3 Ways Experienced 3PL Companies Hold Carriers Accountable
A frustrating and often all-too-common problem that many shippers experience are mistakes made by carriers. Whether it’s a missed delivery due to inaccurate data on a bill of lading, or hidden surcharges on a freight invoice, carriers can cause shippers many headaches typically due to easy to avoid mistakes. This is a major reason why experienced shippers rely on the expertise of third-party logistics companies to not only hold carriers accountable but also reduce potential mistakes that can disrupt a shipper’s normal operating procedures.
In the information below, we’ll outline 3 of the most common ways professional 3PL’s help to hold carriers accountable, which save carriers money and improves customer service.
Freight Invoice Auditing
Did you know that nearly 25 percent of all freight bills has some mistake notated? In most instances, these mistakes negatively impact the shipper. This is why auditing freight invoices is a critical step for holding carriers accountable. While each 3PL has their own process for auditing freight bills, the general steps involved is quite simple:
- When the 3PL or freight audit company receives a carrier invoice they will compare it along with estimates to determine if they are accurate.
- They will also compare notated negotiated billing rates, such as fuel surcharges, shipping rates, mileage charges and more. One of the most common mistakes is when a carrier simply notates the wrong negotiated charges or forgets to change those charges from a previous customers invoice.
- If errors are found, the freight audit company will inform their clients and file claims with the carrier on their behalf. Once the errors are resolved, payment is sent back to the client.
The best third-party logistics companies require certificates from the carrier before approving any weight or reclass charges – which is a critical step of a thorough freight invoice audit. Once this is complete, the 3PL submits the shipper’s invoice and can even make the payment to the carrier. Additionally, they will finish the initial audit process with a full post-audit when the PRO is closed to ensure there were no additional ad-bills made.
When you’re struggling to cover payroll, employee management issues, inventory control, and the other day-to-day tasks of running any business, dealing with several shipping related invoices can overwhelm any organization. Most companies utilize several modes of transportation for shipping – from LTL, FTL, and cold-storage to parcel shipments via ground or overnight air express. With this reality, it’s common for a shipper to receive hundreds of individual freight bills or invoices (just for services completed during a single month). If these invoices are not paid on time, carriers are quick to charge multiple late-fees and often refuse to remove those charges.
Think of the time and money you could save if you received a consolidated invoice instead. When you partner with an experienced 3PL this becomes a reality. Instead of receiving multiple invoices that can be skipped, missed or lost, you’ll receive a single, formatted invoice in any style you’d like. If you prefer weekly, bi-monthly or monthly, the best third-party logistics companies have the ability to configure your invoice control to any method. By trusting the 3PL to manage your freight invoices, you can stay on top of all payments, reduce late-charges, and keep those carriers honest.
Carrier Payment Solutions
It’s funny how friendly and forgiving a carrier can be when they are paid on time. You might also be surprised to learn that several carriers can be quite demanding when invoices are not paid when due. By entrusting a professional third-party logistics provider to manage your shipping accounting services, they have the ability to pay all invoices on your behalf. When the 3PL is committed to on-time carrier payments, it not only ensures that the shipper keep a strong standing relationship with their carriers but that they continue to receive superior service.
Carriers feel comfortable communicating with 3PL’s with any payment status information or questions regarding the status of an invoice. This permits the shipper to focus on more important things, like managing your people, creating new business opportunities, and driving sales.
A professional 3PL is dedicated to protecting the assets of their valued clients – and work hard to proactively reduce potential mistakes. By staying on top of freight accounting and trusting a dependable 3PL to manage all aspects of your freight invoice procedures, you’ll save time, money, and reduce opportunities for carriers to take advantage of you.