How are shipping rates determined?

Freight rates are typically dependent on a variety of factors, including the type of freight being shipped, mode of transport, weight, distance and more. Here’s a quick snapshot of how these rates are determined based on the selected shipping option:

  • LTL: Rates are largely dependent on the freight class. Other fees are typically applied for additional services and actions like delivery appointments and liftgate services.
  • Truckload: The common determination is an amount per-mile. Further charges may be added for things like detention or cancellations.
  • Flatbed: Rates are based on the type of equipment, mileage and total weight of the shipment. If there is oversized freight onboard, extra charges may apply and additional transit time could be necessary.

What is a 3PL?

3PL is short for third-party logistics. 3PL companies, such as Cain Logistics Group, Inc attempt to take on every aspect of the freight shipping process. From the moment a shipper requests a quote for their shipment, all the way through delivery, these companies provide the necessary services and expert help.

What can be shipped and what are the freight shipping options?

Regardless of the amount of freight or its final destination, 3PL companies typically offer the services to handle it all. Common freight shipping options include truckload (TL), less than truckload (LTL), expedited and intermodal. If you have questions regarding which shipping option best fits your needs, please contact us, and we will be more than happy to assist you.

What is LTL shipping?

LTL (Less-Than-Truckload) shipping handles freight shipments ranging from 100 lbs to 20,000 lbs. When the item you need shipped or transported is too large to take to the post office or your local parcel company, freight is seen as a more economical approach. Freight shipping is the easiest way to move large and bulky items quickly and efficiently while keeping shipping costs low.

How do I determine my freight class/NMFC number?

A freight class is configured by the combination of weight, value, density, likelihood of damage, and ease of moving. All items have been specifically classified and assigned a category code by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFC) as a freight industry standard. When determining your freight class, be as specific and accurate as possible in your description to avoid extra shipping costs by the shipping company. Call our trained freight brokers to help you determine the correct class for your freight.

How should I package my items?

Please make sure that all items being shipped are properly and securely packaged to prevent damage. All freight should be packaged, crated, or stacked and secured onto pallets with banding, shrink-wrap or breakaway adhesive. Labels should be placed on every freight piece. Improper packaging may decrease or nullify the carrier’s liability for damage claims or loss.

Can I estimate the weight of my shipment?

It is crucial to determine the most accurate weight for the freight items you are shipping and not just estimate an approximate weight. Freight companies can choose to re-weigh your item at any point during the transport process. If an inaccurate weight is used, you can be re-billed at the carrier’s non-discounted rate for the difference and the cost to ship will increase. This only applies to overweight shipments that may produce a fine for the Carrier at a weigh station or in route.

What is a Bill of Lading (BOL)?

A bill of lading is standard, mandatory paperwork providing the carrier and driver with all pertinent information related to the shipping costs and information. This paperwork allows for proper billing to be processed by the shipping company and Cain Logistics Group, Inc. All parties involved should have a copy of the BOL (buyer, seller and carrier). It is very important that the BOL be given to the carrier at the time of pickup. Also, keep one copy for your records.

How far in advance do I need to schedule a pickup?

Depending on the time of booking in your time zone, we can try to arrange for same-day pickup. Always speak to a Cain Logistics Group, Inc. agent directly for special arrangements and urgent bookings. Please allow a 4-hour window of time for freight pickup, and note that most shipping companies make pickups in the afternoon and spend their mornings with freight deliveries.

Do I need to be present at time of pickup?

Someone who is authorized to sign over the shipment and BOL must be present at the time of pickup. If the driver arrives at the pickup location and either the freight is not ready or there is no one available to sign the BOL, he/she will not normally wait. The pickup must then be re-dispatched, which some freight companies charge a re-delivery fee for to cover extra time and miles.

Are transit times guaranteed?

Freight transit times are not guaranteed unless specifically noted on the freight quote option you select when booking you shipping rates. All other delivery times are estimates only that cannot be guaranteed, though they are normally reliable. Freight shipping transit times begin the day after picking up your freight.

