It seems like low gas prices (which are slowly starting to rise again) have been a positive change for almost everybody. The transportation industry has not benefited as much as consumers. In today’s transportation climate, LTL carriers are being squeezed out of profit margins that they were traditionally able to mark up through fuel. And now that fuel prices are lower, carriers are looking to re-weigh and re-classify freight to make up for their losses.In the past, re-bills would not have been a feasible way to boost profits because they were time-consuming and expensive. But today’s technology and access to tools, such as forklift scales and freight dimensioners, has allowed carriers to re-bill at a more efficient rate.
So what does this mean for shippers? Mainly, that it is more important than ever to carefully weigh your freight and present an accurate bill of lading (BOL). It’s easy in the hustle and bustle of everyday business to neglect the details of an outgoing shipment. These small shortcuts can add up to additional charges when re-weigh and re-class costs are calculated.
One way to generate a more accurate weight for your shipment is to use an accurate scale. Did you know that carriers are re-weighing approximately 80% of incoming freight shipments? This is a result of a system that has far too long depended on the honor system. Accurate weight seems like common knowledge, but many shippers overlook the quality of the scale they are using. If you don’t already own one that is reliable, do a quick Google search and browse reviews to find the best freight scale.
Accurate numbers need to be written out on your bill of lading. When it comes to your BOL, factors such as the following need to be closely examined:
- Product description
Want another tip? Give the carrier as much relevant information about the shipment as possible. As David Ross from Stifel Nicolaus states, “Giving carriers as much information as possible about one’s freight will get a shipper his best price.” Don’t leave anything to guess where a carrier can squeeze in an upcharge.
By using precise measurements and filling out a complete BOL, you will be well on your way to minimizing the chance of a re-bill. Visit the GTS blog for more logistics insights. Need a free quote or a custom logistics solution? Find them both at www.onestopshipping.com.