Shipment adjustments are costly, when they aren’t in your favor, but did you know they’re easy to avoid? Yes, that’s right. Nearly all shipment adjustments can be avoided with proper planning and communication. Let’s start with the basics. Adjustments are up to the freight carrier’s discretion and are applied when the information provided by the shipper does not match the actual shipment details. Most shipping adjustments occur due to variances in shipment size and/or weight. Prior to quoting make sure all of your shipment information is accurate. For accurate quotes you must provide the dimensions, weight and packaging information. There are other factors that will likely result in a shipping adjustment, such as special handling. Here are six (6) common adjustments:
Bill of lading changes:
Any change to the bill of lading may result in an adjustment. Carriers base their quote on the information provided in the BOL. Changes include the shipper address, consignee address, piece count, weight and freight call. It’s important to accurately communicate when requesting a quote. We can’t reemphasize enough -changing the bill of lading will more than likely result in an adjustment.
To ensure safe unloading, lift-gate trucks are required for freight exceeding 100 pounds or 72 inches in height in locations that do not have a loading dock. To avoid a lift-gate adjustment communicate to your shipping agent or LTL the weight and dimensions. Ask if the destination has a loading dock. If not, your shipment will require a lift gate truck.
Limited delivery access:
If the pick up or drop off location has limited access for carriers, an adjustment may be applied. Limited access locations include: businesses located outside city limits, camps, construction sites, carnivals, churches/places of worship, fairs, farms, military bases, mining locations, schools/educational institutions, rodeos and rural locations. In addition, limited delivery access may include commercial businesses not open to the general public or business locations where an employee is not available to assist with loading or unloading. The more details you communicate when requesting a quote the less likely your shipment will incur an adjustment.
Oversize fees apply to shipments exceeding 12 feet in length. As previously mentioned, if the dimensions are factored into the quote in advance, this fee can be avoided. To ensure an accurate quote the first time around, it is imperative to have an accurate freight size measured. For accurate quotes you must provide the dimensions and weight. We know we’ve mentioned this one before — we’re mentioning it again because it’s a common error.
Applies when the freight carrier has quoted a shipment based on a freight class/NMFC code, and the actual class is different for the items being shipped. The shipment class is based on several factors, including the contents of the shipment, value, density, and destination. If there are any discrepancies or changes required after the process has begun, it’s very likely a shipment adjustment will occur.
Apply to pick up or drop off locations that are not businesses. This can include businesses that are not visibly labeled to the public. When requesting your shipping agent or LTL carrier specify if the destination address is a commercial or residential location. Please note to avoid this adjustment the business name must be accurately listed on the bill of lading.
The moral of this story: communication is key to avoid shipping adjustments. When you’re gathering information for your shipment clearly communicate any special handling factors. Provide accurate information on each shipment. Do not use estimates. Be pro-active not re-active. It is best to monitor adjustments and address them immediately. If you need a pro-active 3PL please contact us.