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The Top 7 BOL Don’ts

RCT Blog back again with a few tips on what you should never put on an LTL Bill of Lading. In today’s world, BOL’s are scanned by computers and pallets are weighed and measured by computers and lasers. These automated systems require us to provide accurate information and if we don’t, we get penalized for it with outrageous fees. Here are some BOL Don’ts you should follow.

 

Accurately filling out your BOL will ensure you pay what you get quoted. These are 7 BOL Don’ts I have learned over time:

  • Don’t ever reference “liftgate” or “inside delivery” if you are not requesting these services.
    • I know this sounds like common sense, but sometimes goofy errors happen. Instead, if no services are required try stating-” No accessorial services approved without authorization.” This makes it so the carrier is required to contact you before adding any extra services.
  • In the Company Name Field of the BOL, don’t ever put a person’s name
    • This can result in residential delivery fees.
  • Don’t ever put “insured for $xxx.xx” on the BOL
    • Extra carrier insurance charges may result

 

  • Do not put the released value unless the nmfc# requires this information on the BOL.
    • Extra carrier insurance charges may result
  • Do not put deliver by, deliver on, or deliver after on the BOL.
    • Storage charges expedited/guaranteed delivery charges may result.
  • BOL’s must state- Contact “xxx” if delivery problems occur, an email and phone number should be provided.
    • Carriers will communicate about refused freight, accessorial service approvals, etc.
  • Ensure only one BOL is handed to the driver upon pick up.
    • If multiple documents required, ensure the driver places the pro sticker on the BOL Which is to be followed.
    • Drivers will often pro sticker the BOL with the shipper’s logo/ header.
    • Unwanted freight movement and re-consignment charges may result.

If you are looking for help classifying your shipments or would like some pricing, call us today and one of our freight specialists would be happy to work with you to get to where you need to be to reduce rebills and save you time and money moving forward into the future.

Click here to get a quote today!

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LTL Bill of Lading Setup to avoid Re-bills-(part 3 of 3)

Hey everyone, RCT Blog is back again this week with our third part of our series: LTL Bill of Lading Setup to avoid Re-bills- The Series.  In this section of our series, we will be talking about the ways you can make sure your description, NMFC#, and freight class are all matching up correctly.

Freight Description

On the BOL of any LTL shipment, the Freight Description must accurately match the freight that ships. When you find your NMFC#, the description used to describe you NMFC# in bold is exactly what needs to be used as the description on your BOL. Do not contradict the NMFC# description(Bold wording) with the freight description:

In the photo below, the bold wording is what is always used in the freight description.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing Your NMFC#

Be careful when you are deciding on your NMFC#’s and make sure that the entire NMFC # description matches the freight accurately. If you do not include an NMFC # on your BOL, then carriers will inspect your freight. The NMFC#’s change regularly, so it is important to keep them updated and be aware when they do update. Your class should be supported by your product description, density, and NMFC#. If one of these is lacking support then you could be shipping in the wrong class.

Some NMFC# will have special packaging requirements, so be aware of all relevant notes and packaging requirements listed under the NMFC#’s. One last thing you will want to do is confirm that the selected nmfc# falls within the appropriate Group for the type of product it is.

 

Choosing Your Class:

When choosing a class for your LTL shipment you should always start with your product description and then find the correct NMFC# for your product. Once you find the correct NMFC#, then you can use the density of your pallet to determine the class. Most NMFC#’s are broken down into subs which change the class based on the density. If you don’t know your NMFC#, it is best to run your shipment at the class associated with the density.  This diagram shows which classes go with each density:

 

                                                                          SUB                           DENSITY                          CLASS

 

Now we have gone over the top 6 things that you need to have to help your freight broker reduce re-bills. They were; Knowing what accessorial charges are needed before shipping, accurately documenting weight and dimensions, and finding the correct NMFC# in order to provide the correct freight description and class. If you need help or have questions on how to find any of this information and RCT Specialist can help you today- call (763)-572-3788

You can check out the last post of this series here “The Top 7 BOL No-Nos” Please Enjoy!

 

 

 

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LTL Bill of Lading Setup to avoid Re-bills-(part 2 of 3)

Welcome back everyone, in this post we are going to be looking at how LTL Shipment Weight can possibly cause a re-bill incident. In our previous post (LTL Bill of Lading Setup to avoid Re-bills-(part 1 of 3)), we spoke about how it is important to have accurate information for your BOL in order to avoid re-bills. Your LTL Shipment Weight is one of the most important pieces of information you can have correct on your BOL. There are a few different kinds of shippers in the fact that they weigh their shipments differently. Here are the different kinds of shippers:

Certified Weight – As a certified shipper you have taken the steps and invested in a calibrated and certified scale to get the most accurate and documented LTL shipment weight. This allows you to document proof to fight reweigh situations when they arise.

