As with industry there are plenty of inside terms and tricks to understanding freight charges.
Even businesses who have lots of experience with shipping can find themselves overwhelmed when looking over a bill from a freight carrier. That is why it is so important to understand everything about your freight charges and why they are appearing.
Here are some key things you should understand about freight charges and when they apply (or don’t apply) to what you are shipping.
The Difference Between Truckload and LTL
Not all trucking shipments are created equal. One of the major differences is between truckload and LTL or less than truckload charges. The two processes are very different in both practice and the amount that is charged for the service.
A truckload shipment means that you are paying for the truck entirely. Truckload quotes can vary wildly depending on the time of year that they are being made, geographical location and distance. They are based more upon the demands that are occurring at the time and that the company is experience.
LTL shipping means you are taking up space on a truck with other shipments. Your costs can vary, but tend to be more static since you are paying for the space that you are taking up not the entire truck. Essentially you are splitting the truckload rate with everyone else who is loaded into the truck.
Each has its benefits and negatives. Before you book make sure you understand the rate you are being given and if it is a truckload or LTL rate.
Charges Still Apply: Even If the Good Are Damaged
There is nothing worse than opening up a shipping crate and finding damaged goods. As frustrating as it is, it is a common occurrence. What you need to understand and be prepared for is that even if a shipment arrives damaged there may still be freight charges associated with that shipment.
Depending on the carrier that you are using, there may be different ways of dealing with freight damage. This can also change based upon the amount damage; full or partial.
Regardless of the damage done you need to pay the initial freight costs and then file a claim for the damage. The costs may then be refunded by the carrier or reimbursed via insurance. It really varies depending on the company you used and how they set up their damage claim process.
Keep Your Paperwork for Disputes
It should go without saying but you need to have documentation backing up everything. This can really come into play when there are disputes over shipping weight.
If you weigh a shipment and it turns out to be a different weight class than initially thought there can be a huge swing in the shipping costs. You must have documentation to back up your claim and fight the reweigh. Otherwise you are responsible for all costs incurred.
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