You just spent a lot of money on a machine and now you have to pay to ship it. Or, maybe you just need to move equipment to a different job site.
Shipping equipment can be costly compared to other heavy equipment services. You want a shipping cost that is within your budget.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways of keeping your costs down without resorting to low-cost (sub-par service) haulers.
One of the first steps you need to take to decrease shipping costs is to know the factors that affect your shipping costs. Then you need to understand which of these factors are in your control and how they influence price.
The following factors are generally not in your control:
- Weight. The weight of the load will determine the size of the trailer and how many axles are on it. Heavier loads require more axles and larger floats, which then require larger trucks to haul them.
- Dimensions. The length, width and height of the machine will dictate the type of trailer, which will have an effect on rates.
- Distance. Mileage adds up. After delivering the load, the driver has to return back to their starting point and the shipper pays the hauler for those empty miles.
- Location. Different jurisdictions across the country have different regulations regarding axle and trailer types, which can push up price. The regulations mean haulers need to purchase trucks with the regulated axle configurations, which can cost more, and this increase gets passed onto the shipper. Also, the number of companies eligible to haul your load to or through locations with unique axle regulations will decrease the number of can lead to higher rates.
- Oversized. Oversized loads can require permits and an escort vehicle, which greatly increases the cost to ship heavy equipment.
- Regulations. Besides axle and oversized regulations, some jurisdictions have other restriction, such as no heavy hauling at night. This can negatively impact your schedule or the route selection.
Unfortunately, there aren’t an equal number of factors that have an effect on price that are within your control.
Knowledge. Get informed. If you know what services and equipment you need, as well as what is impacting your cost, you can make decisions to mitigate the impact of those factors, while only paying for services you need. Professional truck drivers will serve as trusted advisors, but you have to know what kinds of questions to ask them. And, you should always have a second source of information to vet any advice. Also, dishonest haulers will take advantage of you. Being informed helps you avoid dishonest and sub-par haulers.
Schedule. If you need to ship something right away or on a certain day, it can cost you more money, since the pool of haulers that can accommodate those dates will be decreased. Also, a flexible shipping timeline allows haulers to coordinate the delivery of your load with the delivery of another load in a way that costs them less (such as on the return trip of another delivery) and a part of that savings will be passed onto the shipper.
Also, hauling doesn’t have a busy season, like other industries, such as construction or agriculture, but there can be times (such as after a large auction) when the demand for heavy haulers is high. Once the market approaches total hauling capacity, the competition for services drives up prices. Being flexible with dates makes it easier to negotiate a better price.
Quotes. The price you pay will largely depend on which companies you approach for quotes and how many companies you approach. Getting more quotes increases your chances of getting lower quotes.
With this information, you can determine your shipping cost estimate.
Getting quotes within your budget
The best way for shippers of heavy equipment to get a lot of quotes on their load is to post the load on a trustworthy load board.
Trusted Dispatch is the best load board in Canada for Heavy Equipment buyers that need to ship within Canada or the US. The company’s online system allows shippers to quickly and easily post their load, get quotes and contact haulers.
With Trusted Dispatch, getting a quote is easy. Simply go to the platform’s Get a Quote page and enter the load’s pickup and drop off locations, use the company’s machine specification tool (Spec tool) to autofill all the important load data (dimensions and weight) so you don’t have to look up that information yourself. Once you submit your load information, you will receive a quote immediately. If you’re happy with the quote, you can post the load and a message goes out to the haulers on the platform that informs them a new load is available.
When a driver agrees to haul your load at the calculated rate, you can review that driver’s profile along with their star rating and either accept or decline the driver.
The drivers listed with Trusted Dispatch are professional truck drivers that meet Trusted Dispatch’s standards for customer service, industry knowledge, quality equipment, and safe operation.
Shipping multiple items is easy as well. For multiple loads, just input the dimensions for the single item going on one load, then post duplicate loads when prompted.
When shipping multiple small items on a single load, input the total dimensions of all the items stacked in the desired orientation. You can still use the Spec tool to find the dimensions of each item, however you will need to calculate the total weight and dimensions and enter them.
Data drives down the cost of shipping heavy equipment
Plus, the company’s software gives shippers access to statistics and trends with current and historical information to drive better decisions with data.
With the information provided by the software, heavy equipment shippers can publish reports, to share insights with your team, replace inefficient and erroneous human reporting with automated, real-time insights and get alerts via text or email for potential immediate action.
This information will allow you to identify gaps in your shipping processes, drive down costs, increase speed and scalability and decrease costly mistakes caused by human error.