a shippers freight bills are checked prior to payment to prevent the payment of freight bill overcharges.
SAVINGS WILL ACCRUE FROM:
No payment of overcharges resulting from freight rate, commodity description or extension errors.
Elimination of post-audit overcharge claims and post-audit fees.
Increase of cash flow by retaining money that would otherwise be paid to carriers through freight bill rating errors.
Reduction in freight bill processing costs.
Better utilization of traffic and accounting staff.
Reduction in management time spent overseeing freight bill auditing and handling functions.
Our pre-audit service is available in combination with our freight bill management reporting service.
To implement our pre-audit service, letters are sent to a shipper's carriers instructing them to send their freight bills to Associated Traffic Services for audit.
Upon receipt at Associated Traffic Services, the freight bills are checked against bureau tariffs maintained by Associated Traffic Services and rate agreements and carrier discount information provided to Associated by our clients or their carriers for freight rate, commodity description and extension errors.
If a freight bill is correctly billed in accordance with tariff or contract information that has been provided to us by our client and the freight charges are reasonable, we will stamp it "Associated Traffic Services-Freight Bill Audited".
If a freight bill is not correctly billed and the charges are more than the amount reflected in the most recent pricing information that we have received from our client or our client's carrier, we will reduce the freight bill on the face of the bill showing the correct charges and the reason for the change.
As a result of the changes in the pricing environment brought about by the elimination of the filed rate doctrine and the uncertainty about what the "legal", "applicable", "agreed" or "reasonable" rate is, we have modified our pre-audit process to reflect these changes.
Rather than just check the discount and freight charge using the carrier's diskettes as do most pre-audit companies, our auditors have been trained to "look under every rock" and to do whatever is necessary to make sure that our clients pay the lowest freight costs.
More specifically, our clients freight bills are also audited as follows:
If a freight bill is not correctly billed and the charges are less than the amount reflected in the most recent pricing information that we have received from our client or our client's carrier, we will advise our client as to the amount of the difference and why we believe the bill is wrong. They may pay the amount as billed, pay the correct amount or contact the carrier to discuss the difference in the billed amount and reach an agreement as to the appropriate amount to pay.
If a freight bill is correctly billed but in our opinion the charges are excessive or unreasonable, we will advise our client as to what amount we believe is a reasonable charge and why. They may pay the amount as billed or contact the carrier to discuss the unreasonableness of the charges and reach an agreement as to the appropriate amount to pay.
If the description on the freight bill is not clear, we will obtain a copy of the bill of lading from the carrier and/or documentation from our client or the shipper to determine exactly what was shipped.
If a carrier has inspected a shipment and has increased the freight charges, we will obtain a copy of the W&I report and advise our client if the carrier is correct or, if the carrier is not correct, the steps to take to contest the additional charges.
We also explain to our clients the applicability of any Accessorial services and recommend steps to take to avoid or minimize such charges in the future.
All pricing information is logged into our computer as it is received and this information is kept indefinitely.
TIME TO COMPLETE AUDIT
All freight bills are audited and mailed to our clients within 48 hours of receipt.
PRIVATE TARIFFS AND DISCOUNTS
We request that our clients provide us with copies of any special rate agreements, discounts, or contracts which have been negotiated with their carriers. This information will, of course, be kept confidential.
Upon completion of our audit, a report listing the freight bills that are reduced is provided. When provided in combination with our management reporting services, additional reports are provided.