How Can You Avoid Billing Adjustments? We Asked an Expert With YRC
According to shipping periodical Transport Topics, YRC is the second largest LTL freight shipping carrier in the United States. Recently, James Faas, Director W+I for YRC paid a visit to FreightCenter, and we took the opportunity to ask him how our customers could avoid costly billing adjustments.
Whether or not you have had to deal with billing adjustments in the past, his response should be very helpful.
Bill of Lading
Everything starts with the bill of lading (BOL). The BOL is the most vital document in the shipping process. A lot of people take the BOL for granted, and they shouldn’t. It is a legal document which cannot be changed by the carrier without a letter of authority from the shipper.
When you book your shipment with FreightCenter, the BOL is automatically generated from the information you provide and emailed to you. It's important to have it printed and give it to the carrier when they arrive to pick up the shipment.
If you don’t provide accurate and complete details of the shipment, your BOL will be incorrect. And that is when billing adjustments become a factor.
What Could Be Wrong?
There are many details that must be covered when shipping LTL freight. Details that are skipped will not appear on the Bill of Lading. Those that are provided incorrectly will be incorrect on the BOL. Think of the BOL as the recipe for your shipment, the starting point. As Mr. Faas put it, “If you don’t start off with the right ingredients, it’s going to taste bad at the end.”
According to Mr. Faas, these are some of the most common errors and omissions that result in the shipper receiving a billing adjustment.
- Dimensions and/or weight are incorrect on the BOL
- The fact that an appointment or notification is required before pickup or delivery is missing from the BOL
- An address is incorrect on the BOL
Other common booking errors include:
- Failure to order a liftgate on the BOL (Liftgate is needed when no loading dock is present).
- Failure to designate a location as residential or having limited access on the BOL.
If these items aren’t on the BOL, a billing adjustment will have to be made after the shipment is delivered.
How to Be Sure
While this isn’t groundbreaking information about what causes billing adjustments, James did stress the why the Bill of Lading is so important. A carrier can’t legally alter the BOL. So, if the information provided on the BOL is incorrect, such as incorrect weight, wrong measurements or addresses, or if critical information is not completed, all the carrier can do is bill you later through a billing adjustment. They legally can not alter the BOL.
The best way for you to avoid billing adjustments is to make sure you check all the boxes that apply when using our free instant online quote system. If there are shipping options you’re not sure about, ask your National Account Manager when you review your shipment before it’s booked.