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 this blog post, we’ll outline 3 of the most common ways 3PL’s help to hold carriers accountable.
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. Each 3PL has its own auditing process for freight bills. However, the general steps involved are 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.
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 finish the initial audit process with a full post-audit.
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 not paid on time, carriers charge multiple late-fees. Often times, refusing the removal of those charges.
Instead of receiving multiple invoices, you’ll receive a single invoice any way you’d like. If you prefer weekly, bi-monthly or monthly, the best 3PL's have the ability to make it happen. 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. Several carriers are quite demanding about on-time payments.
A 3PL managing your shipping accounting services have the ability to pay all invoices on your behalf. More specifically, on-time!
3PL's committed to on-time carrier payments ensure a strong relationship between shipper and carrier. Furthermore, and by proxy, it allows them to 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. More specifically it frees them up like to create new business opportunities and drive sales.
A professional 3PL protects the assets of their clients. Likewise, they work hard to proactively reduce potential mistakes. Partnering with the right 3PL holds massive benefit for any size shipper. A 3PL is there to save you time, money, and reduce opportunities for carriers to take advantage of you.