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Glossary

Absolute Minimum Charge (AMC)

The minimum amount which will be billed for linehaul charges.  Also known as minimum charge floor.  Many times these are updated during a tariff/contract negotiation.  Many times a customer can negotiate an AMC lower than the carrier’s standard AMC.  Overcharge claims may result when the carrier resorts to applying the tariff AMC rather than the lesser one in the customer’s tariff/contract.

Absorption

The assumption of switching or other charges of one carrier by another carrier without changes to the rate.  The rules and conditions for these types of accessorial charges can sometimes be very intricate and often involve shortlines and other arrangements between carriers.  The proper method of publishing these arrangements is often overlooked.  Let AMTR get to the bottom of your switching charges and determine if you are being invoiced accurately. 

Abutment

A substructure at the end of a bridge or dam, usually made of concrete, which supports the superstructure.

Accessorial Services

Services rendered by the carrier in addition to transportation service, such as weighing, stop off in transit, heating, storage, fuel surcharge, etc. These charges may or may not be valid depending on what pricing document governed the move. AMTR is well versed with every rule tariff of every carrier and will ensure that you are being billed the appropriate charges.

Accrual Method

A method of financial accounting where revenue and expenses are recognized when they occur, not when funds are received or paid.

Actual Placement

When a car is placed at a patron’s siding for loading or unloading.

Advanced Charge

Transportation-related charges that are passed on by one carrier to another to be collected in the end from the consignee.

Agent

A person or entity who acts on behalf of another person or entity.

Aggregates

Granular materials such as sand or pebbles which are added to make concrete or used in other various construction purposes.

Aggregate Shipments

Shipments from more than one consignor that are consolidated to move to one consignee and treated as one shipment.

Agreed Weight

A weight that may be agreed to by the carrier and shipper when a particular product is shipped in a specific package or a certain quantity of the product is shipped.

Air Waybill

A receipt of goods presented to the carrier by the shipper. This is non-negotiable and covers both domestic and international freight transportation of goods to a specific location. An air waybill is considered the bill of lading for this type of transportation movement.

ALK Miles / Other Mileage Guides

ALK Technologies distributes PC*Miler, which many shippers and carriers use to calculate mileages from origin to destination for shipments.  This mileage is often used to calculate fuel charges and sometimes lingual rates using a mileage scale rate tariff.  ALK is generally accepted as the industry standard, but it is not perfect; occasionally software errors can lead to inaccurately high mileages, causing overcharges for shippers. Furthermore, mileage rates change from time to time.   ALK continually updates its software with the latest mileage changes, but these changes do not always make the transition to carrier or shipper rate engines and bills must be audited on a regular basis for continued accuracy regarding mileages. In addition, other mileage guides do exist and are used by various carriers at times, in both public tariffs and in private contracts. Not all rate engines are designed to handle multiple possible mileages and there is an increased likelihood of overcharges if a shipper has different movements using different mileage guides.

Allowance

A fixed sum that is usually contracted and granted as a deduction, reimbursement or repayment.

Alternate Rates

When two or more rates exist for the same lane, the one which produces the lowest charge is applicable.  Often used with Net Ton (NT) or hundred weight (CWT) rates.

Any Quantity (AQ)

A rating that is applicable regardless of the article being shipped, its size or its quantity.  With any rate, there is always the risk of being billed incorrectly and costing customers more than it should.

Arbitration

An alternative process for resolving disputes of loss and damage claims. This process can be used in lieu of a judicial proceeding. Arbitration is similar to judicial proceedings in that they both require evidence, review the disagreeing views from both parties, and in the end deliver a decision.  With arbitration, parties do not have to be present for proceedings and delivery of evidence, and therefore could be viewed as an easier option.  A claimant must however be aware of the fact that an arbitration decision can be binding or non-binding. This must be agreed upon between the conflicting parties. If it is binding, the decision rendered is considered enforceable similarly to a court decision. Keep in mind that the carriers may have more transportation knowledge than a shipper. Don’t try to take on the carrier alone. AMTR’s knowledge and experience may provide you with the information needed.

Arrival Notice

When the carrier informs the consignee of its arrival with deliverable freight.

Articulated Car

A rail car that is created by combining two or more rail cars to form a single unit whose inner ends are connected with a flexible joint and is free to swivel.

Association of American Railroads (AAR)

North America’s central rail organization which standardizes the reporting and operational processes of the rail industry to include safety, policy, research, technology and more.

Axle Load

Varies by country and is the max amount of weight allowed on each of the axles of a truck, tractor and trailer.  Typically the limit is 34,000 lbs on a tandem axle for highway transport and 12,000 lbs on the steering axle.

Axle Weight

The weight that one axel of the tractor or trailer can bear for transportation of freight.

Backhaul

When a carrier makes a delivery and is then loaded at the destination or  a very close location with freight to transport back to the origin. This makes economical sense  for a carrier as it will use time and fuel to return to its origin, whether it has freight or not.  Therefore if a customer has a return load for the carrier, then in most instances a shipper can negotiate a cheaper return rate. AMTR can audit your invoice to ensure on your return removes you are receiving your reduced rate.

Bailment

The allowing of a carrier to pick up, transport and deliver goods for a particular purpose without transferring ownership to the carrier.

Balance Due Invoice

An invoice that is submitted to the payer of freight charges after an original bill has already been forwarded. Often, a balance due invoice is created when an accessorial charge is added to the invoice after the original invoice has already been submitted for payment. Shippers should be aware of the fact that sometimes these invoices may be submitted with varying invoice numbers. Some carriers may add a number to the end or change an alpha character if one is used for invoices. This could easily lead to duplicate payments. AMTR can review your invoices for possible duplicate invoices.

Billed Weight

The weight shown on the invoice in which linehaul charges are determined.  In some cases, it is cheaper to “bump” the weight to the next weight break in order to receive a lower cwt (hundred weight).  In that instance, it will be automatically calculated with the “bumped” weight with the specified rating software.  Billed weight also may be different from the bill of lading weight when a carrier preforms a reweigh or weight inspection.  Errors may occur when the carrier uses the wrong numeric value from the bill of lading or transposes numbers, or when data entry occurs for billing purposes.

Bill of Lading

Sometimes shortened to BOL or OBOL, OBL or BL. A bill of lading is a contract between the shipper and the receiving and all connecting carriers. This document also serves as a receipt for the goods tendered by the carrier. Carriers are required by law to issue a bill of lading per 49 U.S.C. 14706(a). There may be negotiable (‘order’) and non-negotiable (‘straight’) BOL’s. Per 49 C.F.R. § 373.101 Appendix 8, the minimum information that is required to be listed on a bill of lading includes: names of consignor and consignee, origin and destination points, number of packages and  description of freight.  When applicable for rating purposes, the weight, volume or measurement of freight should also be included.

Bill of Sale

A legal documentation of the transfer of ownership of goods to another person.

