4 Practices For Reducing Carrier InspectionsWritten by Neal Willis
In addition to total weight and origin and destination zip codes, as long as shipment class and all relevant accessorial service information is known for a shipment, a shipper can reasonably expect to obtain a fairly accurate freight quote for a move. That being said, simply providing complete and accurate information to the carrier/provider up front for quoting purposes is not enough to ensure that the rate you’re quoted is the rate at which you’re billed, even if all information for the quote and the shipment are exactly the same.
Always Write The NMFC # On BOLs Where A Carrier Can See It
Once a freight class for a specific item is determined, it isn’t guaranteed to be the same moving forward. Some commodities (NMFC #’s) have permanently assigned classes regardless of size and weight, while others can fall into multiple classes based upon individual shipment density. It just depends on the commodity and how it is classed/grouped by the NMFC.
When classed according to density, an item can fall under multiple classes due to dimensions, pallet count, total weight, etc. of individual shipments. In general, the lower the density of the shipment, the higher the corresponding freight class will be, and vice versa.
Always Place A Description Of The Freight On The BOL
A vaguely labeled shipment is much more likely to be inspected over a shipment of the same nature with merely a more detailed description on the BOL. All else equal, if the carrier is not sure of what they’re handling, there is an increased likelihood of inspection.
Be Familiar With Carriers And Policies
Be aware of your carrier’s practices and habits when it comes to reweighs and reclassifications. All carriers aren’t equal. Some carriers are tougher on shipment inspections and reclassifications than others. For the most part, though, once you’re on a carrier’s radar you’ll be on it until the problem(s) are corrected.
Undoubtedly, deliberately deceiving the carrier and cheating on freight classes and weights will eventually catch up to you. Do the right thing the first time and you’ll increase your chances of not having to pay penalties down the road.
When carrier inspections expose freight labeling and classification errors, the results can be costly. Shipments get delayed in transit and are more susceptible to damage, plus the billing errors and adjustments quickly add up. Following these simple practices can help reduce the chances of shipments being inspected.
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