How are claims handled?

If your freight arrives damaged, it is important to accept the shipment in order to document the claim correctly. A claim must be filed within 48 hours of delivery, and can be done directly through Cain Logistics Group, Inc. We will act as liaison and assist the customer in processing the claim and filing all necessary paperwork, though we cannot guarantee all claims will be accepted from the shipping company.

Is my shipment insured?

The industry-standard liability cargo insurance coverage is offered by all carriers booked through Cain Logistics Group, Inc. In addition, Cain Logistics Group, Inc. offers its customers the ability to purchase supplementary freight insurance accessed directly during the freight quote and booking process.

Who will actually transport my shipment?

Cain Logistics Group, Inc. is a freight broker that utilizes the trucks of the largest, most reputable carriers and shipping companies in the industry.

Are your rates final and certain?

Due to the high volume we ship through our network of carriers, we are able to secure largely discounted shipping rates. Your shipping quote is based on the information provided to Cain Logistics Group, Inc. at the time of booking. Any changes or differences in the weight, class, size, or location can result in additional shipping costs direct from the carrier. To ensure that your shipping rates stay in line as originally quoted, be sure to use a BOL. This lets the carrier know to bill at the pre-negotiated freight rates and discounts.

How can I avoid receiving a re-bill?

When obtaining a freight quote, the type of commodity, weight, dimensions, pick-up and delivery location, and distance all influence the cost to ship. The best way to avoid a change in shipping rates is to ensure that all information given to Cain Logistics Group, Inc. at the time of booking is 100% complete and accurate. When scheduling your freight shipping, make sure you are as honest and accurate as you can be about the contents, size, and weight of your freight.

I’m in business and my needs are more specialized. Why should I use Cain Logistics Group, Inc.?

Cain Logistics Group, Inc. manages truckload, international, and specialty shipments. We can handle tradeshow shipping, as well as over dimensional and construction excavating machinery. No matter your shipping problem, we will find a cost-effective solution for you. We excel at providing superior freight shipping solutions and offer an unparalleled combination of price, value, and service.

Blind Shipment

A blind shipment does not disclose the originating location to the receiving destination nor the receiving destination to the originating location. Two separate bills of lading with common BOL & PRO numbers are provided.


We offer expedited delivery through various channels in order to reduce the number of transit days. Choose expedited as your equipment type when rating your shipment.


A semi-trailer with open sides and a standard floor height. Max weight for this truck will be 48,000 lbs. Maximum dimensions are 48’Lx8.5’Wx8.5’H.

Handling Unit

Packages of the same type, size, and weight.

Inside Delivery

A shipment requiring the driver to go inside (beyond the front door or loading dock) to pickup or deliver a load instead of remaining on the dock or in his truck. Additional fees are assessed.

Lift gate Service

When the shipping or receiving address does not have a loading dock, manual loading or unloading is necessary. A lift gate is a platform at the back of certain trucks that can raise and lower a shipment from the ground to the truck. Additional fees apply for this service.

PRO Number

A number assigned by the carrier to reference your shipment for tracking purposes.


A reefer is a refrigerated trailer with insulated walls and a self-powered refrigeration unit. Reefers are most commonly used for transporting food.

Third Party Shipments

Shipments initiated not by the shipper nor the receiver, but by a third party.

How do I ship hazardous materials?

The U.S. DOT considers any material that poses an unreasonable risk to health, safety or property as hazardous, and has classes in place to differentiate the types.

  • DOT Hazard Class 1: Explosives
  • DOT Hazard Class 2: Gases
  • DOT Hazard Class 3: Flammable liquids
  • DOT Hazard Class 4: Flammable solids, spontaneously combustible materials, and materials that are dangerous when wet
  • DOT Hazard Class 5: Oxidizers and organic peroxides
  • DOT Hazard Class 6: Poisons and etiologic materials
  • DOT Hazard Class 7: Radioactive material
  • DOT Hazard Class 8: Corrosives
  • DOT Hazard Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles
  • ORM-D: Other regulated material