Bill To

A company that is affiliated with either the shipper or consignee, or is a location of the shipper or consignee’s company, where freight bills are sent for payment. This may show on the bill of lading and/or freight bills as “bill to”. Many shippers and consignees use a dedicated location for payment processing, or may use a third party company such as a logistics or pre-audit firm, and may be billed to the logistics or pre-audit firm in care of the shipper/consignee company. It is important to note the distinction between “bill to” and “third party bill to,” as there may be differing discounts, FAK structure, and other rating characteristics.

Billing Sequence for Hazardous Materials

For transportation and public safety, hazardous materials must be properly described on the bill of lading. The information should be listed in the following order: proper shipping name, hazard class, U.N. or N.A. number, packing group and a 24-hour emergency contact telephone number. Failure to indicate all product information completely and accurately could lead to the misclassification of your freight. AMTR can review your invoices and determine class errors.

Blanket rate

A rate that can encompass a group of specific origin/destination pairs or a special rate for multiple different articles shipped as one single shipment. It is not uncommon for a carrier to neglect to apply a shipper’s tariff or contract pricing. However, adding in specialized rates can make the billing protocols for a shipper even more complicated, thereby leaving more opportunity for billing errors.

Blended Operation

When a customer uses both common and private carriers for transporting their goods.

Blocked Trains

When railcars are grouped together to be moved together until blocks (or segments) are uncoupled and sent on to their ultimate destination.  This allows the railroad to not have to break up trains to sort individual cars when reaching junctions throughout the movement.  If a customer sends shipments of multiple cars, they may be subject to a group rate depending on the number of cars involved.  Don’t be overbilled for your group movements.  AMTR’s rail audit experts can determine if you are getting the lowest rate possible.

Blocking or Bracing

Added extra materials including wood, metal or straps used to secure a shipment on or in a trailer. With most carriers, there are additional costs for this service.

Bobtailing

Driving of a tractor without an attached trailer.

Bonded Warehouse

A warehouse where goods are stored until duties are paid or until they are released for other reasons. The warehouse must be approved by the Treasury Department.

Boxcar

A certain type of rail car that has a flat bottom and is covered on all four sides as well as the top.  This type of car is unloaded from a sliding door located on the side of the car.  Different rail cars may be subject to different rates.  Let AMTR’s rail experts review your invoices and ensure that you are being billed the lowest rate possible for the specific type of rail car used for shipping.

Breakbulk

A facility where many shipments are processed and goods are consolidated for movement to the same destination area.  The consolidation allows the organization of goods which are destined to the same area and allows for consolidated handling in hopes to not deliver with missing goods.

Breakbulk Cargo

Where goods are not shipped in bulk but are broken down into shipping forms such as bags, boxes, crates, drums or barrels and usually secured to a pallet or skid.

Break-in-Bulk Point

An area where goods are transferred from one mode of transportation to another.  For instance a dock where goods are unloaded from a ship and then picked up by a truck or loaded into a rail car.

Brokerage License

A license held by a brokerage and granted by the Interstate Commerce Commission. This license allows the broker to act as an agent on behalf of shippers in order to arrange transportation of their goods in interstate commerce.

Bulk Freight

Freight in a large volume that is not confined to individualized packages or containers.

Capacity (Freight Car)

The load in pounds, cubic feet, or gallons which the car is designed to carry.  Not to be confused with Load limit, which is the maximum weight allowed on a given car.  Both capacity and load limits govern rates.  Not all carriers use the same criteria.  Let us make sure your rate engine is pulling the appropriate figures and using the correct applicable rate.

Cabotage

Transporting of goods or passengers between two points in the same country by a transport operator from a different country.  Originally applied to coastal route shipments moving from port to port but now applies to aviation, railways and trucks, as well.

Cargo Claims

A claim made by the payor of freight charges against the carrier when products are lost or damaged.

Carrier

Any person or entity who, in a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or to procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or any combination.

Carrier Inspection

Per NMF 100 Item 360 Sec. 3, “When a carrier’s agent believes it is necessary that the contents of packages be inspected, he shall make or cause such inspection to be made, or require other sufficient evidence to determine the actual character of the property. When found to be incorrectly described, freight charges must be collected according to proper description.” Therefore a carrier may open boxes or packages to inspect the actual product shipped. They could even take measurements of the shipment in order to determine the density.

Many times AMTR has found that even the inspections were in error or as a whole were not valid.

Cartons

A type of packaging for transporting goods.  Used for packing smaller, usually miscellaneous items.  Breakable and non-breakable items can be packaged in cartons.  In certain NMF item classifications, if a shipment is packaged for shipment in a carton, it may receive a different sub and classification than other shipping forms.  Let AMTR’s expert truck auditors ensure your products are being classified correctly and that you are not being overbilled.

Certificate of Origin

A document that verifies in which country the goods were produced.

Certificate of Weight

Prepared by  a weigh master, it is the certificate of weight verification of a shipment.

Claim Authority

The description used to present a claim with corresponding documentation to the carrier. An authority must include all details that were involved in the errors found. They must also include descriptions of all billing changes that should be corrected and supported by the applicable documentation. It is to a shipper’s advantage to have auditors that are well versed in transportation terms, laws, pricing applications and carrier perspective of claims. It is not something that is newly created every time, but a skill that is constantly built upon from experience and constant correspondence with carriers.

Clean Bill of Lading

A receipt for goods shipped issued by a carrier, wherein it is indicated that the goods were received in “apparent good order and condition,”  meaning there was no visual damage or other irregularities.

Closed Industry

An industry that is not open to reciprocal switching. If a rail car ships or arrives at a station and the linehaul carrier does not serve that particular industry, another line haul rate is needed to get the car to the industry for delivery. Switching tariffs can be complicated to read, with many industries having “restricted” circumstances for whether or not a switch may be charged. It takes someone with transportation background to decipher when a linehaul is or is not needed. Some clients auto pay a switch, then are billed later for a linehaul and they pay both charges in error. Is your company 100% sure it knows about all the arrangements with carriers for the locations to which it ships? If not, let AMTR review your bills!

Collect On Delivery (C.O.D.)

Sometimes shortened to C.O.D.  This value is usually listed in a separate box on the bill of lading, and is used to notify the carrier that the shipper is requesting the carrier to collect the cost of the goods before delivery is made. The amount to be collected, the accepted payment type (check, cash, money order) and the name and location of the party receiving the payment should be listed. There is typically a fee charged by the carrier for this service. It should be indicated on the bill of lading which party will be responsible for this charge.

Co-mingling

When compatible freight is placed together in a trailer that originated from different customers and is destined to the same area.

Commercial Invoice

A document that has the complete detail  of the transaction between importer and exporter regarding the goods sold that will be prepared for shipping.  In some instances, the commercial invoice will be used as the bill of lading or a supplement to the bill of lading.

