Featured Image
Freight Shippers
Freight Solutions

How LTL Freight Shippers Can Prevent Reweighs and Reclassifications

As an LTL (Less Than Truckload) freight shipper, you look for every opportunity to save on shipping costs. However, shipments may incur unexpected fees due to weight and class changes and unexpected accessorials. These fees can pile up and eventually damage your bottom line. Plus, reweighs and reclassifications can lead to transit time delays and increased risk of loss or damage. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at reweighs, reclassifications, and unforeseen accessorials, and the steps you can take to prevent them.

Understanding Weight and Inspections (W&Is)

As an LTL shipper, you measure your shipment's weights and dimensions to determine your freight class to ensure accurate rating. However, some carriers may weigh the shipment again at the terminal and adjust the chargeable weight, leading to higher expenses. On top of that, if the shipment's NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification) class needs to be updated from what is listed on your Bill of Lading, it can bring unexpected fees.



Causes for Reweighs and Reclassifications

Several factors can lead to reweighs and reclassifications. Unclear weight or class information on shipment orders, damaged packages, or inaccurate NMFC descriptions can trigger weight and class adjustments.

The truth is that most shippers don’t have certified scales big enough to accommodate all of their freight. Plus, scales need to be re-calibrated on a regular basis, and that task often gets overlooked. Additionally, your scale must be state-certified to dispute a reweigh. Without the proper scale (and regular calibrations), the weights listed on those Bill of Ladings (BOLs) oftentimes turn into rough estimates instead of solid, trustworthy numbers.

Another common issue is listing the incorrect freight class. With all the moving cogs involved in LTL shipping, it’s easy to miss recent NMFC class change announcements or even accidentally write the wrong class number on your BOL.

To avoid these additional expenses, it's important to share accurate and complete information with your freight carriers. The best way to avoid W&I is to ensure that the information you provide to the carrier matches the actual characteristics of your freight. Utilizing a TMS (Transportation Management System) is an easy way to ensure accuracy and prevent unexpected fees. This allows you to digitally send the correct shipment info to your providers upfront, without the errors and tedious paperwork.


Common Accessorials that Impact Your Bottom Line

Accessorials are extra charges beyond the basic transportation rate that may come up due to special service requirements or other factors. The common ones include liftgate service, inside delivery, or residential fees. Carriers may also charge extra fees for detention, storage, or re-delivery, among other scenarios.

Some accessorials are unavoidable, but others can be prevented by communicating with your carriers about your exact needs. And for those that are inevitable, it’s important to plan for them ahead of time by keeping an accurate digital record of your product and delivery needs and sharing them with your carriers. This will ensure the correct party is paying those fees.



Best Practices to Minimize W&I Costs

To prevent reweighs and reclassifications, you should ensure you have accurate info on your shipment orders. It’s critical to use the right scale to verify package weights before pickup and make sure it’s calibrated often. It’s also important to adjust packaging to ensure the correct class rating. For example, something as common as a crush cone can change your shipment’s dimensions, which then changes your density. Ultimately, this can lead to being charged for a different freight class.

To avoid most accessorials, you should confirm the destination and shipping access conditions, create a detailed digital inventory to reduce mistakes, and discuss service requirements with your carrier before shipping.

A comprehensive TMS ensures that the correct freight class is automatically associated with your product, and then sent to your carrier. Taking these small steps can significantly reduce your shipping costs and save money for your business.


Using Proper Packaging and Labeling for Your Freight

Another way to avoid W&I is to ensure that your freight is well-protected and easily identifiable during transit. You should use sturdy and appropriate packaging materials for your freight, such as boxes, pallets, crates, or containers. You should also secure your freight with straps, shrink wrap, or bands to prevent it from shifting or falling off. Moreover, you should label your freight clearly and correctly with your name, address, phone number, tracking number, NMFC number, class, weight, dimensions, and any special instructions or handling requirements.


Choosing the Right LTL Carriers

Ultimately, selecting the right carriers is crucial to managing your shipping expenses. You want to use carriers that prioritize accuracy and transparency in their operations. Look for providers that you can connect with via advanced API technology. This will allow you to get live rates and dispatch with the click of a button. You will also be able to access real-time shipment updates that will help you identify potential issues and intervene before they lead to extra fees. In addition, sharing digital shipment information early in the process can streamline your shipping and help you negotiate better rates with carriers.



In summary, shipping expenses can add up quickly for LTL shippers. Reweighs, reclassifications, and accessorials are some of the common ways that carriers increase their fees, impacting your bottom line. However, with accurate shipment documentation, proactive communication with carriers, and the right technology, you can mitigate these challenges and reduce costs. Choosing the right carrier and TMS can also go a long way in preventing extra charges and streamlining your shipping operations. By implementing these best practices, you can create cost-efficiency and grow your business!