Freight managers have a lot to track and keep up with when it comes to logistical planning for shipments within the supply chain. Of all these, freight fee considerations are among the important but most overlooked. And they form the basis of the two most crucial shipping documents, says the Balance SMB. "All shippers provide clients with two important documents: the bill of lading and the freight bill. A freight bill is essentially an invoiceand is a useful tool for record-keeping and bill paying. A bill of lading, however, is an important legal document." Fees and accessorial expenses are expected, but the sheer number and types of fees and charges that can be applied to a shipment can be surprising. This is where invoice auditing and monitoring can come in handy to sort through all those documents may list. Here are some of the most common costs, charges, and fees shipping managers need to keep top of mind.
While most shippers pass on all or at least part of this expense to the customer, ensuring orders and shipments is standard practice these days. Knowing how much of the insurance cost will need to be absorbed by the carriers will enable them to adjust the pricing accordingly.
When third party carriers and forwarders are used to handle shipments, pickup fees are often included in the quoted price. This freight fee covers the carrier's costs of picking up orders and bringing them to the shipping docks or putting them on the trucks for shipment.
Paying more for service during peak hours has become expiated within the shipping business and focuses on many advisory services in the industry. During peak times of the year, prices can climb, and fees can be added to loads more profitable and worthwhile for carriers.
Like the pickup and handling fees, freight fees get added to loads to cover specific work and expenses associated with final delivery. They often are not very much compared to other fees, but they can add up over time with larger freight loads and shipments.
When dealing with shipments coming in or going out to tries, surcharges are often added to the shipping rates. One common freight fee for international shipments is there to cover losses incurred with currency changes from the place of origin to the final destination.
Other fees that can show up on shipping invoices may be labeled as administrative or office accessorial. These fees are there to help cover office work costs associated with the order and can include invoicing, paperwork, record keeping, 3PL monitoring, and clerical tasks.
Sometimes deliveries are heading to locations that are not straightforward or easy to get to and navigate around. Additional charges and freight fees are expected when the destination will require extra work or specialty services to complete the delivery.
One of the most common freight fees seen on invoicing paperwork is a fuel surcharge or mileage expense of some kind. This added cost helps offset the cost of fuels and mileage wear and tear on trucks by passing on some of that expense to the customer.
This surcharge is mostly seen with overseas and cross-border deliveries levied on shipments deemed high risk due to situations in the area. War zones, natural disaster areas, and similar factors can cause this kind of freight fee to be added to costs and finance quotes.
As part of the green movement and the push to reduce carbon emissions and pollution, many freight lines are moving to low Sulphur fuel. This fuel costs more than traditional diesel, and many carriers and forwarders add a small upcharge to their rates to allow for clean fuel usage.
Another fee seen with international transports, customs, and duty fees is often levied against the border loads. Certain cargo types can be taxed an additional time during the border crossing, and these freight fees are usually divided up between shippers and the customers.
Sometimes fees and surcharges come about because specialized equipment or tools are needed to handle certain loads. Oversized orders, bulky packages, cumbersome loads, and other specialty needs can lead to additional fees to accommodate specialty delivery services.
Fees and accessorial expenses are expected as special requests, personalized services, exceptional needs, and routine costs all need to be considered. But the sheer number and types of fees and charges that can be applied to a shipment can be surprising. It is essential for freight managers, shipping teams, carriers, and forwarders to know what fees to expect and which ones are essential and which ones can be reduced or avoided at times. Tracking, monitoring, and analyzing fees and surcharges can help protect profits and ROIs. Contact Intelligent Audit to request a demo today.
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