Calculating Transport Costs

There are a number of different ways that the cost of transporting freight can be calculated, with the method of transport and the freight type playing a role in it. Here’s a brief look at a few of the ways that transport costs can be calculated.

Czarlite – a pricing alternative used primarily with LTL shipping. Combined with Discounting to determine what percentage of the total shipment cost an individual shipper must pay.

Rate Per Mile – takes into account the distance being traveled and multiplies this by the base rate to arrive at a total cost.

Ease of Handling – a factor where the difficulty in moving the freight can have an impact on the final cost of the shipment.

Pallet Rate – a flat rate charged to move or store a single pallet of freight.

There is a lot of planning that goes into moving freight from one location to another, and part of that planning involves how exactly the freight is going to get onto the truck. Fortunately, with Access America Transport, you get door to door service, and all the advantages that it entails.

Without door to door pick-up and delivery, not only do you have to plan for getting the freight from point A to point B once it’s on the truck, but also from point C to point D for getting it on and off the truck. Not only does this add extra time and stress to the situation, but it can also add to the cost of moving the freight.

With door to door service the truck comes to your location, loads the freight, then transports and drops off at the final location – not a terminal from where it has to be moved to another truck and then delivered. This cuts down on the chances for damage and shaves precious time off the shipping time, making it one more reason that Access American Transport is your best choice for freight hauling.

US companies will need to diversify their transportation models to compete in today’s cost-cutting climate.  Many American companies that control their shipping are being forced by market forces to reexamine how they move assets and get their product to market.

A Traffic Manager for a major European automobile manufacturer once told me that that in Europe they do 90% of their shipping by rail and only 10% by truck. And in America it is exactly the reverse.

There are many reasons for this dichotomy, having to do with the proximity of population centers, the age of infrastructure, etc.  But as more and more US companies look to cut expenses and save money on shipping, rail and other modes of transportation are taking a more prominent role in America.  It is becoming apparent that US shippers – retailers, manufacturers, and service providers moving their assets – will need to become familiar with multiple modes of transportation in order to remain competitive.

Transportation companies are taking notice of this shift in thinking.  More and more are beginning to add multimodal approaches to their transportation quotes, and are conducting cost analyses to compare combinations of trucking, rail, and even barge services for lanes and projects that might have only been considered as trucking candidates in the past.

For instance, a plant relocation moving from one rail served location to another should involve a transportation provider that can analyze the costs and benefits of rail and truck and know how to use a combination of the two to maximize efficiencies and cost effectiveness.  Ignoring one mode or the other could be a significant missed opportunity to cut costs.

Regular movements over longer distances are particularly attractive to rail carriers and often command lower rail rates.  Even if a shipper does not have rail access at origin and destination, longer distances can allow the costs of transloading to be absorbed by these long haul discounts.

A little research to find a transportation provider with multimodal expertise could provide a great benefit to any shipper with the imagination to think outside of the box and the drive to cut expenses.

Access America Transport is a third-party, non-asset based logistics company. We have loyal and dedicated customers that count on us daily to deliver their freight in a safe and timely manner, in turn we always have freight moving at all times. We always strive to work with carriers that are experienced, dependable, and safe. We use all types of carriers with different capabilities to haul for us including: LTL, full truckload shipments including van and refrigerated/frozen, flatbed, intermodal, and specialized heavy haul freight shipped by either truck or rail.

We have become a third party leader with our carriers, because not only do we take care and provide for our customers, we also do the same with our carriers. We pay our carriers every 28 days, even if our customer does not pay us. We also provide a quick pay service paid by a comcheck that only charges a 4% penalty. This type of service is offered with fuel advances as well.

Access America Transport is also an ISO 9001 certified company and we take great pride in that honor. We attain this by taking rigorous precautions to hire the safest carriers that we can. We interface our software with Registry and Monitoring, a company that automatically updates our carriers insurance in our system and alert us should a carrier have any insurance cancellations or have their authority revoked. We also check each carrier’s safety score as well as their safe stat score on Carrier 411 and even go the extra mile to check their accident reports on the FMCSA government website. By doing this, we as a company are doing our due diligence to make sure that our carriers, our customer’s shipments, and the general public are safe out on the roads. Without the safety and dedication of our carriers, Access America would not have a business. Access America Transport… Driving towards a safer tomorrow.

