How To Estimate Freight Shipping Costs?

Freight Shipping Costs

For any shipping goods business, freight costs form a large part of their budget. However, estimating these costs is a complicated process. You will need a reliable freight classification for this as well. You’ll need to factor in many components when calculating your freight shipping costs. These include dimensions, weight, size, and nature of your freight.

Freight Classification:

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association sets 18 LTL freight classes. These classes are 50 – 500, and a lower number means a lower cost. Various characteristics are assessed when determining the type, like density, handling, stow ability, and liability. After evaluating them, you can establish the freight’s transportability and shipping costs.  


You can determine the density by calculating the weight and dimensions in cubic feet. High-density freight has a lower class and involves lower costs of shipping. This means that a large lightbox will cost more to ship than a heavy but small container.


The freight rate calculator factors how easy it is to handle, dimensions, fragility, packaging, and whether it includes hazardous materials. Freight that needs special precautions usually is placed in a higher class and is more expensive to ship.

Stow Ability:

The stow ability is a characteristic that decides how well the shipment fits with other freight in the vehicle. You can’t ship unusually shaped or hazardous cargo with regular cargo. It is thus more expensive to transport.


The liability can be calculated depending on the value of the cargo. If the load requires extra security measures, it will affect the shipping costs. If you’re shipping fragile items which will break during transit, the carrier will charge more as it is a liability for them.


The further a shipment you are shipping, the more expensive its shipping cost will be. Carriers consider both the mileage and the proximity of the shipping hub to your destination.

Mode of Transport:

Different modes of transit play a role in deciding the shipping costs. Road, rail, air, and ocean freight have different rates. They also have advantages and disadvantages of their own. Cost is the primary consideration for most shippers, though. Airfreight is the most expensive but faster; Road and ocean freight are cheaper in comparison.

Accessorial Charges:

Sometimes extra fees are also added to your freight cargo. These charges are added because they cover additional services not generally provided by the carriers. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • After-hours delivery
  • Additional stops
  • Layovers
  • Fuel Surcharges
  • Storage


Q1- How much have freight shipping costs increased in 2021?

Performance indices have increased year after year and even after every quarter as capacity constraints persist worldwide. Similar is the case for the U.S., where the truckload index increased by 28.5 % YOY and, since January 2021, by 12.8%.

Q2- Will freight rates go down in 2022?

We will likely see an elevation in freight rates through the year 2022. The market is still in turmoil due to the pandemic. According to experts, a 29% increase is estimated in the market. 


Whatever freight needs you have, it is essential to get the correct quote to remain within your budget. A suitable carrier will understand your needs and suggest the appropriate shipping options accordingly.

You can get in touch with Team Gillson to get an accurate estimate for your freight.

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