Factor #2: The Freight You’re Moving
As with freight projects to other destinations, the freight you’re moving plays a big role in your cost. A freight forwarder will look at elements like:
Factor #3: The Equipment Needed
If you’re doing anything more than a pickup/drop-off at a commercial loading dock, you’re likely looking at extra charges on your freight bill. For example, if the freight requires a truck with a liftgate to lower the freight to the ground, you may be charged an additional fee. (These additional fees are often called “accessorial charges.”)
The same goes for more specialized equipment like a stepdeck. As we mentioned above when discussing oversized freight, when your project requires specialized equipment, it will impact your quote.
Factor #4: The Timeline
How quickly do you need your freight to move? Shipping cargo always involves a balance between speed and cost. As a general rule of thumb, the faster you need your shipment to move, the more expensive it will be.
If you’re in a hurry to get your freight to its destination, you’re likely looking at a higher quote.
Factor #5: Pick-Up & Delivery Services
When you’re planning your freight project, you’ll have the option to add on pick-up and delivery services. When you choose these services, rather than having to get the freight to the port or a terminal yourself, a driver will come out to your chosen location, pick up your freight and get it on its way. Similarly, at the other end, a driver will take your freight from the port/terminal and bring it to a destination of your choosing.
Under that overall umbrella of pick-up and drop-off services, you’ll have a few levels of service to choose from.
Below, we’ll take a look at the generally available service levels for freight pick-up and delivery. Note that not all Alaska providers offer these levels of service. If white glove service is an absolute necessity, you may only have a few options in Alaska.
As you might expect, higher levels of service come with a higher freight bill. That said, for many types of freight, the extra cost is more than worth it—especially when it comes to specialized, high-value freight like medical equipment and equipment that’s just too large, heavy, or unwieldy to be handled by anyone other than professionals.
Moving Specialized Freight
Some truly specialized freight requires equally specialized equipment. For example, our team has moved a number of different types of medical equipment like MRI machines, X-ray machines, and CT systems. You don’t want to move delicate (and expensive!) machinery with just any equipment. Instead, experienced crews will show up with the right dollies, skates, jacks, J-bars, etc.—and some of this equipment is even manufacturer-specific.
If your freight requires this level of expertise, your freight quote will reflect this.
Factor #6: Any Fuel Surcharges in Place
Finally, in ocean freight and over-the-road freight, fuel surcharges (FSCs) have become a way of life. These surcharges change based on the cost of fuel, and are meant to compensate carriers for these fluctuating costs.
If you need to move a freight shipment, there’s not much you can do about fuel surcharges, other than to be aware of what they are so they don’t catch you by surprise.