Commodity

Any commercial article that is shipped. Determining a shipment’s commodity is essential for rating purposes on LTL, rail, and some truckload shipments; incorrect or incomplete commodity information may result in higher charges. AMTR’s smart auditors are experts in determining a commodity shipped, even based on the smallest amount of information.

Commodity Rates

Rates that are applicable according to the product or products being shipped and carried between specific points or territories; these are used in lieu of a class rate.  If the incorrect commodity is used for rating purposes, there could be an overcharge.  Let AMTR ensure that you are being billed the correct commodity rate.

Common Carrier

A carrier which provides transportation services to the public of goods or people with published rates.  A common carrier may not discriminate by denying service to anyone.  A common carrier is responsible for any loss of the goods during transport and must prove it is fit, willing and able to provide these services.

Concealed Damages Or Shortage

Damages or shortages that are not discovered or noted at the time of delivery by the consignee. These may not be discovered until the goods are delivered and later removed from their shipping packages. It is crucial that goods are inspected as soon as possible and that any shortages or damages are addressed with the carrier immediately. 

Consignee

A term used to reference the receiver of a shipment.

Consignor

A term used to reference the shipper of a shipment.

Consist

Term used to describe a grouping of rail vehicles that form a complete train.

Consolidated / Combined Bill

Refers to carrier’s combining of two or more shipments with the same destination to a single freight bill. Carriers do legally have the right to combine shipments for billing purposes, often leading to capacity loads. Capacity billing can be complicated, particularly when there is overflow product on a separate vehicle. AMTR will determine if your negotiated capacity rates are applicable rather than public rates, and if your overflow product is being billed appropriately.

Container

A standardized rectangular steel box used for the transportation of goods via ocean, highway, or rail. Ocean containers are 20 or 40 feet in length, while domestic containers may be up to 53 feet in length. Containers move products in a secure and efficient manner.

Contracts

Private binding agreements between shippers and their carriers. These agreements are legally binding and may supersede other applications such as common carrier tariffs. In many instances, these contracts will contain exceptions to the carrier’s standard rating methods and charges. It takes a smart auditor with knowledge of transportation law and skills related to contract interpretation and application to determine how a shipper should be charged.

Contract Carrier

A carrier that transports goods for specific customers and can refuse services to anyone else.  Contract carriers are compensated through negotiated rates with those for whom they are transporting goods and providing services.

Cost, Insurance, Freight (CIF)

Indicates that the seller assumes responsibility for the goods while in transit and will be responsible for insurance and paying freight charges for the movement of goods from origin to destination.  The buyer is then responsible for any charges incurred after reaching the destination, including unloading charges and any further transporting charges.

Creep

A term used to describe errors that are at some point resolved, but manage to reoccur again at a later time. Often, once a shipper believes the error has been resolved with the carrier, they believe it will not occur again. This is not always the case. Many times, the errors will begin reappearing slowly and over time “creep” into the billing routine and create great loss in transportation costs.

Cubic Foot

The measurement of volume used to divide weight by in order to determine the density of an article.  It is the space of one foot high by one foot wide by one foot long for a total of 1728 cubic inches.  Commodities listed in the NMF as a density-based rating will need the density calculation in pounds per cubic foot. Many times density either is not determined or is determined incorrectly.  AMTR’s audit team has experience in determining the correct density and classifications for customers’ LTL shipments.

CWT

Also known as hundredweight. This is the rate that is determined by the rater once the origin zip code, destination zip code, weight and class are entered. This rate determines the gross freight charges, based on the shipping weight. Net charges are determined by the gross freight charges, less any applicable discounts.

Customs

The authorities which ensure goods are not illegally imported or exported.  They inspect shipments and their legal documents when goods are moving between countries and collect duties on the imports and exports.

Data Entry

The keying in of information from one form to an electronic form. Carriers’ data entry personnel to transcribe information from your original bill of lading into their system for the purpose of freight rating. Data entered likely will not have extended knowledge of the sniper’s products or other shipper-specific information on the bill of lading, which may lead to rating errors. The manual entering of freight payment information often leads to errors causing duplicate or misapplied payments. Data entry errors may also disallow a shipper to make connections between shipments moved by multiple carriers or on multiple purchase orders or bills of lading.

Data Mining

Data Mining is an analytic process designed to explore data (usually large amounts of data – typically business or market related – also known as “big data”) in search of consistent patterns and/or systematic relationships between variables, and then to validate the findings by applying the detected patterns to new subsets of data.

Deadhead

A power unit that is moving without a load. It is not uncommon to see charges for “deadhead mileage” for which the billed party pays for miles traveled in conjunction with the picking up or returning from a chargeable move.

Decking

The act of stacking freight on trailer decks. These decks are attached temporarily to trailer walls so that product may be loaded on them rather than on top of skids which cannot be top-loaded. Decks make loading and unloading faster and reduce damage to freight. In some cases, the use of decks by the carrier can save a shipper money. As decks allow you to stack above “no freight on top” shipments, there is less of a chance of being billed cubic capacity rates due to empty space.

Deficit Weight

Added weight that will increase total shipment weight to the next weight break.  This occurs when the next weight break has a lesser cwt rate and will result in lower charges than the actual weight at the prior weight break. This occurs automatically when using rating software.

Delivery Date

The date on which the consignee receives the freight on site.

Delivery Notification / Notification Prior to Delivery

Upon the consignee’s request, the carrier will call to notify the destination location that freight is enroute to be delivered, as well as the approximate time. There is almost always a charge associated with this service—typically a flat fee. It is not uncommon for carriers to negotiate a lower fee in shipper-specific pricing, or even agree to waive the fee completely. AMTR will recover any overages you have been billed for this service.

Delivery Receipt / Proof Of Delivery

Sometimes abbreviated as DR or POD, respectively, this is a document which is signed by the driver and the consignee, stating that the product was received. The delivery receipt should document the date of delivery, the time the driver both arrived and left, and the number of skids, crates, drums, tanks, or other pieces received. This document proves invaluable to auditors in confirming whether or not an expedited shipment was actually performed on time, if pallet rates should apply, or if certain accessorial services were performed.

Delivery Windows

The times that deliveries are accepted.  Sometimes the carrier has a specific time window that can be chosen for a shipment for a fee. For example,  delivery before noon or delivery by 5pm.  It also may be a time period that the consignee is open for deliveries so that it does not impede on the consignee’s normal business activities.  It may even be a specific time window when personnel is available at the loading dock. Most carriers will guarantee deliveries during delivery windows when there is a fee.  Many times, the fee can be waived if the shipment does not make the intended delivery window.

Demurrage

Refers to the retention of transportation vehicles for a longer time period than it takes to unload or load the vehicle. There are typically fees associated with demurrage. A carrier may allow a certain time period for free, and then bill for each hour, half hour, or quarter hour after that. The smart auditors at AMTR can review your documentation to determine if you are being billed for the appropriate amount of time, as well as whether or not the carrier is at fault for the demurrage event.

