Are Freight Bill Audits Really Worth the Investment? 

freight bill audits

In the supply chain and logistics world, there are many advertised services that seem to just be too good to be true, and it can be difficult to sort through the cluttered and often confusing array of offerings. One of the most misunderstood services offered by 3rd-party logistics companies is freight bill auditing.  

While there are several companies out there that use generic templates or automated software to complete auditing freight invoices, some professional 3rd-party logistics companies go above and beyond to truly save their clients thousands of dollars each year.

Not only do they use the latest technology to audit the invoices of carriers and other supply chain partners, but they also leverage practical, hands-on experience to discover mistakes that often get skipped over. 

In this blog post, we will explain why working with an experienced 3PL to complete freight bill auditing is worth the investment.  


It’s All About the Process of Completing Freight Bill Auditing 

Freight bill audits are a service that is offered by most 3PL companies. It involves the process of reviewing the invoices submitted for payment by carriers, suppliers, distributors, or any other partner that a company works with to move freight. Every 3PL that offers freight bill audits has a unique process that is proprietary in nature, and typically not 100% disclosed (for obvious reasons).

However, there are a few general steps that the best 3PLs use to ensure their clients receive the best return on their investment.  



In order to provide a return on investment, any company needs to begin with gathering information. The organization process begins by gaining a big-picture perspective of a company's complete supply chain functions.  

This involves reviewing the different types of carriers used, modes of transportation, areas of transportation, service level commitments, special handling, and individual contracts or negotiated rates for every individual supply chain partner. 



Once the 3PL has all of the information it needs to accurately audit all of your freight bills, the review process can begin. Proven 3rd-party logistics companies understand that there are generally two areas of mistakes found during freight bill audits; human and automated. 

The human mistake can range from intentional to a simple typing error. The automated mistakes can range from having the wrong customer profile noted on an invoice, to the invoice being submitted to the wrong contact or at the wrong time.  

The best freight bill auditing companies understand where the root mistake is sourced, so they can contact the carrier and resolve the issue correctly. 



The actual auditing of a freight bill invoice is the last step. A professional 3rd-party logistics company will use the latest and technology solutions, which are typically customized for every individual client. They will use the software and other resources to complete an initial audit or investigation.

Once the report has been published, the 3PL will begin the human review of the audit. This helps to find those hidden mistakes that technology simply can't catch. 

This is the key to receiving your return on investment on having a professional 3rd-party logistics company audit your freight bill invoices. By having multiple, redundant procedures and steps involved in the auditing of freight invoices, financial mistakes are always discovered, resolved, and corrected before any payment is made.  

By completing these three crucial steps, the shipper will only pay what is due.


Final Thoughts

Mistakes happen all the time in the supply chain.

The key to achieving efficiency across the board is determining where the mistakes are being made, making changes to eliminate those mistakes, and creating controls that catch the errors before they occur again.

This is the value that experienced 3PLs like Redwood Logistics bring to the table.  

Proven experts in freight bill auditing focus on the big picture – which is saving money for clients while setting them up for future growth and success. By making the small investment in allocating your freight bill auditing to experts in the industry, you’re not only saving internal resources that can be used elsewhere but making sure the job is done right.