Estimated Weight- As an Estimated shipper, you take the weight of your product and add weight for the packaging and pallets. Over time you have found an LTL shipment weight that works well for you. With this kind of weighing you could expect some rebilling until you find the right LTL shipment weight for your products.

Relayed Weight- As a Relayed shipper, you are given the LTL shipment weight information by another party who either has a scale or is guessing the weight. In this situation, you should expect a few re-bill situations due to miscommunication.

 

How LTL Shipment Weight Can be Wrong-

 

 

When shipping managers tend to ship freight they can sometimes forget to account for the pallet weight or the packing material weight. It is important to remember to account for everything involved in your shipment when calculating weights. If your product weighs “X” already packaged, don’t forget to add 30-45 lbs of pallet weight per pallet. If your product is unpackaged remember to add in packaging weight and pallet weight. It is best to always weigh and measure pallets after they are finished and built.

 

Weight Tips for LTL Shipments:

  • Be sure the equipment type you are using can handle the weight of your shipment. For instance, a liftgate has a maximum load capacity of 3,500 lbs. 
  • Avoid using whole numbers or rounding weight to whole numbers:
    • 400  lbs would be better at 407 lbs and when it is 400 lbs, it raises a red flag to the carrier’s system and usually, the shipment will be inspected and reweighed.

Weight is very important for your shipments because the weight of your shipment helps determine the density of your shipment. A smaller or larger density can have a big impact on the class of a shipment. Changing the class of your shipment can have huge effects on the price of your shipment, that is why it is so important to run your shipments at the correct class every time.

 

Dimensions of your Pallets

When shipping your pallets you need to be sure they are being built correctly in order for your dimensions to be accurate. In today’s transportation world, more and more tasks are becoming automated and the ones that already are include weighing and measuring your shipments. Machines called Dimensionalizers are used to measure your shipments using lasers. Your shipment is placed in a square box on the terminal floor and lasers from all sides take measurements up and down your pallet. If your pallet is 48 x 40 on the bottom, but 54 x 46 on the top, then you will be getting a re-bill using the dimensions of 56 x 46 to price the shipment.

Winning in an Automated World?

It is possible to challenge the automated systems that are now used in today’s terminals. Most of the time we will lose due to a poor job on the front end of correctly building and securing the pallet. It is important to make sure you are using the widest most dimension of your pallets when you get your pricing because that is what you will ultimately be billed for. Winning in an automated world is all about playing by the rules and having the most accurate information possible. Its pretty simple really and if things get a little hairy….people like myself are here to save the day!

Some tips on dimensions:

  • Put exact dimensions on BOL
  • Include all dimensions on BOL
  • A large majority of NMFC#’s are density based and dimensions are used to calculate density.
  • Having no dimensions listed on your BOL with a Density-Based NMFC# will guarantee you an inspection.
  • Selecting the “standard pallet” option is not a substitute for entering dimensions.
  • Ensure freight is adequately attached to your pallets. Freight Shift can change your dimensions.

 

 

 

As you can see above if your dimensions change, the carriers could end up changing the price on you. We just need to take all of the precautionary steps to prevent freight-shift and re-weighs. By securing your freight and documenting accurate weights and measurements for your shipments, we can drastically reduce rebills and make them non-existent for you. RC Transport specializes in Less Than truckload shipping and would enjoy the opportunity to partner with you and reduce your rebilling instances and save you money on your shipments. Call (763)572-3788 Today for a Quote or email nate.abbott@rctransportusa.com

In our next post we will talk about LTL Freight Description and NMFC#’s on your BOL’s. It is important to have this information correct to prevent rebilling from the carriers. To read more click here:  LTL Bill of Lading Setup to avoid Re-bills-(part 3 of 3)

 

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The Trucking Industry has Essentially hit the 100% Capacity Mark.

A new year brings challenges to the trucking industry as it continues to struggle with truckload capacity issues. The problems with capacity continue to stem from the increased overall freight demand. Along with this increased demand, we just saw a big change in the industry with electronic logging. The ELD Mandate is changing the way freight moves and therefore impacting truckload capacity further.

 

trucker.com

 

Data tracked by DAT Solutions, for example, showed that the number of available loads for the week ending December 16 increased 2.4% while available capacity dipped 7.5%, sending load-to-truck ratios higher in the dry van, refrigerated and flatbed sectors compared to the previous week. Trucking freight rates, in both the spot and contract segments, have been increasing for shippers, which is an “immediate reflection” of the tight truck capacity situation.  Little to no truck capacity ahead for early 2018 | American Trucker

The Next 6 Months:

If we see any big winter storms this season, it could push truckload capacity way above the current 100%.  This would leave shippers having to pay much more to get loads delivered on time. Shippers might even have to be more flexible with delivery times if they can in order to save money on freight cost. This first half of 2018 will prove to be challenging for everyone in the industry.

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