Freight and cargo shipments are one of the fastest-growing profit centers in our industry. By its nature, freight costs more and therefore means higher $$$ profit for you (RS Premium Members receive an additional 5% rebate on all freight shipments). As the “shipping expert” in your community, if you don’t offer freight, you’re doing a disservice to your customers and your business.
Online quoting & booking is now at your finger tips. RS Freight & Cargo services include domestic ground & air, full truckload, LTL, ocean full container/less than container, and international air cargo. The online tool makes freight shipping as easy as small package transportation.
Retail shipping store owners need a freight tool that combines competitive rates, multiple carrier options, and a seamless, automated ordering process—backed by professionals who understand every aspect of domestic and international freight. That is exactly what RS Associates has provided to our members. So now, even the “novice” can offer freight and cargo services to their customers—and look like experts while doing it.
RS Freight & Cargo is a web-based rating/shipping engine that allows you to get real-time quotes from more than 40 freight carriers across the country—which results in rates and service you can’t get on your own. Use this tool to quote, price, and book freight—right from your PC. Start making hundreds (or thousands) of new dollars every month—with no investment but your time.
RS Freight & Cargo rates are some of the most competitive you will find, and RS Premium Members receive an additional 5% discount (paid as a rebate) on every freight job booked!
Shipping freight used to represent a deep, dark hole full of confusion for most of us. The “old” process required you to first identify the item(s) you needed to ship, then try to figure out which “class” of commodity it was, then find 4 or 5 freight carriers that delivered to the address you were shipping to, then provide each carrier with the shipment details (either by phone, email, or fax). Once that was done, you had to wait…sometimes hours, sometimes days for the carrier to respond with an estimate on the shipping charges—a very inefficient and less-than-reliable process.
RS Freight & Cargo simplifies the process through automation. RS Associates has partnered with AES Logistics, a freight broker with 20+ years of experience and relationships with over 40 national, super-regional, regional, and local freight carriers. AES Logistics provides the automation and support for RS Freight & Cargo customers.
The RS Freight & Cargo automated quoting process makes freight shipping almost as simple as shipping a package via DHL, FedEx, UPS, or USPS.
Once you’ve input the relevant shipment information into the RS Freight Quoting Tool, the system automatically searches all 40+ carriers in the system and gets quotes from every carrier that services the pickup/delivery area. You can then select from as many as eight of the best rate and time-in-transit options.
You then schedule the pickup location, date, and time and make payment arrangements (credit card, ACH, or company check).
That’s it! You’ve just booked a freight shipment—done entirely online, and in only minutes! Talk about the “WOW” factor for your customer...
Unlike the small package carriers, you don’t need a special account to use RS Freight & Cargo. All RS Associates Members have easy access to the program right here at www.rscentral.org. Once you log in, the system “recognizes” you for all freight quotes and shipments.
As it is with any new product or service, the key to selling it successfully is educating your current and potential customers.
First, they need to know that freight services are available at your store. Customers often think only large warehouses with loading docks, fork lifts, pallet jacks, etc. can do freight, so you need to inform them those barriers don’t exist for you. Once you make freight part of your normal conversation and marketing, the word will spread throughout your community that you’re a REAL shipping expert.
Shoot for the lowest hanging fruit first – your current customers. Create and display signs, posters, and brochures that spotlight “We Ship The Big Stuff”. Many stores take this a step further and build a display with a piece of furniture or equipment that is inside a crate or large container with one side removed so the item can be seen. A sign saying “Yes, We Ship Large Freight Too” creates a compelling visual cue for store customers.
Also, don’t forget the most obvious…tell every customer that walks in that you handle freight and ask them to tell their friends — “if you know someone who needs to ship a piano, large equipment, furniture, etc., …WE CAN HELP!”
Tried and true for a reason, direct mail, print advertising and of course your store website, should be your “go to” marketing tools. Always include “Freight Services” on all advertising and marketing materials you send out.
Take the time to make sure your website has been properly search engine optimized so potential customers who need to ship freight can find you online. If you don’t know how, find a professional that does (or have RSA create and host your website), it will be money well spent.
