Today’s supply chain is complex. It relies on many moving parts, any one of which can fail along the way, derailing your shipment and costing you more money. Let’s look at how delays and extra fees can occur when an LTL, or less-than-truckload shipment, is made without supplying critical and accurate information.
We are in an era when getting the best freight rate can sometimes mean the difference between making a profit on your product, and not. It’s exciting when you receive a much lower rate than anticipated. It can be tempting to just accept the rate without asking questions, but that probably isn't the smartest move. There are less-reputable logistics companies, unfortunately, that will try to take advantage of shippers who aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of shipping LTL freight.
Beware of super-low LTL rates— it may be a red flag
How to avoid re-class and inspection fees
Even the most seasoned warehouse managers can get in over their heads when it comes to the particulars of tendering a new LTL load. For example, using the wrong National Motor Freight Classification, or NMFC number, can make a big difference in the cost of your shipment. Knowing when to use the NMFC classification versus using a load density calculation to determine the class is important too.
If you receive a freight rate that seems exceptionally low, it may be because the logistics service provider used a lower classification number to rate it. This number will be used on the bill of lading (BOL) and determines the final billing. The lower the NMFC number, the less the cost. If the wrong classification number is used, whether it be intentional or by mistake, it can cost you money. When the freight is inspected by the carrier and found to be the wrong classification, fees will be added for reclassification and possibly inspection.
These additional charges sometimes go unnoticed by the shipper, and it isn’t until after the cargo has been delivered and the invoice is due that the additional fees come to light. This is a deceptive practice and will never be used by Choptank Transport!
CHOPTANK TRANSPORT WILL ALWAYS USE YOUR PROVIDED NMFC NUMBER. IF YOU’RE NOT SURE OF THE CLASSIFICATION, WE CAN PROVIDE PROFESSIONAL, HONEST AND TRANSPARENT ASSISTANCE.
So, here is what you need to know to avoid these unnecessary fees. Remember, knowledge is power and accuracy is king!
How to determine the right freight class
There are two ways to identify the right classification for your freight. The first one is to use one of the 18 NMFC numbers assigned by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), shown below. They range in classification from 50 to 500. As mentioned earlier, the higher the classification number, the more expensive it is to ship. If you cannot find your product’s classification, we can help. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The other way to determine the correct freight class is to use a density-based classification calculator. You should only use density-based freight classifications when
- Your product doesn’t fit into any of the NMFC classifications (a good example being if you’re shipping two kinds of classifications in one crate).
- You are working with a carrier who only uses density-based shipping practices.
If you need to ship by density, use Choptank’s Simple Freight Class Density Calculator! *
Helpful Hints: When taking measurements, make sure you round to the nearest inch. Always use an accurate shipping scale, and include the packaging (pallets, crates and boxes) in your weight measurements. And FYI, most carriers have a minimum charge on weight.
What can cause additional fees?
If your shipment was quoted by its freight/NMFC class, and the carrier determines that the actual class is different from the items being shipped, a reclass adjustment will probably be charged.
Shipments that exceed 12 feet in length
Deliveries When a shipment picks up or delivers to a residence or business that is not visibly marked not accounted for on the original quote, you will most likely be charged additional fees.
If a liftgate is required you may be charged additional fees. This can occur when shipments exceed 100 pounds or 72 inches in height, or are in locations without accessible docks.