Avoiding Extra Charges for Specialty Freight

When it comes to shipping, few products have seen more changes than beer, wine, tobacco and alcohol. Regulations are often changing, along with shipping rates...so how do winemakers and beer brewers keep up with the ever-changing market? These constant changes make the process of getting products into the hands of customers that much more complex.

Traditionally, wineries, breweries and distributors would start their research into shipping by getting quotes for Full Truckload (FTL) and Less Than truckload (LTL) shipments from carriers which can take several hours or days on hold, not to mention, and not guaranteeing great rates as a direct customer. Luckily, however, today’s savvy shippers can call on Logistics Specialists to ask the right questions and negotiate the best rates while requesting the right services and minimize future surprises in costs and delays:

  1. What is the product classification? Each product has a different classification. Wine has a different classification than tires or furniture, and that classification needs to be known in advance of getting a quote. For example, wine is typically considered a class 100 product - which in the density rating is neither high, nor low, but can dramatically affect the price. 
  2. What is the weight & size of your shipment? This is a no-brainer, but liquid is heavy, so you might have more weight than space on a truck. Dry vans max weight is 45,000 lbs but usually they like to keep the weight around 43,000 lbs. Often, you are paying for the full van even though you only have 18 pallets due to the weight restrictions.
  3. What kind of operation is on the receiving end? Is the shipment being sent to a residence? A business? Will the delivery need to be taken inside a building or an office - this is called Inside Delivery and is an extra charge as only some carriers or drivers are willing to perform this service? While large bulk beer & wine move are typically dock-to-dock transfers, it is important to note when they are not, as these kinds of moves often result in additional charges.
  4. What kind of shipping “environment” is needed for your product - is this a Reefer load or does it need Protection from Freezing? Most trucks are not temperature controlled. For the most part, these “dry van” trucks are fine for shipping products that are not temperature sensitive, but wine and beer are definitely temp sensitive since beer is ruined if frozen and wine will spoil if too hot. Wine, can be shipped during the cooler months, or for short distances; however, shipping wine or temperature sensitive products long distances, especially during the summer months, is a gamble. Temperature controlled shipping might be the way to go - at a price. 
  5. Is driver assistance needed at either point?  LTL carriers charge for inside services.  FTL drivers charge extra for any driver assistance like strapping, tarping or using a pallet jack.  These extra services can be negotiated upfront, but if this service is added on without prior knowledge, there will be an extra charge.
  6. How fast does the shipment have to happen? Carriers like FedEx Freight, YRC, Daylight, and others offer different pricing based on the service requested. The various services often differ in terms of speed. For example: 

  • priority service has a faster delivery time, but will be more costly than an economy service with a slower delivery time. 
  • FedEx freight offers a Money Back Guarantee with their Priority Service offering. 
  • Is there a dock at the pick up and delivery locations? If not, this will add a LIFTGATE service, which means a special truck is needed and could also delay the shipment. 
  • Need a delivery appointment? The need for an appointment can add a minimum of 1 day to the delivery. 
  • Is the delivery or pick up a Limited Access Location? 

How to secure a reliable quote and ultimately pay exactly what was quoted ~

When it does come time to request quotes for Full Truckload or Partial Truckload, it is worth asking if drivers will be working alone or as part of a team of drivers. A team of drivers can usually produce faster delivery since they are able to drive 1,000 miles per day instead of the regulated 500 miles per day per ELD Mandate, as the truck can continue to operate with minimal rest stops - although this is usually a more expensive method, it can be worth every cent if you are in a hurry.

Before getting quotes for FTL or LTL shipping, it pays to ask and answer these kinds of questions. Doing so ensures a more accurate quote and limits the “surprises” that can arise due to variances within the original quote. 

At Go123 Logistics, we have done many quotes for LTL, FTL, and other kinds of shipments, because we are transaction engineers for specialty products. If you would like to learn more, please contact us.
Niki M.
Niki M.

Niki M., an entrepreneur by blood and part-time writer has 20 years in Business Administration in the Hotel and Restaurant Industry. She is now a key agent in USA Truckloads and LTL freight - gaining knowledge and strengthening client relationships with her undeniable will to exceed expectations combined with her tenacious work ethic and integrity. She specializes in Container, Boat & LTL moves to Hawaii, Costa Rica and Mexico. Languages spoken: English, Spanish

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