Supply chain operation relies heavily on transportation. Effective transportation management can lead to a well-structured supply chain and reduce operational costs. Freight transportation comes with many challenges, though. One of the biggest challenges is complying with the National Motor Freight Classifications (NMFC). Noncompliance can results in a number of billing adjustments that will cost you time and money.
Here are five common billing adjustments, and how you can avoid them in order to keep your transportation costs down.
Re-weighs are the most common freight class adjustment which is why they made the top of our list. Shipments are almost always weighed by a freight inspector. When the weight on the BOL doesn’t match the actual weight you can be charged the carrier’s non-discounted rate for the difference.
How to avoid: Report exact weights on the BOL; never use approximations. Make sure to include the weight of the pallet and all other packaging materials in your total weight. Have manufacturer specifications ready in case a re-weigh does occur and you’d like to dispute.
Accessorials are services that go beyond the normal pickup and delivery. The most common accessorial that results in billing adjustments is a lift-gate fee. Loading and unloading services are also common.
How to avoid: Lift-gate trucks are required for freight exceeding 100 pounds or 72 inches in height. If the pick up or drop off location does not have an accessible dock to move the shipment off the truck, make sure to request lift-gate services.
The NMFC number corresponds to the combination of weight, value, density, damage threshold and ease of transport. It determines your freight class which directly influences your rate. The NMFC system can be confusing for many shippers, often resulting in incorrect classifications.
How to avoid: Accurately identify the correct NMFC number and corresponding freight class and conduct frequent audits of your freight’s BOL to ensure that it hasn’t been misclassified. If you are still unsure of your freight classification, reach out to one of our freight experts.
4. Limited Access or Residential Fees
The pick up or drop off location can greatly influence your freight rate. Carriers often apply fees for locations that are considered limited access or residential.
How to avoid: Know what locations are considered limited access so you can request the correct services. To avoid unexpected residential fees, make sure the business name is accurately listed on the BOL.
5. BOL Changes
Changes to items on the Bill of Lading, such as address, number of items being shipped, services requested, and weight can all result in billing adjustments.
How to avoid: The best way to avoid a billing adjustment is to ensure that all information given to FreightCenter at the time of quoting and booking is 100% complete and accurate. When scheduling your shipment, make sure you are as honest and accurate as you can be about the contents, weight, size, and location of your packaged freight.