Freight Invoice Management Risks and How to Overcome Them with TMS

Freight invoice management support can help boost profit margins.

As the saying goes, haste makes waste — especially when freight invoice management is sub-par. Problems with freight shipment billing and invoices can quickly add up for any shipping company.

Especially when port congestion, container bottlenecks, trucking capacity shortages, load planning problems, driver availability issues, increased carrier rates and an overall environment of disruption is forcing many shippers to scramble to get products to their destinations on time. Rushed decisions and poor planning often lead to exorbitant transportation prices and errors.

According to industry experts at DC Velocity, “On average, one in 10 ocean invoices for imported goods have errors due to the added complexities caused by port congestion. Detention and demurrage errors abound and some shippers are even charged detention fees after the shipping container has been returned.”

And all other modes of freight transport, including air, truck, and rail, are also subject to errors in freight billing and freight invoicing.

To protect against these issues and deal with financial settlement efficiently, shippers must remain focused on designing and maintaining an effective invoice strategy.

The Risks of Freight Billing Inaccuracies and Errors

There is plenty of room for errors and mistakes within freight billing processes. This becomes particularly clear when looking at freight invoicing and the legal limitations placed on the recovery timeline. That’s why freight auditing must be a priority for supply chain managers and shippers.
Management must continually check and recheck invoices and billing papers to protect against accidental changes or unplanned surcharges, surprise fees, and simple yet costly billing errors. Risks of inaccuracies and errors leads to:
  • Higher rates and fees.
  • Surprise charges to customers.
  • Delays with product shipments and reports.
  • Reduced service levels from start to finish.

Keeping up with the latest innovations in freight invoice management and smart transportation ensures these risks are kept as low as possible. When they do arise, if you are prepared, you can catch and manage them sooner.

Automation Boosts Invoice Accuracy

An automated billing and invoices platform makes it easier to generate documents for billing purposes automatically. It also makes it much easier and more streamlined to match individual invoices to specific loads all with nearly zero manual intervention.

In instances where actual exceptions and errors are noted, the billing and invoicing software can automatically notify the appropriate manager and team member to deal with the issues. These billing and invoicing risks are a continual problem. No shipment is exempt from the risk of human error and simple oversight.
By addressing problems with an automated freight invoice management platform, you can make the entire back office function more productive.

Steps to Overcome Freight Invoicing Errors

Manual freight invoice management processes have long been the standard method for handling freight billing and invoicing. However, these outdated methods often bring higher costs.

Handling freight invoicing and billing manually slows down the entire process and increases the risks of human error during calculations and processing. Some actionable steps shippers can take to overcome issues with errors in invoice and bill management include:

  • Generate invoices automatically with a freight invoice management system that brings carriers, shippers, vendors, and customers together.
  • Reconcile freight billing invoices regardless of mode: air, ocean, rail, truck or any other method of transportation.
  • Convert current invoices, data points, and freight reports into a currency that makes sense for shippers and the customers.
  • Provide inclusive freight claims processing and invoice settlement that fits transportation and logistics needs.
  • Use invoice checks and pre-audits on accounts payables to avoid lost profits from inaccurately billed services.

Calculate your potential Saving While Using an enterprise TMS

Drive Invoice Errors Into Retreat With Automated, Integrated Freight Billing

The best invoice auditing and transportation management systems are automated platforms that allow invoices to flow smoothly and efficiently. The platform should be designed to automatically:

  • Create documents.
  • Compare invoice numbers and loads.
  • Check for fee and rate discrepancies.
  • Ensure forms are complete and accurate.
Manual freight invoice management processes were once accepted for dealing with freight billing and invoicing. However, these outdated methods cause undue issues that robotic process automation (RPA) processes can eliminate.

Ready to learn more about how TMS can support settlement through simplified customer invoicing?

See how to manage customer invoicing processes in one place.

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