Our AI-powered platform helps UPS and FedEx shippers save big by automatically recovering, claiming, and refunding fees from late shipments, invalid surcharges, lost & damaged packages, and more.
Let ParcelZilla perform a 50+ point audit, identify invalid charges, and files claims for you on a weekly basis.
In short, a parcel audit is when a company’s shipping bills and invoices are reviewed extensively to locate incidents of overcharging and service failures associated with errors in the shipping process. The main goal is to identify when, where, and how you are being overcharged.
Our audit platform automatically identifies, submits, and verifies claims on your behalf.
No upfront costs. No risk.
As of right now, higher shipping costs are here to stay. According to Bloomberg, shipping rates are 25-50% higher than they were in 2020. But what about your shipping costs? How do you make sure your carrier is holding up their end of the deal?
Conducting a thorough parcel or freight audit gives you the ability to discover discrepancies in your invoices and catch other costly errors made by your carrier. In this article, we wanted to give you an in-depth overview of freight and parcel invoice auditing and discuss how you can use the data uncovered from the audit to lower your overall shipping costs.
The truth is, if everyone has the best shipping rates, then no one has the best shipping rates.
Let’s get started.
In the simplest of terms, parcel audits specifically focus on boxes that are shipped to multiple locations and labeled individually, while freight audits focus on a collection of boxes shipped in one go. Parcels are often referred to as packages, although both terms can be used interchangeably. Parcel shipping has dimensional requirements as well, if a package is over 108 inches by 165 inches, then small parcel shipping companies will categorize those packages as freight.
Freight shipping is dedicated to large quantities of boxes or cargo that are sent as a unit to the same location via truck, cargo plane, ship, or train. Freight cargo loads are placed on pallets and are categorized by the amount of space they take up in the shipping container. There are three freight load categories:
Although parcel and freight are different, the audit processes for both are fundamentally the same.
Freight and parcel audits are when a company’s shipping bills and invoices are reviewed extensively to locate incidents of overcharging and service failures associated with errors in the shipping process. The main goal of freight and parcel auditing services is to decrease a company’s overall shipping costs. Put simply, a parcel or freight audit will identify when, where, and how you are being overcharged.
Auditing your parcel or freight payments is a proactive and useful way to reduce your costs and ensure that your shipping partners are truly honoring your contract. Before your audit begins, you should have a solid grasp of the three main types of audit. Let’s discuss each audit option in detail:
A good freight and logistics consulting partner, like ParcelZilla, possesses the automated technology, data processing and experience needed to analyze and organize your carrier invoices into manageable reports that elaborate on key performance indicators. These actionable shipping insights and analytics allow you to better understand where your money is going and empower you to make more informed decisions regarding your carrier choices. Additionally, ParcelZilla will file for the claims and refunds systematically and have them applied directly against future invoices. In short, we’ll handle the data analytics while you focus on what you do best, creating and selling your products.
Our unique parcel auditing service allows us to review and analyze your parcel invoices and compile extensive data insights into your shipping costs and processes.
The expedited process opens the door for more refunds and decreases in our overall shipping costs. We’re armed with real time parcel invoice and live freight data which allow us to better analyze and optimize your shipping methods to keep you one step ahead of your competition. Using our AI-driven technology and knowledge of the shipping industry, we are able to:
In our parcel auditing processes we use our AI technology to sift through mountains of shipping data – all charges, refunds, and carrier credits are cataloged and analyzed for errors or violations. Here are our top 7 objectives of auditing:
To give you some more information, we created this helpful checklist to break down each step of our ShipSigma auditing process.
We know your carrier representative has told you that you have the best rates, but if significant errors are discovered during the auditing process you will need to negotiate. You can’t negotiate the best rates without specialized insight into your specific costs – which is exactly what ShipSigma offers. We use your own data plus our technology to arm you with the information you need to cut down your shipping costs.
Our superior technology isn’t the only thing working in our favor when it comes to providing advice for negotiating with shipping carriers. Our team is made up of experts from the shipping and logistics world – some of us used to negotiate for shipping carriers themselves. The point is, your experience combined with our insights into your data and support from our team will ensure that you get the shipping rates you deserve.
Sometimes shipping carrier contract negotiation can feel overwhelming, but fool-proof negotiation tactics and stellar data can help guide the way. Having everything laid out and backing up your arguments with numbers is the best way to succeed when negotiating your rates with your shipping carrier. Aside from actionable data insights, there are additional measures you can take to enhance your negotiation techniques. Let’s explore some of these methods below.
Take some time to really dive deep and research your carrier. Monitor the live market data, consider how the economy is affecting business, and ask lots of questions. Having the data from your audit is extremely helpful when it comes to the research portion of negotiations because it helps you substantiate your claims. If you do your research before negotiations then you will have a better understanding of your carrier’s position and how this might affect your contract.
As is the case with most things, everyone can’t always get what they want in these negotiations. With this in mind, you should really evaluate what matters to you most and decide what you are prepared to give up and what you are prepared to fight for.
Lack of transparency is detrimental to all negotiations, for all involved parties. Having accurate data to back up your claims during negotiations is paramount when it comes to transparency. Your audit data fosters transparency on two levels:
Your carrier needs to have a comprehensive understanding of where you stand and what your needs are. If your carrier is reluctant to accept the data you are presenting then that is a sign that you may want to limit further dealings with them in the future.
You can’t risk missing any loose ends or leaving any stones unturned during negotiations. You should always clearly define your limitations and tolerances when it comes to risks and liabilities. Analyzing the data from your audit greatly helps in this process. By having a clear idea of where problems arise and what drives price increases, you can properly evaluate your relationship with your carrier. The data collected during your audit will also allow you to determine if price increases are caused by mismanagement on behalf of your carrier or if outside factors are the key contributors. Audits prevent you from being surprised and allow you to know when to move on from a carrier or renegotiate your contract.
Successfully negotiating does not mean you’re allowed to get greedy – it’s more about relationship building. A good partnership between you and your shipping carrier means that you both are vested in each other’s success. The right shipping carrier will accept the data you present to them from your audit and move to make changes to ensure that your partnership remains intact. On your end of things, it’s always good practice to consider your carrier’s point of view. Be flexible where you can and where it makes sense. For example, you could offer non-monetary terms in the contract that benefit your carrier, like flexible scheduling. It really comes down to maintaining a balance – if you go out of your way to develop and maintain a strong partnership with your carrier, then they are more likely to go out of their way to help you as well.
At ParcelZilla, our mission is simple. We’re here to save you money. Using your own data with our technology, we offer detailed and specialized insight into your specific shipping costs. We take your raw invoice data and layer on the cost of the carrier to service your account as opposed to benchmarking – this allows us to see all of the data that is outside of your view. We’re not better negotiators; we’re just backed by data driven benchmarks that allows us to insure you achieve best in class rates. We know what the carriers are willing to do to earn your business. Its our job to make sure you get everything you have earned!
Within a month of partnering with us, you’ll see visible, meaningful results from our services. We will provide you access to detailed reports with tracking-number-level details to know exactly how much money you’re saving, down to the penny. Ready to start saving? Connect with us today.