I worked as a Professional Purchasing Agent for a major auto company 10 yrs.
Asking for a quote cost and timing:
1). You are asking for a freight on board contract.
2). You are asking for a quote for price and timing
3). Do you want a FIRM quote for price determined from point A to point B?
4). Before obtaining a quoting, write up your specifications, exactly what you must have, need, care for animal, etc.
5). Send to the equine freight companies with good reputations
6). Most likely your quote will be on their letter head and Terms & Conditions in small print (look at the back of the quote) get out your fine print glasses
7). Before entering into a contract, read the fine print and ask questions. There is no such thing as a "standard contract"
In my line of work, we always fought over Terms and Conditions
It should state how and when you pay, timing (hours your equine will be in trailer), how it will be shipped (with or without boots who provides), how it is handled during the trip for example does the hauler give the horse a break, food, water, vet checks along the way?
8) Your contract must state who is responsible for your horses well being and any medical attention should your freight arrive damaged.
For example, under common law, your damages are limited to the price paid for the horse.
Contract law will spell out who is responsibe should your equine arrive injured.
10). Inspection of your "goods" in this case your horse
Have a vet exam prior to the freight company placing the euqine in the hauler, perhaps they will also have their own vet do an examination
11). When your equine is delivered to check over your equine for health / damage. Many are injured in transit, and you cannot provie that something happened in transit unless your vet is there to inspect your freight upon delivery
9). Consider a heath carrier for your equine before you ship
10). While timing may be approximate, ensure it is clearly nailed down to a specific performance time period, and what will happen such as if the hauler vehicle should fail.
11). Consider an euqine attorney if needed. It depends largely on what you paid for your horse
12). Never pay in full up front.
I have heard horrible stories and while rare, you do want to ensure you and your equine are properly protected.
Professional Purchasing Agent 10 yrs major company, experience in FOB or Freight on Board Contract and common law, contracts, and equine.