To get set up with us as a carrier, please contact Lindsey O’Hara at 866-272-2057, ext. 147, or email at lohara@accessamericatransport.com. We look forward to doing future business with you!

In today’s tough economy every shipper is looking to find strategic advantages over their competition. The biggest hurdle for shipping managers continues to be, how I get my product to the end user in the most cost effective, reliable way. It’s a constant battle to find the balance of the cheapest transportation provider with the one that has the best service. A lot of companies are outsourcing their entire transportation department to third-party logistics providers (3PL’s). In 2008, the 3PL industry did over $100 billion in the United States market.

Major Reasons

1. Save Time & Money – 3PL’s have thousands of qualified carriers under contract with the ability to handle your freight. Third-party logistics companies are able to reduce the amount of infrastructure investments in equipment, software, facilities and personnel. A single phone call to a logistics coordinator enables them to select the best value carrier for every shipment. Would it make sense to put that load on the rail? Should we consolidate those LTL’s into a truckload? These 3PL’s are like a having non-paid employees on your staff and allow shippers to focus resources on areas where they are the expert (i.e. manufacturing, product sales).

2. No reason to buy an expensive TMS (transportation management system) – Most reputable 3PL’s have invested in a TMS system or developed their own. These systems can be utilized for free when dealing with a third-party logistics provider. Many companies can even run reports on your freight, analyze shipping patterns and keep scorecards on service quality. All of these factors help reduce overhead for shippers.

3. Liability- Third-party logistics providers manage carrier contracts, DOT safety ratings and insurance certificates better than most shippers. 3PL’s have a back office staff that have SOP’s in place to help the carrier vetting process.

4. Economies of scale - Third-party logistics companies can provide large shipping discounts through economies of scale. 3PL’s are able to achieve much lower operating costs per load due to their ability to leverage their entire business for substantial discounts with trucking companies. These economies of scale can also be seen in the carrier qualification process, technology systems and consistent year-round freight prices.

5. Visibility of loads – Most third-party logistics companies have on-line tracking to give shippers visibility of their loads. Many 3PL’s are able to integrate tracking into shipper IT systems, automated notices, or even real-time delivery notifications by e-mail.

6. Reduce back office duties- 3PL’s have the systems, manpower and the know-how to process thousands of bills a day at a fraction of the cost compared to shippers. They can also audit all of the bills to make sure the carriers are charging the agreed upon rates. This process can be a real headache with large amount of LTL bills. Third-party logistics providers dramatically reduce the need for freight audit and payment personnel.

7. Utilize more carriers - Third-party logistics companies have contracts with thousands of carriers and know the lanes where these partner carriers need freight. 3PL’s also have an extensive network of private fleets. Private Fleets tend to be very lane oriented with lower cost structured and higher levels of service. These carriers tend to have lower driver turnover and newer equipment.

Shipping heavy equipment by rail was once thought as too many moving parts to make it a viable solution. The alternative was shipping their freight using “hard to get” and always expensive over the road specialized equipment.

Times have changed and now and manufacturers, auctions, construction companies, and power generation companies are taking advantage of the heavy haul rail network. Trade organizations like (R.I.C.A). Rail Industry Clearance Association has done a tremendous amount of work to create solutions. They have made great efforts to solve problems that once arose from transporting large dimensional, excess weight, and just out of the ordinary shipments. Heavy equipment that can be shipped by truck before can be rigged to ship by rail. The process can be done so more cost effectively and safer now.

Importing and exporting large heavy equipment by rail from any major US port isn’t a problem either as every port in the US is serviced by one or more major rail roads. The port authorities are very well versed on how to handle heavy equipment coming into and out of their terminals. This continuity among providers has created a seamless transition.

Access America Transport has a working relationship with all North American Rail Roads and has established “volume generated private pricing”. Access America Transport can provide heavy haul customers interested in shipping heavy equipment by rail an advantage in service then going directly to the rail provider themselves.

Access America Transport can manage the entire multi modal process from finding a rail siding, hiring master riggers, utilize private pricing, and even coordinate Local Trucking when necessary.