Get Answers to Some of the Most Common Logistics Freight Management Questions


Why do claims liability limits matter and what liability limits do freight carriers have?

The reason claims liability limits matter is because of the gap in coverage that often exists between the actual value of a commodity and the amount for which the carrier can be held liable for damage, theft and/or loss of that particular commodity. Because of this gap, shippers often don’t get paid full value for damaged, lost and/or stolen shipments through a claim settlement with the carrier.

Any savings you’ve achieved through pricing negotiations with a carrier can be negated with one mishap. Unless you’ve negotiated higher-than-industry-standard carrier claims liability limits, or have all of your shipments covered with additional freight cargo insurance, it’s highly likely that you’re leaving your business exposed financially when it comes to damages, theft and/or loss due to carrier negligence. 

Liability coverage limits for less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers can vary from one carrier to another and from one shipper to another. Generally speaking, LTL carrier liability coverage limits can be found in the carrier’s published rule tariff, which is based on and can vary according to several factors, including the specific pricing structure in place, the commodity and class of a shipment, the mode of shipment (regular LTL versus volume LTL) and the condition of the items (new versus used).

Volume LTL shipments are commonly covered with a carrier liability rate of only $1/lb. If there’s a Freight All Kinds (FAK) pricing structure involved, carrier liability coverage can vary drastically and range anywhere from $0.99/lb. to $25/lb., or more, depending upon the FAK parameters and what class a shipment falls within. Additionally, used goods—if they’re even covered by the carrier— also move under lower rates that are generally less than $1/lb. and are typically around $0.10/lb.

Where do I find shipment classification information?

Shipment classification information is found in the National Motor Freight Classification® (NMFC®). To look up classification information, you must be a subscriber to the NMFC®. The Commodity Classification Standards Board develops and maintains the NMFC® and the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) publishes it. A subscription is costly and, in general, only transportation companies and companies involved in the transportation industry subscribe to the NMFC®. Read more about the NMFC® and NMFTA.

How is fuel surcharge calculated?

Carriers calculate fuel surcharge based on their own proprietary sliding scales that are based on the national average price of diesel fuel published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. They typically move their fuel surcharge percentages up and down according to the weekly published rate.

Can I create bills of lading (BOLs) from your website?

Yes. You can fill out, print and email BOLs from our web portal. You can also import and export address books, create and save addresses in your address book for future reference and you can even customize the BOL by placing your company logo on it.