Questions to ask when getting a quote for delivery services

When companies need to find  a delivery or courier company, either for a one time delivery or an ongoing partnership, the first question and often the deciding factor is cost or delivery rates.

Since rate or cost is such an important factor in deciding whether to use a delivery or courier company, it is critically important to get all charges included or explained in the quote.

For instance, fuel surcharges.  Many companies, especially transportation companies, institute fuel surcharges to account for the fluctuating price of fuel.

Typically, a delivery company will base their rates on a certain set price of fuel, (say $2.50 per gallon of unleaded in your area).  As fuel goes above the base price, they will calculate a fuel surcharge on all delivery rates.  You will find a wide range of calculation methods and fuel surcharge rates, from none at all up to 20%, it just depends on their policies and whether their basic rates cover all fuel surcharges or not.

There are many other ancillary charges delivery companies charge, but fuel surcharge is usually the most expensive of these type of charges and if not explained and then considered carefully, can cause you to make bad choices and spend more money than you planned for you delivery service requirements.

This applies to courier companies, express freight companies, delivery companies and same day messenger services to name a few.

HB Express is a California based transportation company that works with couriers and delivery companies throughout California and western Nevada to insure our customers get the best rates and most reliable service and a convenient one stop option for getting quotes on any type of delivery, courier, express freight or messenger services.


Regional courier companies solve shipping problems

Regional and statewide courier and distribution companies (including express freight and expedited delivery services) are often a far better value and far more cost effective than the big 3 national shippers.  Private delivery companies can also customize service more readily for customers who require late pickup times, regularly scheduled same day service or personalized home delivery of their products or goods.

In California and the western states, HB Express  can provide courier and delivery quotes from the most trusted and experienced delivery companies.  We have worked with the most reliable carriers for over 20 years and earned their trust to represent them in the marketplace.   HB Express also pools the resources and capabilities of the best carriers and private shippers in your required service area to delivery the lowest rates available.

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What type of insurance does your courier company have?

Before signing a service agreement with a Courier, LTL freight,  3PL or messenger company, it’s important to ask for the  company’s standard ‘ Accord for Certificate of Insurance’.  This certificate shows the specific limits of insurance coverage.  Furthermore, it is standard to also require the insurer to notify you as the customer, of any cancellations, non-renewal or reductions in coverage.

Companies utilizing overnight courier companies, express freight companies,companies that provide dedicated routes or driver staffing to their customers, are advised to require not only a valid copy of the ‘Certificate of Insurance’, updated as mentioned, but also insure the limits are detailed in any Service Agreements provided by the shippers.

This also applies to Driver and Warehouse Staffing companies.

California has some of the strictest requirements for couriers and messengers companies, and the most favorable environment for companies or individuals who seek liability or damages relief for accidents, injuries, etc.

Is scheduled overnight courier service right for you?

One of the valuable services courier companies  provide their customers , is scheduled overnight courier service between company locations, branches, warehouses and to and from their corporate or main office.  Low rates, very late  pickup times with very early delivery times are characteristics of scheduled overnight courier service.

To increase efficiency, couriers will provide  lock boxes to their customers or acquire keyed access at the company’s pickup and/or designated pickup/delivery area.

The service works like this.  An ‘on route’ courier will pick up at a company’s corporate office, work going to each of a company’s branch locations, in California for instance.  If a company has say, six locations throughout the state, a typical main office outgoing shipment might consist of one courier pouch and a box or two going to each of the six company branches or stores, nightly, five days per week.

The work then goes back to the courier’s regional or local warehouse for sorting and routing.

Shipment from a main office, destined for branches or stores  in the same regional area of the state as the main office, can be ‘night exchanged’ by the courier company.  That means a courier will arrive at night, and utilizing a lock box or keyed access, deliver a shipment and pickup the outgoing shipment.  This allows the courier company to perform both the pickup and delivery in the same stop, hence the lower monthly rates.

All work picked up at company’s branches or stores is then returned to the main office the following business morning.

Rates for this type of service can be as low as $85 per month per location for night exchanges; and $150 per month for a main office pickup and delivery.  A company can receive overnight service between a main office and six stores or branches for anywhere from $660 to 860 per month, plus any current fuel surcharges (should not be more than 10% at this time).

A main office and six branches, shipping 5 days per week to and from the main office, will ship 258 shipments per month.  The equates to between $2.80  and $4.00 per shipment.  Considering each shipment can weigh up to 20 lbs. with no additional charges, this is one of the best kept secrets of the courier world.

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About HB Express

HB Express Transportation, LLC is a Northern California based distribution and expedited delivery service, providing both 'On-Call' and 'Pre-Scheduled' courier, messenger and trucking services.

What People Are Saying

When our supply chain gets overloaded, we call HB Express. They get our shipments back on schedule in minutes. They really come through for us every time.
Michael Wright - Polyair, Inc., West Sacramento