Re-weighs occurs when the weight on the BOL does not match the weight on the carrier's scale.

Use the precise weight of the pallet (or other packaging) and not approximations.

We polled our customers to find out what they wanted to read about in our next blog and the number one response was “How to dispute Common Carrier re-weighs.” Freight re-weighs are a common issue. Adjustments to freight charges occur when the information on the Bill of Lading (BOL) does not match the actual shipment. Re-weighs are up to the carrier’s discretion and can happen at any terminal your freight moves through. Most carriers will not intentionally re-weigh the product at an artificial weight as — their reputation and character are on the line. Ninety percent (90 %) of all re weighs are correct, however mistakes do happen.

Here are some creative ways of disputing these seemingly “indisputable” additional charges:



    •  Find out where the re -weigh happened. If it happened at the origin facility then it is more than likely correct, however there is one way to verify this. Have the sales representative from that carrier (or the representative from the 3PL that you are using) contact the re-weighing carrier to find out what other freight was on the pickup trailer. If there is a shipment that is on that trailer that is similar or the same as the re-weight it is possible the dock worker crossed the shipments and re-weighed the wrong product. Request to have the next facility re weigh.


    • If the re-weigh occurred down the line (i.e. at a break bulk facility) the freight has moved through two or three terminals without getting hit and with today’s technology it is very unlikely several terminals would have missed additional weight. In this case, go to the line trailer that the re-weigh came from and find a shipment of similar weight. Most carriers can trace the shipment every time it moves. Request the representative to look at the movement of the shipment and it will sometimes show the weight changing back to the original weight as the dock workers move the shipment.


    • If the shipment has been re-weighed and it is not a next day point have the destination facility re-weigh the shipment when it arrives. 

The best way to fight a re-weigh is taking action as soon as your freight is re-weighed. Some carriers have the capability to send reports on the morning following a pickup or you can call the carrier the following morning to see if any of your freight was re-weighed from the night before. A savvy customer or a good 3PL will do this around 1:00 the following day. Most carriers have all re-weighs entered from the night before by this time. Some carriers enter re-weighs immediately.

Be careful not to mistake deficit weight for a re-weigh. Deficit weight is weight that is artificially added to the bill. This is for rating purposes only and will be listed on the invoice as deficit weight. This weight is not the same as the actual weight. If it is less expensive to rate a shipment weighing greater than actual weight, the carriers add additional weight to the shipment to achieve the higher weight price break. Deficit weight pricing is for the customers benefit only.


The moral of this story: It is best to be pro-active and not re-active when it comes to re-weighs. Remember, re-weighs occur when the weight on the BOL (Bill of Lading) does not match the weight on the carrier’s scale. Whenever possible use the precise weight of the pallet (or other packaging) on your BOL and not approximations. It is best to monitor carrier reweigh charges and address them immediately. If you need a pro-active 3PL please contact us.