Comparing Quotes- What is the Best Option?

decisionsSo your boss asks you to get some quotes from a few different carriers or freight forwarders for an upcoming shipment so he can compare to figure out who would be best to use. His decision may be based on price or transit time or maybe he already knows who he prefers to use and wants to make sure they are in line with what other people are charging. This can be a daunting task, depending on who you go to they may need more information or different information. As we explained before the more information you can provide the more accurate the quote will be with anyone. The bigger question is once you get all the quotes back how do you go about comparing them, how do you know which is the best option?

First thing you want to confirm is if you gave all the carriers/ freight forwarders the same exact info, and if anyone requested more info did you update everyone with that info. If you did, that’s great, this is the 1st step to leveling the playing field.

What you want to look at:

  1. What charges are included in the quote- is it one lump cost or did they break any extra fees out?
  2. What is excluded from the quote- did anyone specify something was not included?
  3. Is the service type quoted – i.e.- via LTL, ground freight, airfreight, etc (this may also be automatic depending on who you asked, if you asked an LTL carrier then they quoted you via LTL)
  4. Is there anything the carrier/ freight forwarded noted they could not provide- you wanted overnight but they could only do 2nd day or you needed a liftgate and they didn’t have?
  5. Is there transit time mentioned?
  6. Did they give you any other options?

After checking what similarities and differences there are in the quote, figure out what is most important, next important, all the way to least important to you or your boss.

  1. Does PRICE trump all other factors?
  2. Does meeting whatever your specific NEEDS beat options given?
  3. Does the FASTEST transit make your life easier?
  4. Does HANDLING matter, as in less times being loaded make you feel your product is less likely to be damaged?
  5. Does SERVICE exceed any other factor?
  6. Does the RELATIONSHIP you have with the carrier or freight forwarder mean you trust they will take care of your freight?

Once you know what is most important and least important, you can rank your quotes based on those factors. Then look for extreme outliers, is someone’s quote half the cost of everyone else’s or is their transit time way faster. You can check back just to clarify in case they misunderstood something. Now you can make a decision and know you made the best decision based on what was most important to you and your boss.