Finding the best shipping company depends heavily on your needs and expectations. If you are shipping an entire house’s worth of contents, you’re likely going to need something different compared to someone who is moving to a one-bedroom apartment.
Shop Around and Get Quotes
As with everything else, when you have multiple suppliers, you always shop around to see who has the best deal. With moving or freight shipping companies and car shipping companies, it is the same process. For most companies, you can also get shipping quotes online for what you need.
If you are willing to be flexible, you might also find better options. For example, if you’re okay with moving during an off-season, your rates will be lower. Moving during peak season always results in higher rates, so you may find that the company you want is better to use during non-peak times.
It’s best to get at least three quotes from different companies. They will request preliminary information, like the size of your home, the number of rooms, and an inventory of what you expect to move. You may also be asked to do a virtual walkthrough complete with pictures and video. By providing this information to the shipping company, you will get a more accurate quote.
Consider DIY Platforms
For smaller shipments, you can consider a DIY platform like uShip. This platform connects you with drivers that have space on their trucks or carriers. You will tell the company what you need, and then they connect with someone who can help you. Always read uShip reviews so you know what you’re getting into.
When you list a shipment on a DIY platform, it becomes open to hundreds and thousands of independent transportation companies. They bid on your shipment, similar to the way eBay works. You get to choose who you want to use based on their profile and history.
The downside to using a DIY platform is that sometimes, you have no choice but to wait. Most drivers have existing routes, so you have to wait until the stars align. Your shipment must be along the route you need and have room to transport your things, so be prepared for a waiting game in a worst-case scenario.
Look for Key Phrases
In selecting a shipping company, you need to look for a few specific phrases like “binding estimate” or “free basic liability coverage.” They are both indicators of a reputable company, so if you do not see either of these, then don’t use that company.
Binding estimates are company estimates that guarantee how much you will pay to ship your belongings. Not every shipping company uses binding estimates, resulting in sudden fees when the day comes to do the job. To avoid that, always go with a company or driver that claims a binding estimate in writing.
Insurance coverage is also critical to have when you are shipping your stuff. Basic liability coverage should be provided to you at no charge. Most times, the insurance coverage isn’t great, but you can always purchase additional coverage. If basic liability coverage is not part of the deal, then do not sign the dotted line.
Get Feedback and Read Reviews
Getting feedback from real people is always helpful in making a decision, but don’t rely on your uncle’s sister-in-law’s cousin as the only source. Instead, seek out opinions and experiences on social media platforms. When people have something to complain about, rest assured, they will be at the front of the line to tell you about their experience. Likewise, if they had a stellar experience, they will eagerly share how things went for them.
You also want to take the time to read reviews online. Check Google reviews, Yelp, and TrustPilot for experiences from real people. Look for crucial details, like the ability to contact customer service and punctuality. If you see negative feedback that seems to create a pattern, it is probably better to go with a different company.
Shipping a car isn’t any different in terms of reading reviews. Read up on car shipping companies, and don’t skip Amerifreight reviews. For any platform, whether you are shipping your house’s contents or shipping a car, read all the reviews you can so you can make a wise decision.
The Bottom Line
To find the best shipping companies, always start with getting quotes. Because they’re available online, it only takes a few minutes to submit your information and get a reply. If you’d rather go the DIY route, you can do that, too, for shipping a household’s worth of stuff or just a car. As you search, look for guaranteed quotes and insurance coverage as key indicators for companies to choose. As you decide on what company you’re going to use, remember to read reviews to make an informed decision.