Density Based Classification

When moving LTL freight, it is not uncommon to have products that are classified based on their density. There are specific rules on how to determine density both included in the NMFC book, as well as the carrier’s tariff. Errors are often made in the calculations on the bill of lading or from the carrier’s inspection department. It is imperative to have a knowledgeable and trained auditor to verify and address these errors as they are not simple to discover or to dispute with carriers.

Derailment

When a rail car accidentally runs off of its tracks.  Derailments will require specialized equipment to remove rail cars from the accident site if the cars are too damaged to continue to delivery.  If the cars are still functioning, specialized equipment can place them back on the tracks.  This situation can lead to loss of product and delays in delivery.

Destination

The delivery location of a shipment. Sometimes there may be a stop off before the “final destination” in which part of the freight is off loaded at a different destination.

Detention

When a driver spends more than the contracted amount of free time for loading/unloading at the origin/destination. Many times this results in a charge that can be divided into time intervals times the determined rate.  AMTR can determine whether the detention did or did not occur and the correct rate that should be billed on the freight invoice.

Dim Weight (Dimensional Weight or Volume Weight)

When shipments are measured in inches and the total cube is used to determine the freight charges.  Typically, air freight carriers calculate charges based on the cube and the weight of the product.  Currently, this is how some of the larger parcel companies are determining freight charges.  Many classifications in the NMF © 100 Series are dependent upon the density of the product—the weight divided by the cubic inches.

Discounts

In today’s transportation industry, it is a common practice for carriers to negotiate a discount against calculated class rates. These discounts may differ based on shipment weight or origin and destination locations. Discount information will be included in the pricing agreement between you and a carrier. Many carriers also offer a courtesy or introductory discount for clients who do not have negotiated pricing with them; typically these shipments will be rated based on the carrier’s current rate schedule, less a discount of around 40-50%. Our research will determine if your shipments may be subject to a higher discount based on shipment characteristics.

Distressed Shipment

When a shipment is ordered for a particular consignee or location and then changed to a different location, sometimes the linehaul charges will change.  When the linehaul charges change but the billing system is not updated, this is known as a distressed shipment.  Distressed shipments may be billed incorrectly if information of the change is not transmitted properly and to the correct system.  AMTR possesses the appropriate systems and knowledgeable auditors which allows us to ensure that your shipments will not remain distressed.

Distribution Center (DC)

A warehouse or specialized building which houses products to be redistributed to various destinations. Distribution centers may be refrigerated or air conditioned depending on the type of product stored. Some carriers may charge a fee for pickup from or delivery to certain warehouses or distribution centers. Otherwise, an alternate discount may apply when the shipper or consignee is a distribution center. A freight cost audit from AMTR can help to determine if your distribution center shipments are billed appropriately.

Dock

A platform where trucks are loaded and unloaded. Certain shipments may be dropped off and picked up at a carrier’s dock. Sometimes, special rates may apply to dock pickup and deliveries; for example, a discount may apply which is different from the discount percentage applicable to other locations within the same zip code. Let AMTR audit your freight bills and verify that your dock pickups and deliveries are rated correctly.

DOT (Department of Transportation)

The governing body at federal and state levels that regulates transportation, safety, maintenance and other improvements on the nation’s highways.

Drum

A cylindrical container used to ship bulk products, such as liquid, powders or granules. Drums are often certified to ship dangerous goods and may be made of fiberboard, plastic, or steel. The most common drum size is 55 gallons, of which four typically fit on a standard 48”x48” pallet. It is important to notate on each bill of lading what type of shipping container was used in LTL shipments, as this may affect the classification which applies. Drum shipments are often lower-classed than shipments of other types of containers such as carboys or inner containers in boxes. Let AMTR audit your freight bills and ensure you are being billed for the appropriate freight class.

Dry Van

An enclosed rectangular trailer that is not climate controlled and ship’s cargo that usually is packaged or palletized and is loaded and unloaded from double doors at the rear.

Duplicate Payment

Not to be confused with erroneous payment, a duplicate payment is the result of two payments being made against the same move.  Poor communication, data entry errors, the presence of multiple freight paying locations within a company, corrected or balance due billings, etc. may result in duplicate payments being made. Many payment personnel do not question or second guess an approval, so “overrides” tend to be made without being questioned. AMTR will be able to identify and recover duplicate payments.

Empty Return

The return of empty drums, totes, or other containers to the origin location of the original outbound shipment. Typically, the default billing for empty returns is standard LTL rates, based on whichever NMFC item is applicable to the material composition of the container (plastic or metal), as well as the type of package. These are typically higher-classed items. Your contract may guarantee that empty returns to some or all of your locations are free or discounted. Let AMTR review your pricing and determine if you are eligible for reduced or waived billing for empty container returns.

Erroneous Payment

Any payment sent to a carrier in error that is not a duplicate payment.  There are many situations which may cause an erroneous payment to be made: two separate invoices which represent the same move, an invoice which was generated for a move that never happened or a payment made to the incorrect carrier.  Computers can and do make errors; when loads are cancelled, diverted or brought back to origin or when there is a change of consignee, who is ensuring that the process has been billed correctly all along the way?  AMTR has a unique system in place using smart auditors and proprietary software tools which identify these types of issues for many of our clients.  How much are you paying for phantom shipments?

"FAK"

Freight of all kinds. This is a constant rating class used in place of a range of NMFC classes.  For instance, FAK class 60 may  apply for classes 50-100 based on a shipper’s negotiated pricing.  Under this particular FAK, any shipment with actual classes   50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 77.5, 85, 92.5 or 100, the class 60 rate will be used to determine the freight charges.  It is a fairly common occurrence for a carrier’s rating program to neglect to apply contracted FAK exceptions.

Flatbed

A trailer that is completely open to the outside elements. Can be loaded and unloaded from the sides or top.

Free On Board (FOB)

Indicates a transfer in ownership from the seller to the buyer of the goods being shipped.  This is a term used in international commercial law.  Because loss and damage claims are the responsibility of the owner of the goods, it is important to know when the ownership is transferred.  A buyer must recognize that goods will only be shipped to the Free On Board location specified.  If further transportation is needed, then the buyer will become responsible for those transportation charges.  FOB terms are not to be confused with freight bill payment terms.

Freight on Board (FOB)

Also known in the U.S. as Free On Board.  A location will also be indicated and that location becomes the point where the seller is no longer the owner of the goods and the buyer has taken responsibility.  Many times it is also coupled with freight payment terms – although the two are not to be confused as they are not interchangeable.

FOB Origin

Indicates that the buyer becomes legally responsible for the goods when the carrier picks them up at the origin and is also responsible for loss and damage claims.

FOB Origin, Freight Collect

Indicates that the buyer becomes legally responsible for the goods when the carrier picks them up at the origin and is also responsible for loss and damage claims.  “Collect” indicates the buyer is also legally responsible for all freight charges.

