How to Get a Freight Rate Quote

When planning on international shipping, your freight rate quote will depend on several specific qualities relating to the exact product that you intend to ship.

The only way that you’ll get a fair quote is if you are fully aware of the following aspects of freight rate quote calculation.

The gross weight and spatial scale of your shipped goods

Depending on whether you’re shipping via aircraft of ocean freight, either the cumulative heft of your shipment or the number of standard containers will be major factors in determining how costly your rate.

Air shipment rates are calculated by a factor of your shipment’s chargeable weight and size, while ocean freight shipment rates will typically be determined through the quantity of standard containers (20′ by 40′) that will be required.

Less-than-container-load (LCL) rates on ocean freights are calculated by cubic meters, and less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments have a pricing algorithm that offers slight savings per every pound up to 20,000 lbs.

The fundamental nature of your product

The specific material constitution of your product and its intended use will need to be one of the first things you disclose in order to get a freight rate quote.

Depending on whether a product is intended for either consumer use or commercial use, certain shipment methods may or may not be sanctioned.

Shipping providers will oftentimes have different policies regarding the delivery of manufactured products and the delivery of raw material that composes said manufactured products.

A shipment of raw iron will not be treated identically to a shipment of products that happen to be made out of that iron.

The specific shipping itinerary

Before you even consider establishing a shipment, you need to have as concrete of an itinerary for your shipped goods as you possibly can.

Make a point of knowing exactly what piers your shipment will be departing from and arriving from, along with any truck shipping routes in the process.

Abrupt fluctuations in shipping rates

Even after accurately taking note of all of the important qualities of your shipment, you’ll still have to deal with the unpredictability of fluctuating shipping rates.

When it comes to shipping anything, the nature of the beast is that rates will never be completely predictable for very long. Shipping rates are constantly in flux due to the fact that market demand itself is constantly rising and falling for millions of products.

As one product rises in demand while another one falls, shipping companies that transport those goods will inevitably change their rates accordingly.

Shipping rate changes aren’t perfectly synchronized with market demand changes, so just be prepared to deal with this unpredictable factor as a necessary evil.


Simply getting a freight rate quote is easy enough on its own, but the real challenge is in organizing all of the above details to decide on a shipping method.

After getting a freight rate quote from any shipping service, consider how their quoted price and estimated delivery time might interact with the overall profitability of the product itself.

Leave a Reply