Trans Audit Blog

Do your carrier contracts protect you from overbillings and overpayments and distinguish between them?

paul walsh - Thursday, March 16, 2017

Overbillings and overpayments are two very distinct issues that must be dealt with in all transportation contracts, as different statutes of limitation and laws govern them. Overbillings occur when a carrier for example, bills a shipper at the wrong rate, calculates charges incorrectly, or has been reimbursed for inapplicable accessorials. Overpayments are situations, whereby a carrier is financially compensated too much for a transaction, such as duplicate payments, payments to the wrong party, payments of revised and...

2015 Profit and Revenue Contribution

paul walsh - Thursday, March 16, 2017

Transportation, as one of the largest expenses for most Fortune and Global 1000 companies has a very significant and direct impact on profitability and an indirect and important contribution to revenue production. Believe it or not, a good portion of the Fortune and Global 1000 entities, particularly in the manufacturing and retail sectors, have a net profit margin of 5% or less. Every dollar saved or recovered has a direct impact on net profit, as it is directly...

Transportation Post Audit?

paul walsh - Thursday, March 16, 2017

Every year, hundreds of millions of dollars are lost due to carrier overbillings, rate errors, incorrect or excessive accessorial charges, service failures, and erroneous payments. Whether you have a pre-audit provider, TMS, 3PL, or a state-of-the-art accounting system in place, the fact is that human and systemic errors still occur. Although these systems and providers find a portion of billing and payment errors, they do not and cannot provide a complete and thorough line...

Planning for 2017 Budget Savings?

paul walsh - Thursday, March 16, 2017

Contemplating a transportation post audit in 2017, but think you do not have the time or resources?

Well, it is not too late to quickly and easily implement a freight and parcel post audit, guaranteeing cost recovery and reduction results, and budget impact in...

Alarmed by Carrier Rate Increases?

paul walsh - Thursday, March 16, 2017

Hard to believe that the holidays are almost upon us! For most of us, this is a time of family gatherings, shopping, budgeting, 2017 planning, and of course, many unwarranted annual carrier rate increases. Though a busy time, it is the perfect time to conduct a RFP to mitigate increasing costs and gain better control over transportation expenses.

SPECIAL REPORT UPDATE: NMFTA CHANGES THE UNIFORM STRAIGHT BILL OF LADING

paul walsh - Thursday, March 16, 2017

In Trans Audit's ongoing efforts to keep our Clients and the market apprised of significant industry changes, we would like to make you aware of important modifications instituted by the NMFC impacting the Uniform Straight Bill of Lading. This unilateral and sweeping change shifts the carrier's burden for proving freedom from negligence to the shipper, who now must prove carrier negligence. As Trans Audit is a member and supporter of the Transportation & Logistics Council (T&LC), and I serve on the T&LC Board of Directors, I urgently ask you to read further:

Have your transportation overcharge recovery rights been forfeited?

paul walsh - Thursday, March 16, 2017

Hard to believe that we are in August and that you may have given up your rights to recover 2015 overbillings and overpayments from your carriers. Given a concerted effort by carriers to limit the filing of overcharge and overpayment claims to 180 days, you may be exposed to unrecoverable excess payments. If a carrier has unilaterally or via a new contract or amendment established a 180-day filing rule, even overpayments made in early 2016 will be foregone at this time.

Trans Audit has a busy 2017, sponsoring and attending a number of industry events!

paul walsh - Thursday, March 16, 2017

We look forward to meeting you at one of these great events!

Please contact Vikki L. Van Vliet at 678.232.2683 or Kristy Bishop at 770.380.4570 for further information.

Is Parcel Audit Effective For My Company?

paul walsh - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What is a parcel audit?

All shippers, whatever their size, perform a parcel audit. Such a function may also be referred to as a shipping or small package audit; however, only the term parcel audit will be used in this article, whose primary purpose will be to help you, as the owner of a Fortune 1000 company, to decide whether it would save your business money if you were to perform such an audit.

Why parcel audits are performed

The majority of businesses that hire parcel audit companies do so in order to collect refunds on packages that were delivered late. However, it is also possible to find out if the wrong amount was stated on an invoice.

The invoices drawn up by FedEx, UPS and other parcel carriers are often long and complex, reaching a hundred pages or more, but most of the information that they contain is of value to your business. You can see how a package was delivered and thus calculate the amount of the shipping charges due thereon.

