What's Up With Your Weight (and Inspection) Issues!

Jun 12, 2019

Relax! We’re not talking about any personal issues. We’re talking about all those Weight and Inspection (W&I) Certificates that you’re getting from your LTL carriers!

I’ve heard from so many LTL shippers about this issue that I am half tempted to designate 2019 as the “Year of Weight and Inspection Certificates!”

What the heck is going on? Shippers are experiencing the impact of LTL carriers who are becoming much better at collecting data and using it to make pricing decisions.

As we have noted in several Two Minute Warnings, LTL carriers are using dimensionalizers and forklifts that can weigh your pallets as they are being moved, to determine the exact size and density of the freight being shipped.

So when the CEO of one large LTL carrier tells me that 39% of the shipments that are tendered to them have weight discrepancies, you know we’re talking about a problem that has to be addressed.

As this CEO noted: “We can’t afford to keep giving stuff away for free!” With the majority of those discrepancies going in the shippers favor (a.k.a. the B/Ls are showing less weight than the actual weight of the shipment) the carriers can’t afford to overlook this issue. They need to be paid for ALL of the stuff that is being put on their trucks!

I asked this CEO if he had some advice for shippers who are concerned about the number of W&I Certificates they are getting and he said “Absolutely! First, shippers who issue B/Ls with errors are inviting carriers to create Weight and Inspection Certificates. And once a carrier starts selecting shipments, they will look at more than just the weight; they will use dimensionalizers and get the dimensions (a.k.a. size) of the shipments and then calculate the density factor (a.k.a. the class of the freight). And if there is a discrepancy, they will send out a balance due and attach a W&I Certificate.”

He also said that shippers should weigh and record the actual weights of shipments that leave their docks rather than relying on estimates from historical information. Finally, when I reminded him that we have seen several instances where the carriers are issuing W&I Certificates with wrong weights, he acknowledged that this occurs. But, he then offered his final piece of advice: “Don’t ignore the problem, refuse to pay and hope it goes away! If you think the carrier is wrong, work with the carrier and address the issue.” Sounds like great advice to us.

If you need help in tackling the weight and inspection issue, or identifying areas where you can improve you supply chain processes, we encourage you to take advantage of our Rapid Assessment process. We can help you eliminate areas where logistics expenses could be adding up.

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