FOB Origin, Freight Prepaid

Indicates that the buyer becomes legally responsible for the goods when the carrier picks them up at the origin and is also responsible for loss and damage claims. “Prepaid” indicates that the seller is legally responsible for freight charges.

FOB Destination

Indicates that the seller is legally responsible for the goods until the carrier delivers them to the destination and is also responsible for loss and damage claims.

FOB Destination, Freight Collect

Indicates that the seller is legally responsible for the goods until the carrier delivers them to the destination and is also responsible for any loss or damage claims.  “Collect” indicates the buyer is legally responsible for all freight charges.

FOB Destination, Freight Collect & Allowed

Indicates that the seller is legally responsible for the goods until the carrier delivers them to the destination and is also responsible for any loss or damage claims.  “Collect & Allowed” indicates the buyer is responsible for freight charges and will deduct the charges from the seller’s invoice.

FOB Destination, Freight Prepaid

Indicates that the seller is legally responsible for the goods until the carrier delivers them to the destination and is also responsible for any loss or damage claims.  “Prepaid” indicates the seller is legally responsible for all freight charges.

FOB Destination, Freight Prepaid & Add

Indicates that the seller is legally responsible for the goods until the carrier delivers them to the destination and is responsible for any loss or damage claims.  “Prepaid & Add” indicates the seller is responsible for freight charges and will add the freight charges to the seller’s invoice.

Freight Astray

When a part of a shipment is separated from the rest of the shipment; whether it was unloaded at the wrong service center or was left on a trailer or left at the origin in error. Since a shipper is already being billed according the bill of lading which included the entire shipment, many times the remaining freight will move free astray – with no additional charge. AMTR can research shipments where freight is astray to ensure you are not being billed more than the original charges.

Freight Collect

This message, when noted on the bill of lading, indicates that the consignee will be responsible for payment of freight charges. Typically, carriers assume freight is to be billed prepaid unless otherwise stated on the bill of lading; however, some carriers have provisions in their respective rules tariffs stating that shipments are automatically collect unless specifically noted to be prepaid on the bill of lading. Often bills of lading include pre-printed text stating that freight will be presumed collect unless marked “prepaid,” or vice versa. Sometimes, these terms are overlooked by a carrier, which results in the carrier billing the party. Occasionally, the consignee is billed even when the bill of lading is silent on the freight terms and the freight should be assumed to be billed prepaid.

Freight Payment

This message, when noted on the bill of lading, indicates that the shipper will be responsible for freight charges. It is usually assumed that freight is to be billed prepaid unless otherwise stated on the bill of lading or unless that particular carrier assumes freight to be billed collect automatically. These provisions should be outlined in the carrier’s rules tariff. Often, bills of lading include pre-printed text stating that freight will be prepaid unless marked “collect,” or vice versa. Sometimes, these terms are overlooked by a carrier, which results in the carrier billing the incorrect party.

Fuel Surcharge

Often abbreviated as FSC, fuel charges may be calculated in cents per mile (CPM), or by a percentage that is based on linehaul charges. Most carriers have a flexible fuel surcharge schedule that varies with the changing oil and fuel markets. Shippers should be aware of a carrier’s fuel surcharge schedule when determining the total cost for a shipment. Even a slight difference in the cent per mile or percentage fuel surcharge rate may result in much higher charges in freight costs.

Full Container Load (FCL)

Refers to the contracting of transportation of an entire intermodal or ocean container. Most intermodal and ocean shipping is conducted in this way.

Gateway

A point or location where freight is moved from one area or territory to another and is interchanged with another carrier.  This is a base point on which rates are constructed. Errors may occur due to lack of or improper EDI communication.  Let us ensure no additional invoices are being generated for your through/rule 11 moves. 

Gross Weight

The total weight of the product, plus any packaging or dunnage used to ship a product. This is the weight used to determine shipment charges, unless otherwise stated in negotiated pricing or in the carrier’s rules tariff.

Hazard Class

A DOT-assigned classification used for any type of hazardous material shipped. Classes range from 1 through 9, based on how the product is hazardous (flammable, radioactive, etc.). Along with packing groups, hazard classes are used to determine sub-items and classes on certain NMFC items. We can determine which hazard class is appropriate for the various products you ship, ensuring you are not billed for a higher class than is applicable.

Hazardous Materials

May alternately be indicated as dangerous goods, hazchem or hazmat. These are solids, liquids or gasses that pose a threat of harm to people or other living organisms, property or the environment. Hazardous materials are subject to chemical regulations from the D.O.T. and are to be handled accordingly by a party who is trained on how to transport these goods. Hazardous material information must be listed properly on the bill of lading to serve as a warning of what is being shipped and to ensure proper materials handling. Carriers may be required to segregate certain chemicals from other products. Placards may be required by the carrier to be placed on the outside of the vehicle to inform others of the product’s possible hazards. It is important to notate the correct packing group and hazard class of the product shipped to ensure safe handling. In some cases, the packing group and hazard class are sometimes used to determine the applicable classification for determining linehaul or certain accessorial charges. Ordinarily carriers bill a fee for the handling of hazardous materials which may be a flat or weight-based fee. We can help to determine whether your negotiated pricing may entitle you to a cheaper fee.

Head Haul

When shipments move in the same direction of heavy traffic flow when the traffic on the outbound route is much heavier than the return route. This is the reverse of a backhaul.

Incoterms (International Commercial Terms)

Incoterms rules are part of the language of international trade.  These three letter acronyms define who bears the costs and risks associated with the transport and delivery of goods. These terms are published by the International Chamber of Commerce, and are part of the library of information American Truck and Rail stays current on and familiar with as a matter of course.

Interline Shipment

A shipment which requires two or more carriers in order to move from the origin to the final destination. Many carriers enter into partnerships with other carriers to make interline moves. Your negotiated pricing may entitle you to be billed a rate by one carrier for the entire move. This sometimes leads to errors in which both carriers bill for the same portion of a move. AMTR’s auditors know what to look for and will recover these overpayments for you.

Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC)

A cubic container used to transport or store bulk liquid or granules. IBC’s come in many materials and sizes. One-time use plastic composite IBC’s are the most-often used and are encased in an iron cage attached to a pallet. IBC’s may also be made of wood, heavy plastic, metal, or fiberboard. Heavier materials often do not require the iron cage structure. The most commonly sized IBC’s are 275 U.S. gallons and 330 U.S. gallons. Shipping by tote may entitle you to pallet rates, as these are affixed to skids. AMTR’s auditors can help you determine whether or not discounted rates apply to your shipments.

Intermodal

Freight that is moved in an intermodal container or vehicle between two different modes of transportation, typically truck, rail, and/or ocean. Intermodal shipping is usually quicker and less costly than over the road shipping. When both over the road and intermodal rates exist for a specific lane, carriers may apply over the road rates in error. Our thorough investigations help us to make a determination as to which type of shipment moved and to ensure that the correct pricing was applied.