Invoices nowadays are generated automatically, and the potential for error, such as incorrect, duplicated and outright "phantom" charges is high. Sometimes, too, a time-sensitive package is not delivered on time, in which case the client is entitled to a refund. Many of those who work for parcel companies claim that their employers do little to minimize the possibility of such mistakes.

Parcel auditing, therefore, can save your company a great deal of money. The task can be done by one of your employees, or you can hire an audit company to do the job. Let us look at the advantages of the latter choice.

Parcel audit companies and negotiation

It is the right of every shipper for UPS and FedEx to make sure that the shipping bills they issue are correct and that they have fulfilled all service guarantees. One of the biggest challenges that faces today's parcel world is the rising prices of parcels shipping. For that reason, you also need to take several steps towards mitigating these expenses, such as studying the company you seek to hire and negotiating prices if possible.

A qualified company will always have software for validating rates and surcharges and for pinpointing claims of late shipment so that they can be filed. The business will receive audit invoices each week and apply credits before you pay the shipping agent.

5 Reasons You Need to Perform a Freight Audit

paul walsh - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Freight audits are one of the most valuable tools available for companies that ship things on a regular basis. Here are five reasons why you need to start performing them more often.

1) You Haven't Done One Recently

The shipping industry advances - and as it does, processes change. That's usually a good thing for companies like yours, but if you don't stay on top of the changes, then you could find yourself locked into outdated agreements that are costing you money every time you ship a package. A freight audit must be done on a regular basis if it's going to be effective, so do one on general principle

2) You Ship Many Products

If bulk shipping is involved, then a small difference in pricing can mean a big loss for your company over time. A good audit will help to ensure that the entire process is always running at its most affordable - including at the loading stages, where even a few added seconds for loading a large number of packages could put you days behind schedule.

3) You'd Like Some Spare Cash

This is not a joke - we get paid based on the amount we can save you, which means that auditing services can quite literally pay for themselves and leave you with some extra cash in hand. If you'd like to upgrade your technology, give employees a raise, or just scrounge up some cash to invest into a product, then a freight audit may be the solution you're looking for.

4) You Ship Through Various Methods

On its way to a destination, a given parcel may be sent over land, sea, and sky - and freight classifications mean that something as simple as your packaging material could impact your overall rates. Audits will locate problems with your shipping techniques and may even be able to shorten the routes - thereby reducing your costs.

5) You Ship Worldwide

Most of the major parcel carriers are actually very good at getting packages to their destination. Unfortunately, they can't control local laws and regulations - and merely moving through a country can be trouble if you're shipping something valuable or restricted. Your goal is to find the best way of getting your package from the warehouse to its final destination, and an audit will ensure that you're always using the most efficient route no matter where in the world you're shipping your products to.

3 Things You Should Consider When Hiring Freight Audit Companies

paul walsh - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Deciding between freight audit companies is a serious task - and one that could make a major difference to your bottom line. Here are three major things to consider when making your choice.

1) Past Successes

Ideally, the company you choose will be able to demonstrate its ability to save by showing how much it's helped other companies. There are two factors to keep in mind here.

The absolute savings are the full amount of money saved by another company, and they provide a good foundation for estimating what freight audit companies might be able to do for you. However, it's worth keeping in mind that each company has its own needs - companies that ship truly massive numbers of products are far more likely to see greater absolute savings.

The second measure, percentage savings, focuses on a more reliable measure: what percent of the total money spent on freight was regained. Past results are never a guarantee of future results in the auditing process, but companies that manage a certain percentage of savings on a regular basis are, on the whole, more likely to save your own company a similar amount.

2) Client List

If a firm twenty times your size and fifty times your profit margin trusts a freight audit company to examine their invoices, then congratulations: the firm you're looking at has been thoroughly recommended by people who have even more of an interest in getting things done right. However, don't focus on the size alone - you should also pay attention to whether or not a company has audited firms with shipping needs similar to your own. Size alone doesn't mean much in the shipping world, especially because an auditor who knows where to look can probably save you much more than a generalist with no experience matching your needs.

3) History

Truly massive shipping processes - and the audits that go with them - are a relatively new part of the economy. Both have always been present to some degree, but not in the same way they appear in modern times - in other words, nobody has a truly extended history. However, a minimum of several years in the field (with a demonstrated record of success) is a basic criteria when you're deciding between freight audit companies. Results are more important than certifications, so focus on the firm that can help your company the most - with a history to prove it.