Posted on July 27, 2020 at 12:00 PM
Logistics Industry, growing at a rapid rate has seen exponential technology infusion over the past decade. Use of technology, started as a tool for providing customers greater visibility has now peeped in all scenarios of logistics operations, be it on shipper’s end or at carrier’s operations.
With Technology automating almost every function of transportation process, the issue of erroneous freight invoicing is still glaring upon shippers and carriers, costing them significant amounts in invoice management. Tension between shippers and carriers over invoice accuracy is rising. It is estimated that 25% to 30% freight invoices have an error and this inaccuracy costs shippers $50,000 to $150,000 a year. Research firm Sterling Commerce puts the average cost of processing an individual invoice at between $12 and $30.
The question that pops in mind when we look at these staggering figures is, Why? What is the reason for freight invoice inaccuracies at large? Is it intentional goof up on the part of Carriers or unnecessary nag on shipper’s side to save upon few bucks ? Or do we need to dig deeper and look for reasons contributing to this ever-growing tension over Freight Invoices.
The answer to these questions is “No”. Neither the Shipper nor the Carrier is looking to intentionally snoop out any unfair advantage. Loose contract language, sloppy and “erroneous math,” complexity of the freight processes, the number of players involved, the sheer volume of moves and a lack of standardization qualify as the factor responsible for these errors.
Solutioning of the problem requires a system that automates freight invoice generation, which takes care of the all the fixed freight costs and also variable costs contingent upon events. This need can be addressed upon by execution of smart freight contracts that is mutually agreed upon by the shipper and the carrier. The machine generated; event triggered invoices will not only lead to direct benefits of automation but they can also yield derived benefits, if implemented thoughtfully.
Direct benefits of automated Invoicing can come in the form of freight cost reduction. Elimination of costly human errors, contract-based errors & duplicate bills can save upto 6% of the annual shipping cost.
Derived benefits come in the form of enhanced cash flows, avoiding late fee/surcharge and loaded freight rates. Better bargaining power with your shipping partners and discount eligibility also save upon a substantial shipping cost.
With the never ending freight invoicing problems in mind 90 Miles Straight has designed its Financial module of transportation utilising the concept of Adaptive Freight Contracts. Along with all other SLAs the contract between the shipper and carrier, captures all fixed freight rates as well as event based costs. The happening of an event contingent upon which is the cost element, adds up the relevant cost to the freight invoice without any human intervention. Both the shipper and the carrier speak and understand the same language i.e. language of Smart Freight Contracts. Shipper knows exactly what charges are for and whether they are legitimate claims or not. Shippers can be sure that carriers are invoicing them at contracted rates with no duplicate bills.