Interstate

Shipments which require delivery to a state other than that of the origin point.

Intrastate

Shipments in which transportation is completed within a single state.

Junction

A point at which two or more carriers interchange freight (see also Gateway). Errors may occur due to lack of or improper EDI communication.  Let us ensure no additional invoices are being generated for your through/rule 11 moves. 

Layover

The overnight detainment of a driver through no fault of the carrier. There are fees associated with layovers, often based on the hour or day. AMTR’s smart auditors can help to decide if layover fees are appropriate in each situation, as well as how charges should be applied.

Less Than Container Load (LCL)

Refers to the contracting of transportation of an intermodal or ocean container which is not full.

Less Than Truckload (LTL)

Method by which relatively small freight shipments may move. Each carrier may use different criteria for classification of shipments as either truckload or less than truckload. The typical carrier considers shipments 20,000 pounds or under to be less than truckload. A carrier may alternately consider a shipment which does not fill an entire trailer by volume to be less than truckload. It is important to consult the carrier’s rules tariff and contracted pricing for the applicable definition of less than truckload. AMTR has the expertise to determine which of your shipments are less than truckload to ensure that you have been billed properly.

Letter Of Authority (LOA)

A statement from one party to another authorizing the receiver to allow or perform a certain act. Many shippers will amend the freight terms on a bill of lading by submitting a letter of authority. These can be overlooked by the carrier in error, resulting in the incorrect party being billed.

Load Limit

The maximum weight allowed on a given car. The maximum weight allowed in a car may be governed by many factors such as line capacity, car specifications, or station conditions. Ensure you are loading your cars to the maximum amount allowed for your shipments. Let us review your freight and advise if you are getting the most for your freight spend.

Lumper Service

The loading or unloading of goods from a trailer. If the shipper or receiver requires  a carrier to be assisted in loading or unloading a truck, the shipper or receiver must either provide the assistance or compensate the carrier for the cost of hiring someone to assist.

Minimum Charge

The lowest amount a carrier will bill for an LTL shipment, even when a discount is applicable. Usually carriers charge a flat minimum fee as outlined in their public rules tariff. Your pricing may entitle you to a lower minimum, which may be a flat charge for all moves or may vary based on origin and/or destination location. We can help determine if you are being billed the lowest applicable linehaul on all of your minimum charge shipments.

National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC)

The National Motor Freight Classification® (NMFC®) is a standard that provides a comparison of commodities moving in interstate, intrastate and foreign commerce. It is similar in concept to the groupings or grading systems that serve many other industries. Commodities are grouped into one of 18 classes—from a low of class 50 to a high of class 500—based on an evaluation of four transportation characteristics: density, handling, stowability and liability. Together, these characteristics establish a commodity’s transportability.

Net Weight

The weight of the product only. This is not the weight that is used to determine freight charges unless otherwise stated in a tariff or contract.

No Freight on Top

Refers to a shipment which cannot have additional handling units stacked on top of it due to the risk of damage. These shipments often lead to the application of cubic capacity rates, as the carrier will bill for the empty space above your product. AMTR has the skills and tools necessary to determine if you are billed based on the correct dimensions, cube and rates.

Non-Recourse

Also known as “Section 7”. By signing a non-recourse section on a bill of lading, the shipper is relieved of any responsibility to pay a carrier for freight charges. Therefore, if a carrier extends credit to the consignee and then the consignee does not remit payment for service rendered by the carrier, the carrier agrees not to seek payment from the shipper as the guarantor. It may also be signed when the shipper does pay for freight charges, however does not want to be held liable for any further freight charges after the shipment is paid for and has departed from the origin. It would be in the shipper’s favor, when using a broker for transportation services, to include a non-recourse statement stating that the carrier cannot collect freight charges from anyone other than the broker.

Open Industry

An industry that is open to reciprocal switching. If a linehaul carrier ships from or arrives at an industry which it does not serve, the serving carrier may charge a switch fee to get the car from the industry to the carrier. These fees vary from carrier to carrier, and may also vary based on the commodity shipped or the origin location. Additionally, your rate engine must ensure the appropriate absorption from the line haul carrier is programmed into your rate engine. Are all of these contingencies noted in your software? If not, let AMTR review your invoices and help you to prevent making switch errors in the future!

Origin

The place where the freight shipment resides and the carrier must go to pick up the freight for transportation.

Overcharge

When a freight bill is presented for payment and the charges are in error. With all of the data involved in freight billing and payment the likelihood of being overcharged is probably greater than you think. Something as insignificant as one keystroke can result in a considerable overcharge. It takes knowledge and experience to discover these errors, which is why you need a SMART AUDIT.

Overflow

The quantity of weight which does not fit on a trailer loaded to capacity. While the original trailer will be billed using capacity rates, the overflow will typically be billed as its own LTL shipment on the same freight bill. We will determine if public tariff or privately negotiated rates are applicable and if charges were calculated fairly and accurately.

Over the Road (OTR)

Freight that is moved within a linehaul system or between terminals. A carrier may have different rates depending on whether a shipment was moved over the road or intermodal. It is important to understand the distinction to avoid overpaying your freight bills. Our thorough investigations help us to make informed decisions in this respect and to ensure that pricing is appropriately applied.

Packaging

Shipments must be packaged in a way that provides safe handling due to its size or shape, as well as for the safety of those handling the shipment. Packaging must be suited to the type of transportation chosen. Truck movements involve shocks and vibration leading to product shifting and bumping. Some shipments moving via different modes may need to be blocked or braced. Furthermore, there are DOT regulations as to how certain hazardous materials must be packaged, as this is vital to the well-being of living organisms. Being aware of the different packaging classifications may help a shipper choose a packaging option that will result in a lower class and therefore lower freight charges. 

Packing Group / Packaging Group

A classification assigned to flammable liquids and solids; oxidizers; some miscellaneous dangerous substances; and materials that are dangerous when wet, spontaneously combustible, poisonous, or corrosive This classification is based on how hazardous the material is; Packing Group I is assigned to materials posing a great danger, Packing Group II to those posing a medium danger, and Packing Group III to those posing a minor danger. Along with hazard classes, packing groups are used to determine sub-items and classes on certain NMFC items. We can determine which packing group your materials belong in, and therefore ensure that you are being billed appropriately for hazardous materials shipments.

Packing Slip

A document containing information about specific products in an order, quantity of products, packaging information, and the buyer’s name and address. Bills of lading often do not contain all of the information provided in the packing slip, and the packing slip may include information that could potentially lower freight costs. AMTR is experienced with reviewing packing slips and comparing them against bills of lading. We can determine if your products are being classified correctly by the carrier and shipper.

