FreightorGator customers and LTL shippers as a whole are constantly running into issues around extra class and reweigh cost. FreightorGator CEO, Augie Grasis, has some words of wisdom to help you avoid getting hit with these dreaded and unexpected freight fees in the future.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, hates extra charges on LTL freight shipments. Shippers hate paying extras. Carriers hate charging for extras. FreightorGator hates administering extras! When you go to the freightorgator.com website or another freight exchange, and book a shipment for a great price and the shipment is delivered safely, you expect to be are done. Everything goes great and then BAM!–You get hit with a bill for hundreds of dollars extra. What happened? How can you avoid extra charges on your LTL freight shipping in the future?
Extra freight charges typically come from two sources—Reclass/Reweigh or Accessorials. If you are going to avoid these charges it helps to understand each of these. Here is a quick checklist of the most popular culprits with some important details following:
- Item is overweight or larger than reported resulting in ReClass/ReWeigh
- Liftgate is needed for pickup or delivery
- FreightorGator Bill of Lading form not used
Reclass/Reweigh, or RC/RW for short, is a carrier talk for “the part is bigger or heavier than you told us and we are going to charge you for it.” The number one way to avoid RC/RW charges is to weigh your freight accurately and measure the outside dimensions of the package accurately. If you do this and record it properly when you make the shipment, you will not get billed extra.
But, what if you don’t have the equipment to weigh your freight? You can estimate the weight by adding up the manufacturers catalog weight of the object or objects you are shipping plus all the packaging materials. Let’s say you estimate a weight of 700lbs. Don’t put “700lbs” on the shipping document as the weight—that’s a dead giveaway you are estimating and the carrier will reweigh your freight. Instead, write down a precise number like 692lb or 709lb. This is not a guarantee it will not get reweighed but it is less likely the carrier will reweigh.
Accessorials are extra work that the carrier does or extra services he provides, to get your freight from point A to point B. Carriers like to get paid for these extra services and are going to send you the bill if accessorial services are used. There are a few popular and important accessorials shippers often miss which are good to pay attention to. The liftgate is one of those—anytime you are shipping a load, think about what or who will be at the origin and the destination to load and unload the freight. If you are shipping to or from a residence, you will likely need a liftgate to move the freight on or off the truck. If this is not specified, the carrier will charge you.
Another place where extra charges arise is the Bill of Lading (BOL). The Bill of Lading is the contract between the shipper and the carrier. Take special care in filling out the BOL because mistakes or inconsistencies here will cost you. Every single detail on the BOL must be complete, true and accurate.
To start with, you must use the BOL form provided by FreightorGator. If you book with FreightorGator and use a BOL form from the carrier, this will be confusing to the carrier and will result in additional charges. Be accurate about the pickup and ship-to locations because incorrect addresses result in “re-consignment” which, of course, means extra charges. There are other blanks on the BOL for special instructions. While Carriers don’t always charge for this, if you request “call before delivery” or “must deliver on _____ date” sometimes additional charges result.
There is one other party that loathes extra charges in LTL shipping as badly as you do—that’s your team here at FreightorGator. We have built a business around streamlined, low touch LTL shipping to save time and money for you, the shipper. An extra charge from a carrier results in verification and documentation of the charge, contacting you with the bad news and collecting the charge on behalf of the carrier. The measly $25 handling fee that we charge does not come close to covering our staff’s labor in administering this process.
So, think ahead, be accurate and thorough—these are the keys to successful shipping. Applying these consistently to every shipment will help you avoid or eliminate those hated extra costs—for YOU and for US!