Many successful store operators get up from behind the counter and hit the streets with their message. For example, visit moving companies in your area and ask them to refer customers to you. Many moving companies will not accept business from customers who need LTL (Less Than a Truckload) service or only have a few large items (if it doesn’t fill up a truck, they won’t take it). They will be glad to refer those customers to you.
As it is with small packages, freight shipping certainly has its challenges, but if you adhere to the following tips and best practices, there should be no reason to fear freight.
The devil is in the details—make certain you provide accurate information for every shipment. Size, weight, dimensions, value, commodity class, method of packaging, pick up/delivery needs (liftgate, dock, inside delivery, stairs, etc.)
A great feature of the RS Freight program is that the freight doesn’t actually have to be at your location in order for you to ship it. You can arrange for the shipment to be picked up from any address—as long as the shipment details and pick up information is accurate. If the shipment is nearby, we always recommend you go to physically inspect it first, but it’s not a requirement.
Correct packaging is essential—take pictures (when you can) of packaging and how items are prepared for shipment (pallets, crates, drums, boxes, etc.)
Proper preparation/packaging are an important piece of every shipment as it will impact how the shipment is handled by the carrier—especially when it comes to loading and unloading. It might also impact the charges on either end of the transaction.
If the weight or bulk of a shipment is such that it cannot be loaded onto a truck manually, it will necessitate ordering a lift-gate equipped vehicle. A lift-gate may only be needed on one end of the pick-up/delivery, so it is important to know this before booking the shipment as a carrier may or may not charge for lift-gate service on each end, but still needs to know if there is a need before scheduling the shipment.
As a general guideline, package all freight shipments as compactly as possible, with the fewer number of items being a better option than multiples. For example, if you have a shipment with 10 individual boxes, it will ship more efficiently on a pallet rather than as 10 separate items.
For more detailed information or suggestions on best packaging methods, contact AES Logistics at 877-890-2295 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hundreds of store owners across the country have taken advantage of the RS Freight & Cargo program. See what they have to say about their experiences with the program in their own words...
Our shipping store has been offering freight shipping to our customers for 18 years. Up until three years ago, we used two to three LTL carriers exclusively after negotiating discounted rates. They offered us 59%-62% discounts which helped us stay competitive with our competition. After seeing an ad in RS Centrals monthly magazine for RS Freight, offering up to 80% discounts on LTL services, I immediately inquired about it.
I’ve known RS Associates President Brandon Gale for 13 years and knew that if he was promoting a product or service to help me grow my earnings and my business, it was worth looking into.
The process to start utilizing RS Freight was simple and the website was very user friendly. Once we log into the RS Freight website, we click on freight quote, fill in our zip code, the destination zip code, weight and dimensions, and we instantly have multiple choices of carriers and prices to choose from. After choosing a carrier, we are provided a class and NMFC number by AES Logistics to complete the transaction. We then receive emails letting us know that our pickup has been scheduled with an attachment for our Bill of Lading.
The prices were so competitive, that we are now using RS Freight for our domestic freight shipments.
I would highly recommend RS Freight for any MPC that is considering adding freight to their services.
As an early adopter of RS Freight I have found the benefits of the program are excellent. In addition to the great rates, easy online quoting system and rebates for premium members, the level of customer service is extraordinary. I had a freight claim denied and they went to bat for me. With their persistence the claim decision was reversed and my customer was made whole. Whenever I have had a question about a quote the staff has been quick to respond with accurate information. I rarely wait more than a few minutes for an email response and my phone calls are answered immediately.
The website makes it easy to rate and estimate freight. Packing, crating and freight are a very profitable addition to our store. The people at AES are knowledgeable, insightful and great at making freight intuitive. We use the service on domestic inbound and outbound shipments. International shipments are also simple to rate and AES will help with the details and requirements.
Over the past five years, we have been able to grow our business through the utilization of RSA Freight. Freight has brought a whole new dimension to our current business and future business plan.
We are truly a one stop shipping center.
The RSA Freight website is very user friendly. You can give a customer a quote in a matter of minutes. We are able to pick out of 4-6 different carriers to best suit our customers need.
I have used RS Freight approximately 64 times in the past 2 years with almost no problems. In the rare event there was an issue, it was handled immediately and professionally. Everyone at AES is friendly, helpful and professional. I like that I can sometimes get a pick up the same day. Also.. gotta love the 5% rebate!
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