Avoid Billing Adjustments

Avoid Billing Adjustments

We Asked an Expert With YRC how you can avoid billing adjustments. This is a question all shippers need the answer to. 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 constructive.

 

Avoid Freight Reweighs and Billing Adjustments

Reweighs are easily one of the most common billing issues in freight shipping. Billing adjustments occur when the weight on the Bill of Lading does not match the weight on the carrier’s scale. This check can happen at any freight terminal at the carrier’s discretion. An additional charge occurs when a weight variance is found during a reweigh. Consistent reweighs from a single shipper could result in a refusal to carry their goods. This is an avoidable problem if you understand the below.

Bill of Lading

Everything starts with the bill of lading (BOL). The BOL is the most vital document in the shipping process. Many people take the BOL for granted, and they shouldn’t. It is a legal document that the carrier cannot change 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.

Gross Weight VS. Dimensional

Dimensional weight is the LxWXH Divided by 1728. The dimensional weight establishes the cubic weight of a shipment. Gross weight is everything measured on a scale, also known as the actual weight. Many freight carriers will charge you whatever the two weights are greater. In some cases, it will depend on the product itself. Make sure to clarify this with your carrier.

Obtain Accurate Weight

The weight of your shipment includes the product plus all additional packaging. Many shippers forget to factor in the importance of the pallet in the overall measurement and get hit with a reweigh once the package is on the road. This should not be an estimation, as carrier scales are sensitive. Investing in a freight scale may be beneficial for those who often ship.

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 said, “If you don’t start with the right ingredients, it will 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 have 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 stressed 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 a 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.

Ready to ship? Get a quote now or speak with a shipping expert at 8007167608.

Get your Freight Class

You can accurately calculate your freight class by using your pallet size and weight. Documenting the proper freight class will give the shipper the appropriate information to create a shipping quote, potentially helping your shipment avoid expensive reweighs down the road.
Shipment reweighs may be a common problem, but they don’t have to be your problem anymore if you follow the above advice. As always, feel free to reach out to our team of logistics experts for clarification on your shipments and obtain a quote.

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