What are these additional charges on my freight bill?
When moving goods by common carrier, shippers expect to pay based on factors such as mode of transport, weight, volume and distance traveled. But even after these variables are accounted for, sometimes the total freight charges can be substantially higher.
Ancillary charges are extra charges over and above the basic transportation costs. If shippers are not aware of how ancillary charges can be incurred, they may be unpleasantly surprised when that bill comes in. This can negatively impact your relationship with customers, and their profit margins can be significantly impacted as well.
Some of the common ancillary charges are those for:
- special equipment requirements (e.g. use of hydraulic tailgate for street-level deliveries)
- pickup or delivery in residential or other limited-access locations
- incorrectly stated shipment weights
- inaccurate or incomplete shipping documentation
No one likes surprises when it comes to paying the bills. Avoid cost creep by understanding your customers’ requirements and ensuring they understand the entirety of the costs of shipping their goods. Having to contact customers with additional shipping charges can be embarrassing and damage your relationship. Avoid going back to your customers with additional charges due to poor planning or incomplete information.
Here are some tips for ensuring the full cost of shipping is understood by you and your customers:
- Know your customers’ origin and destination requirements.
- Know and emphasize the importance of accuracy in weighing, packing and labelling all goods for shipment.
- Ensure your employees are skilled in identifying complete transportation needs for your organization.
- Ensure employees have the tools required to avoid unforeseen changes, including accurate weigh scales, proper packaging, labeling requirements for dangerous goods, etc.
- Avoid detention/demurrage charges – make sure shipments are ready for pickup when carriers arrive, and customers understand the importance of prompt unloading, too.
- Ensure correct customs documentation and other requirements for cross-border shipments have been fulfilled.
- For shipments within the U.S. or international shipments subject to U.S. carrier tariff rates, know the correct freight classification number for all products being shipped.
Having accurate shipping information improves carrier and customer relations and your company’s bottom line.
Our experienced professionals are knowledgable about all matters related to freight and shipping. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you maximize delivery performance and maintain high customer satisfaction.
For more information, visit our website or give us a call: 1-800-313-4281 or 403-262-2771.