ask us directly.

NMFC stands for “National Motor Freight Classification.” It’s a freight class determined by the NMFC that is based on the density of your freight; how many pounds your goods weigh per cubic foot. You’ll see a pull-down menu for all the Freight Classes available on the form you have to fill out to get one of our fully automated online quotes.

It’s important to get the NMFC number right, because you could end up paying significantly more than expected for shipping if you get it wrong. If you know how much your goods weigh per unit volume, then you won’t have any trouble determining the NMFC. Just follow the table below. If you’re not sure, then give us a call or e-mail, or check with the National Motor Freight Traffic Association. They’re the ones who set the standards.

Calculate the density using the following method in order to determine freight class:

  1. Measure the length, width, and height of the shipment in inches. If the freight is on a pallet, boxed, or is crated, make sure to measure the outer dimensions for the length, width, and height of the pallet, box, or crate. On shipments with varying box, pallet, or crate sizes, repeat this step for each piece you are shipping.
  2. Once you have the dimensions you will then multiply the Length, Width, & Height measurements you obtained (L x W x H). This will give you your total cubic inches. Repeat for every pallet, box, or crate being shipped.
  3. You will then take the total cubic inches of each item and divide by 1,728 (the # of cubic inches in a cubic foot). This will give you the cubic feet of each package that you are shipping.
  4. You then take the weight of the freight including packaging (in pounds), and divide by the total cubic feet of the pallet, boxed, or crated shipment. This will give you the pounds per cubic foot (ppcft)… hence the density of your freight!

Example: if you are shipping a pallet of goods weighing 1000 pounds with dimensions of 48″L x 48″W x 40″H:

  1. Multiply 48″ x 48″ x 40″ = 92,160 cubic inches
  2. Divide 92,160 by 1,728 = 53.33 cubic feet
  3. Divide 1000 pounds by 53.33 cubic feet = 18.75 pounds per cubic feet (PPCFT), or the shipment density.

Freight ClassDensity
Class 50over 50 pounds per square foot (pcf)
Class 5535 to 50 pcf
Class 6030 to 35 pcf
Class 6522.5 to 30 pcf
Class 7015 to 22.5 pcf
Class 77.513.5 to 15 pcf
Class 8512 to 13.5 pcf
Class 92.510.5 to 12 pcf
Class 1009 to 10.5 pcf
Class 1108 to 9 pcf
Class 1257 to 8 pcf
Class 1506 to 7 pcf
Class 1755 to 6 pcf
Class 2004 to 5 pcf
Class 2503 to 4 pcf
Class 3002 to 3 pcf
Class 4001 to 2 pcf
Class 500Less than 1 pcf


We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. You can use either a credit or debit card to secure shipment.

The Freight Rate Central’s automatically generated online quotes are as good as the information that you provide when you fill out the form. If you make estimates or guesses and it turns out that they’re wrong, then the cost could change — in either direction. If you get everything right, then you are looking at a real, binding quotation. Freight Rate Central has arrangements with its affiliated carriers to provide shipping services at the rates quoted, so if you provide the carriers with the proper documentation and your shipment is as described, then they are very accurate.

Our transit times are generally reliable, but unless you’ve chosen the option for guaranteed transit times, then they are not guaranteed. Our carriers do everything they can to stay abreast of roadwork and inclement weather, but the roads are still not 100% predictable. That’s why a guarantee incurs an extra charge. Please note that the day your freight is picked up is not included in the estimated transit time.

If you receive an invoice directly from a carrier, then a mistake has been made, and it needs to be resolved. Call us right away at 1-800-870-6294 and e-mail or fax us the invoice. Although this situation can arise because of an administrative error, it is most commonly a result of a missing BOL, or Bill of Lading. It is your job to make sure that the freight carrier is provided with the proper BOL, issued to you by Freight Rate Central. If the carrier has not processed the Freight Rate Central-issued Bill of Lading for whatever reason, then we are happy to provide them with a copy.

Tracking your shipment is easy and can be done anytime, online. Simply go to the Freight Rate Central home page and enter in your BOL or reference number in the space provided, then press the “track” button. If you have any further questions, you are always welcome to give us a call at 1-800-870-6294.


Dimensional weight is a concept that is used by the trucking industry to take volume, as well as weight, into consideration when calculating shipping charges. It was adopted because shipments that consisted of very light packages, billed based on their weight alone, were leaving truckers in the red. It’s nothing more than a minimum density for purposes of cost. If you’re shipping reasonably heavy goods, then your dimensional weight will simply be the weight of your goods. If you’re shipping light packages, then the dimensional weight will be equal to a minimum weight per unit volume. For US domestic shipments, this minimum weight is 194 cubic inches per pound, which is equal to 8.9 pounds per cubic foot. For international shipments, it’s 166 cubic inches per pound. FedEx has a calculator as well.

You only need to provide the dimensions of your shipment if you’re shipping internationally. Domestic shipments are billed according to weight and freight classification number (FCN). Since the freight class is based on the density of the items being shipped, it is possible to estimate the volume of the shipment based on its FCN.

“Accessorial” is a derivative of “accessory,” so its meaning makes pretty good sense; it means “add-on.” Accessorial fees are extra charges for things that make your shipment more complex for the trucking company, things like pickups or drop-offs in residential neighborhoods, lift gate service, loading or unloading from a building interior and last-minute rescheduling of the pick-up time or date. In our quotation system, several of these fees are applied based on the options you choose at the top of the form. They vary by carrier. For example, some trucking companies charge for lift gate service and others don’t.

If you’re shipping to or from a location that will not have an available loading dock upon pick-up or delivery, then the answer is probably “yes.” Liftgates are mechanisms at the backs of trucks that can raise and lower the freight so that it can easily be picked up by a forklift or hand truck. Depending on the service provider, a lift gate may or may not incur a small extra fee, however, better safe than sorry! *commercial vs. residential is not usually the most important variable.

If you underestimate the weight of your shipment and receive a quote that is too low, then the carrier will re-class the freight and the cost will be adjusted to reflect the real weight. This is a common occurrence, and it is usually not a problem. However, it can be an issue if the weight of the cargo is close to the weight limit for the vehicle. Try to be as accurate as possible when determining the freight classification.

Yes, it is generally more expensive and problematic to ship to and from houses than it is to ship to and from commercial or retail buildings. To be considered a business, your pick-up or drop-off point must open and close at regular times. Be aware: in some cases, businesses, schools, churches and other organizations in residential areas are treated as residential pickups or destinations for purposes of shipping. The higher cost has to do with more complicated access issues and a greater degree of risk. However, that’s just one of many factors carriers consider in determining the cost for shipping freight.

You need to be ready when the truck arrives. Your pick-up point is probably not the only one on the driver’s schedule, so a late pickup can affect everyone. Some clients may even have a transit time guarantee. If you’re not ready on time, then your pickup will likely be delayed for at least a day, and you may also be subject to fees for Truck Order not Used (TONU) and/or for cancellation.

Your shipment will be insured by the carrier, not by Freight Rate Central. The Industry standard level of coverage for freight starts off at 10? a pound for used goods, and is significantly higher but does vary if you are shipping new goods. If you require additional insurance, you will need to arrange for it separately.

Lost and damaged items are generally handled through you, the carrier and the insurance company. This is another circumstance where the Bill of Lading is important. For a smooth recovery, make sure that the shipment is confirmed and inspected before the truck leaves and that any missing or damaged items are recorded on the Bill of Lading. Always file the claim as soon as possible; it must be filed within 90 days of delivery. If you need advice on how to file a claim, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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