Depending upon your shipping habits, you have probably, experienced the wrath of the carriers. Frequent shippers often run into a number of discrepancies and face additional charges for things that seem minor. While infrequent shippers struggle to remember all the little details to shipping that the carriers require for their process. Not adhering to the carrier’s long list of preferences can lead to additional charges and repeat offenders can land on a carrier’s ‘difficult shipper’ list. If a carrier finds on multiple occasions that your freight is not the weight, size or packaged as you originally reported, they will place you on a list to be audited each time you ship to ensure you are following best practices. Each discrepancy adds to the overall cost to ship.
Although it’s frustrating to you and your team, each little detail you follow makes a big difference for the drivers and carriers. The ultimate goal of a carrier is to fill each truck to maximize profit over cost. When a driver receives freight that is not stackable, has cargo overhanging the pallet, or is loosely packaged, it affects how the driver can configure freight on the truck and what they can pick up on a particular route. Naturally, the carriers want the shipper to take responsibility for their cargo. They have more restraints and rules to follow enforced by both federal and state laws and other industry regulations.
Go with the flow: Avoid Getting Hit with Additional Carrier Charges
Below you will find a list of simple tips to follow to avoid increasing the overall cost of your freight. By keeping these items in mind, not only will your driver have a better day, the carrier will notice your best practices and recognize you as a preferred shipper
Once your freight is ready to ship, make sure to properly package it according to the carrier’s specifications. All freight must be securely and safely wrapped, crated, boxed, ect. so that it can place next to another shipment and potentially be stacked (or support other freight).
Once the freight is properly packaged and loaded on a pallet then measure the dimensions of the pallet- Weight, height, length & width. It’s crucial to measure your shipment as accurately as possible, especially since many of the carriers use laser devices to accurately measure density. Likewise, many carriers also have forklifts with scales built in, allowing them to accurately measure as they move your freight. Again, the more precise your measurements are, the less likely the carrier will audit your shipments.
Be Available & Prepared
Have your shipment waiting on the dock at the scheduled pickup time, properly packaged and ready to be loaded. This will save the driver a great deal of confusion and time. When the truck does arrive, stay around until the freight is loaded on the truck. Not only is an opportunity for you to establish a relationship with the driver, it also allows you to ensure it was properly loaded.