Pallet

Otherwise known as a Skid, pallets may be made of wood, plastic, or metal. Pallets come in a wide variety of sizes, but most pallets are 48”x48” or 48”x40”. Palletizing shipments can make them easier to load and unload, and often makes stacking easier. It is important to note on a bill of lading how many pallets were shipped, as this may entitle you to special discounted pallet rates. AMTR’s experienced auditors can help to determine when a pallet rate does or does not apply.

Pallet Jack / Pallet Truck

A device used to lift and move pallets. Pallet jacks may be necessary for pickup and delivery of certain shipments and carriers often require them to be provided by the consignor and consignee. If the carrier provides this tool, there is usually a charge associated. This service should be carried out upon the shipper’s request. AMTR will work to determine if the service was necessary, who provided the equipment, and if fees were billed correctly.

Pallet Rates

A negotiated flat rate per skid, often from or to specific locations, and often including restrictions on weight and/or dimensions. Many shippers have pallet rates written into their contracts or tariffs with some carriersPallet rates may take precedence over other negotiated rates, but sometimes the least costly rate takes precedence. Smart auditors are able to quickly and accurately determine if a pallet rate is applicable or fair in any given instance.

Parcel Shipments

The delivery of small shipping packages, parcels or mail with high value as a single shipment.

Participating Carrier

A transportation carrier which agrees to be party to a tariff or contract rate issued by another transportation carrier.  Sometimes there is confusion about which carrier should do the invoicing. Duplicate entries are harder to find due to the difference of invoice numbers. AMTR will use other factors to determine if you paid the correct rate to the appropriate party.

Payment Software

Many shippers use automated electronic payment systems such as Syncada or SAP. These systems have improved efficiency and saved on accounting time and cost for many companies. However, these systems have introduced brand new problems, as typically shipping and accounting departments are unable to review every single payment and confirm its validity every day for every single shipment. Automated audit programs can never account for every possible error scenario and most audit companies rely on these automated systems. This is where the AMTR Difference comes in, as the only way to discover these mistakes is by a trained and certified audit expert.

Private Carrier

A company-owned carrier that transports the company’s goods when the company’s primary business is not transportation.  Private carriers can refuse their services to anyone.  Private carriers are most often motor carriers, however the term can also refer to rail and water transportation.

Pup

A 28′ shipping trailer. This is the trailer size used on most LTL shipments. When the pup is filled to capacity, overflow will be shipped in another pup. Most carriers have tariff pricing in place to charge a per mile or flat rate for the full pup and standard LTL rates for any overflow. Many carriers use the actual weight loaded into the second pup to determine overflow charges. However, some carriers calculate an average weight per square foot and use this weight to determine charges. Our smart auditors will determine the configuration of freight, whether or not freight was loaded efficiently, and the quantity of overflow weight to ensure that capacity load and overflow rates were correctly billed.

Rail Contracts / Private Pricing

Rates that are negotiated between a specific shipper and carrier. The rates are not made known to the public or other competitors and usually offer a discount off the tariff rate in exchange for a certain volume of traffic or an exclusive for the lane(s). The shipments that move under this pricing may be governed by a completely different set of tariffs, rules, and accessorials than public tariffs. This system is often not as efficient as the public system and with varying personnel obtaining quotes, periodic updates in contracts or tariffs, failure to distribute rates agreed to by email, or a nonexistent flow of information to the rate server, there is seemingly infinite room for error. AMTR has the luxury of viewing your shipment history at a glance, comparing what was paid and asking the questions to ensure all your negotiated rates and terms are met.

Rate Engine

An extremely complicated set of programs which draws from multiple other sources and software to determine the rate to be paid from origin to destination and takes into account such shipment characteristics as commodity, size, weight, customer, and mileage. These perform efficiently and correctly most of the time and are great time-saving tools. What many shippers fail to realize is that the rate engine is manually loaded by a person that may or may not make errors and rates may be subject to interpretation. Even if rates are pulled from carrier provided spreadsheets or pdf’s, the carriers tariffs have been known to make publication errors, transpose numbers, or annotate the wrong note. A rate engine can never be programmed for all contingencies. Who is auditing the rate server? A question your company may ask itself is: if the rate server is perfect, why do you have manual payments?

Reciprocal Switching

An interchange of inbound and outbound carload freight among railroads in which the cars are switched by one railroad to or from the siding of another. The charge may or may not be absorbed by the carrier receiving the linehaul in whole or in part. Are all of your switch rates programmed correctly in your rate engines? Let AMTR review your invoices to ensure you are paying the proper rates for all your origin/destination pairs!

Reconsignment

When a shipment in transit is redirected to a different destination. Reconsignments occur when the wrong address is entered on the bill of lading, the buyer has backed out and product is redirected elsewhere, or a product is needed urgently elsewhere. There are many rules and charges involved in a reconsignment; expert interpretation of the tariff rules and research across many different areas of information are required to ensure proper billing.

Redelivery

When a carrier attempts a delivery and the customer is unable to accept the product, the carrier may return at a later date to deliver the shipment. This occurs many times when a shipper does not notify the carrier of specific times or days wherein a consignee cannot accept a shipment. This may occur when a carrier is not notified that special delivery equipment is needed, resulting in the carrier having to return to the terminal and redeliver with the needed equipment. There are several reasons as to why this may occur and many factors that change who—and what—is charged.

Refrigerated Van (Reefer)

A temperature-controlled container used to haul fresh foods and other temperature-sensitive goods. Reefer load rates are typically higher than regular truckload rates. Let AMTR determine if reefer rates are being applied correctly to your shipments.

Rejected Shipment

A shipment which the consignee or owner will not accept. Many issues can arise from a rejected shipment including demurrage, extra switching,  inadequate or insufficient shipping instructions, re-consignment, etc. AMTR is the expert on the rules that apply for these types of “distressed” shipments and will ensure that you were billed at the proper charges.  Many rules cannot be programmed into a rate engine, so let our team determine if you got the best possible rate.

Released Value

The total value of a shipment, as called out on the bill of lading by the shipper. This amount determines what NMFC classification is applicable in certain situations. Often carriers overlook this piece of information on the bill of lading and bill based on a much higher value. A smart auditor can determine for you if the released value indicated on a bill of lading entitles you to lower freight charges.

Residential Pickup/Delivery

Refers to the pickup of a shipment from a private residence or the delivery of a shipment to a private residence, respectively. The fees associated with this service should be named in the carrier’s public rules tariff. Some shippers may also be eligible for waived or reduced rates if provided for in their private pricing. Often, residential fees are applied in error to shipments which are not picked up from—or delivered to—a private residence. We will determine if all of your residential pickup and delivery fees are legitimate, and recover the fees that were billed in error.

Reweighs

The weight verification of a shipment by a carrier in which product is weighed and a corrected weight certificate is issued. A weight correction may result in the increase or reduction of freight charges. It is also important to note that density is always affected by a weight change, so a product’s NMFC class may also change.

