What is your freight really costing you?
As Australian businesses are continuing to expand to online platforms to sell their products the demand for freight has never been higher. Business who once used freight irregularly are now heavily relying on freight carriers to put their products in front of their customers and into their DC's.
As freight managers it is one of our duties to audit and monitor the costs that are charged for completing these jobs and to hold carriers accountable for their charges and service promises.
It is a re-occurring problem where we find carriers have overcharged the quoted price of a consignment. This occurs for many reasons but one of the consistent reasons is that the declared weight and dimensions of the consignment have been re-weighed and measured by the carrier and their calculations are different to what our customer has declared. Therefore, they charge us at the re-measured weights and we are to then investigate and validate whether it is to be passed onto our customer or if we will dispute the charge.
These scenarios are unavoidable. With carriers implementing more and more automated processes there will always be room for error. Gone are the days where the warehouse team would manually measure consignments.
When we receive these additional charges we query them with the carrier and the customer to ensure that the correct dimensions and weight have been charged. If the investigation proves that the dimensions were correctly measured by the carrier this means that the charges are then passed onto the customer. Depending on what the consignment was re-measured at, this can create a substantially larger cost for the customer than what they had budgeted for.
This additional cost effects the profit on the job that our customer had allowed but it can also be detrimental in the long run if it is an on-going issue. How do you budget when your estimates are incorrect?
Measure your consignments properly before manifesting. This sounds obvious but we do see instances where customers are guesstimating the dimensions and weight of consignments. That 5kg difference when check weighed by the carrier can mean big dollars depending on the type of service that you have selected.
We suggest to our clients who are consistently moving the same consignments that they create a library of products as well as the packaging that these products travel in illustrating the dimensions and weights of these packages. This ensures that in scenarios where the consignment has been miscalculated by the carrier the process to dispute the charge is quick and simple.
For customers who are sending one off dimensions, make note of that consignment via images to serve as a reference if required later.
These small steps that you implement during start up can save you time, money and frustration in the long run. Review your processes, ensure your details are accurate and reap the benefits of using multi-carrier solutions to move your freight.