You first need to be aware of the factors that affect freight shipping cost. A careful look into these factors will help you understand the industry and help you avoid situations where you are overcharged or you pay too little. In addition, when it comes to freight shipping, small miscalculations normally lead to a lot of discrepancies. These factors dictate how much your freight forwarder fees might be:

1. Weight of What Is Being Shipped

This is the most important factor that determines your freight shipping cost. The more a shipment weighs, the less you pay per hundred pounds. However, sometimes a comparison is also done between the actual weight and the volumetric weight. Some freight forwarders choose to go with the higher of the two.

2. Density

How do freight forwarders charge you based on density? Density has to do with the intrinsic properties of your shipment; mass and volume as opposed to the weight which only deals with the effects of gravity pull on your shipment. While 100 pounds of pencils and mattresses weigh the same, the mattresses will definitely occupy more space, hence the effect of density on your freight forwarder cost.

3. Fragility, Liability and Packaging

At some point during freight shipping, your shipment could be unloaded. This could happen mid-way in case something happens or the mode of transportation is changing or at the end where your shipment is being taken into storage. This poses the risk of damage to your shipment. What does a freight forwarder do? A freight forwarder first gets liability insurance then raises the price in order to cater for any special considerations to secure your shipment.

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A lot of efficiency is required while packaging also. This is because a shipping container needs to carry as much as possible and therefore the arrangement of shipment needs to be precise. For example, if your shipment cannot be taken apart into smaller pieces, you will have to package it in its entirety. This takes your shipment to a higher class and therefore a higher charge.

4. Mode of Transport and Distance

Depending on the ease of the mode of transport that you choose, your freight charges may either be normal, a bit below average or above average. Modes of freight shipment include:

•           Intermodal

•           Partial truckload

•           Full truckload

As logic also follows, the more the distance your shipment covers, the more you will pay.

5.      Any Documentation Fees

How much does a freight forwarder cost? Whichever freight forwarding company you use should have a breakdown of all the documents, including liability insurance, that you need and how much each should cost. All you need to do is get the breakdown of this to make sure you are paying the correct amount.

6.      Time Urgency

How much does freight shipping cost when time is concerned? The urgency with which you need your shipment delivered will determine what mode of transport you choose. Consequently, the sooner you need your shipment, the more the freight forwarder cost you should be willing to pay.

7.      Freight Class

The freight class of your shipment is usually determined by the standards set by the National Motor Freight Classification. How do freight forwarders charge you based on this standard? There exist 18 classes and you will see the category of your shipment on your invoice or receipt. The higher the class, the more expensive an item is to ship. The classes take into consideration shipments’ density, stow-ability, ease of handling and liability.

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8.      Container Costs

Depending on the nature of your shipment, your shipment can be placed in either of two containers. What does a freight forwarder do when it comes to this? He charges you based on how much where your shipment is placed.

How much does a freight forwarder cost? With so many sizes of eCommerce businesses and online stores out there, there is no one charge that fits all. It would be prudent to do a proper research beforehand. For easier work, you can make use of online freight calculators that allow you to calculate an approximate cost by simply putting the details of your shipment or request for a direct quote from any freight forwarding company.