SAFER

Website: www.safersys.org. When selecting a motor carrier for transportation needs, it is the shipper’s responsibility to ensure that they are choosing a fit, licensed and insured driver. Carriers registered with the USDOT will have a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” rating listed on this website. Therefore utilizing this website will help ensure the shipper is making a smarter decision on choosing a safer carrier.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

Also known as Sarbox or SOX; this federal law defines the responsibilities of public companies’ boards of directors and provides penalties for misconduct. It was created in the wake of accounting scandals at companies like Enron and WorldCom.

SCAC

Acronym for Standard Carrier Alpha Code; a short alpha code used to identify a carrier. This code is useful when identifying carriers on BOL’s or other shipping documents. It is not uncommon for these codes to be used for data entry, automated auditing and payment software. Errors can occur when the incorrect SCAC is applied to an invoice that does not belong to the actual transporting carrier. Incorrect rates or erroneous payments may be made.

Short Line

A switch or roadhaul carrier that is not Class 1 and usually owns less than one hundred miles of track. These shortlines may or may not have multiple arrangements with Class 1 carriers and their charges may or may not be valid depending on if they are acting as a handling line or independently. AMTR will audit any shortline payments for arrangements with Class 1 carriers and determine whether or not their charges are valid.

Stopoff Charge

A fee associated with stops made during linehaul prior to the final destination. Your negotiated pricing may entitle you to a lesser stopoff charge than the carrier’s public tariff does. Some carriers may allow the first stopoff to be free, or may charge a different amount for each stopoff. AMTR’s experts can determine if you are being billed too much for stopoffs.

Switch

To move cars from one track to another or to an industry at the customer’s request. Switches may be intra/inter plant, intra/inter terminal, reciprocal, or intermediate, and may have an associated charge. Switching charges can be very detailed and complicated if you are not extremely well versed in the types that may occur and the arrangements between each carrier. Your pricing document will usually govern the charges, as well as other agreements you may have with other carriers. AMTR will know all your rates and whether or not these charges are valid.

Switching District

A defined group of rail stations inclusive to major metropolitan cities and the outlying urban areas where service is performed and priced between the locations as if performed within the city.

It is matter of course that sometimes shippers are billed in error for higher rates when the carrier’s rate engine doesn’t know that a lower rate exists for the shipment because it is within a switch district. Let AMTR find these errors and recover your overcharges.

Taft-Hartley Act

Also known as the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 and still in effect today.  This law addresses and limits the powers of labor unions. It also gives the President the authority to intervene in strikes or impending strikes if such a strike would impede national commerce, health or security.

Tariff

Public documents made available by carriers that show their rates and rules governing certain traffic. Most shippers are subscribed to the updates and receive them automatically when changes are made, which is an efficient way to ensure the correct rates are programmed ahead of shipments. What many do not realize is that the rules governing these tariffs are often ignored, not programmed, or not applied. Many rules give exceptions regarding certain situations and can be extremely complicated and open to interpretation. Notwithstanding, other tariffs apply by reference, such as switching. At AMTR, we know all the proper documentation needed to rate every aspect of your bill. This can only be performed by extensive reading and training. Our auditors are the best in the business!

Tariff / Contract Publication

Regularly updated documents that contain rates for shipments.Typical changes include addition of points or commodities or changes in rules or routing. At times these documents are changed and applied retroactively, which inevitably results in a failure of the rate engine capture these changes prior to the effective date. AMTR is set up to review and compare all publications at a glance and catch these types of errors effortlessly.

Team / Driver Team

The practice of utilizing two drivers for an expedited shipment, so that they may drive in shifts to arrive more quickly at the destination. This service is more costly than utilizing a single driver. Let AMTR help you to decide if and when you should be responsible for these fees.

Terminal

A carrier’s location used to prepare shipments for transportation or local delivery. Less than truckload hundred weight (CWT) rates are billed according the origin and destination terminal area’s zip codes. Most LTL carriers offer a listing of all terminals on their respective websites.

Terms of Sale

Terms under which the consignor or seller of the goods transfers the title of ownership of the goods to the consignee or buyer of the goods. Carriers sometimes mistake terms of sale for freight payment terms, thereby billing the incorrect party for a particular shipment. Terms of Sale are significant in the fact that they indicate who has ownership of the goods and may therefore seek compensation when goods are lost or damaged. These terms are often noted by F.O.B. or Freight on Board, followed by the location where the transfer of the title will occur, for instance destination or origin.

Third Party Bill To

A company that is not affiliated with either the shipper or consignee, but is paying freight charges on a particular freight bill. A third party will never be a shipping or consignee location, nor will it be a consignee or shipper’s third party auditing or logistics firm. It is important to note the distinction between “third party bill to” and “bill to,” as there may be differing discounts, FAK structure, and other rating characteristics.

Transloading

The process of transferring a shipment from one trailer to another. This practice is standard at the Canadian and Mexican borders, where carriers are allowed to operate in their own country only and must move the shipment to another carrier for delivery. Transloading is also done domestically, as carriers often move loads from the original city trailer which picks up a shipment, to another trailer for the long haul. There are many shipping and billing errors which can occur due to transloading, such as shortages, damages, and delivering the incorrect product. Furthermore, when a carrier transloads, they will configure shipping pieces into the most efficient manner possible for their benefit. This configuration is what should be used to determine density and dimensions for a shipment, not the short haul configuration as loaded on the original trailer by the shipper. Carriers sometimes use the original dimensions in error, costing you more money. AMTR can recover overcharges caused by transloading errors.

Truck Tariffs

Public documents made available by carriers which include information such as transportation rules, fuel surcharge schedules and accessorial definitions and charges. They may be reviewed on a carrier’s website or may be available upon request. These are applied in conjunction with the billed party’s applicable pricing. However, contracts or client specific tariffs may supersede certain charges or applications and are best interpreted and verified by a smart auditing staff with knowledge of transportation law and the time and training to know what questions to ask.

Truckload Shipment

Often abbreviated as TL or FTL (full truckload), this is a shipment which fully occupies a carrier’s trailer. Many carriers consider any shipment with a weight greater than 20,000 pounds to be a truckload shipment. Determining TL rates differs from determining LTL rates. Most times TL shipments move directly from the pickup location to the delivery location without being processed through an origin or destination terminal.

Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU)

Industry standard for measuring shipping containers. The International Organization for Standardization have set for the 20-foot container—20’Lx8’Wx8.5’H—as the standard.

Waybill

A document issued by a carrier giving details and instructions relating to the shipment. Usually includes the names of the consignor and consignee, the origin, its destination, and route. Most freight forwarders and trucking companies use an in-house waybill called a house bill.

Weight Agreement

An agreement between the shipper and the carrier under which the carrier agrees to accept shipper’s goods at certain agreed upon weights. This is usually after a series of test weights are performed. This is in lieu of scale weights and the 417 and 426 waybills must contain the specific code describing the type of weight agreement as described in EDI guidelines.  We will ensure this also complies with the correct applicable rate.

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