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Is this online freight quote for real? Three questions to ask before you book.

ShippersPublished on July 25, 2020

Many carriers and brokers now offer instant rates, but are these prices always what they seem? While online quotes often surface attractive prices, at the end of the day there can be a big difference between the quote and the invoice.

Here are three questions you should ask yourself when getting an instant freight quote online. 

Is this freight rate guaranteed? 

Many providers offer instant rates based on simplistic pricing models, such as what they paid for the truck last week. This makes it hard for them to stand by the rate as a variety of factors such as seasonality and unexpected market surges can quickly impact the cost of a truck. In fact, we have heard from shippers that after they book, the carrier or broker will come back to them and ask for more money to get the load covered. One of our customers said he experienced hikes of 40% above the initial online quote with a couple other known industry players, and was unpleasantly surprised when his invoices came in substantially higher than expected.

We generate pricing in real-time based on our proprietary algorithm which uses load data, current market condition data, and considers our performance on historical loads to deliver instant rates. When you book one of Convoy’s online rates, we guarantee coverage at that rate. No more surprises when the final invoice arrives!

Will the carrier or broker give back or fall-off the load? 

When you book your online shipment, make sure the provider is guaranteeing coverage for the shipment. A carrier or broker will have a driver available but if that driver falls off, they might come back to you and try to return the load. This causes a last minute scramble for coverage, and often means you are paying much more. 

At Convoy, we never give loads back. In fact, our proactive quality monitoring helps us reduce fall-offs at the onset. 100% of Convoy carriers meet our rigorous standards before being assigned to a load which takes into account on time percentage, fall-off percentage, crash history, app usage, and speeding and traffic violations. Even when fall-offs happen, Convoy includes recovery and assigns a new carrier automatically at no additional cost to the shipper.

Will my shipment be serviced on-time? 

If the rate you see looks like a great deal, make sure the carrier or broker can service the shipment as promised. Everyone on a transportation team knows the headache and wasted time that comes from trying to track down missing shipments, reschedule missed appointments and the broken trust of telling your customer a shipment will be late. 

At Convoy, we put technology to work for us, proactively monitoring shipments using GPS technology. The Convoy system automatically identifies when a carrier may be late to pick-up and sets to work finding a new carrier. This happens immediately, removing any human error or bias that can lead to a bad experience for our customer. 

Next time you go to book an instant freight rate, make sure you aren’t in for any surprises. Get instant, guaranteed freight quotes from the Convoy shipper platform and experience hassle-free online booking for full-truckload freight.

Convoy Shipper Platform is now part of Convoy’s integrated online platform for shippers. For more information, click here.


Esther Sedgwick

Esther Sedgwick is a Director of Marketing at Convoy focused on technology solutions for shippers. Prior to Convoy, Esther was a Director of Marketing at Microsoft where she launched 17 products across the Windows, Xbox, and Surface businesses over her 10 year tenure. Esther’s experience growing up on a commercial apple farm in Eastern Washington fuels her passion for using technology to improve efficiency and reduce waste in the freight industry.
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