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22 Nov 2016

What is Your Unique Number?

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How does your company pay your freight invoices? Shippers often have a variety of unique numbers associated with their loads, as do carriers. Do shippers know how they connect? Are they able to connect them accurately? At AMTR, we have seen shippers pay for freight invoices using a variety of internal reference numbers, including bill of lading, purchase order, invoice, waybill or car number. Balance due invoices are especially tricky because most companies have programmed their systems to avoid duplicates. What number would shippers use to pay the carrier then? The connection between a shipper’s unique number and their carrier’s has caused problems for years. When the carrier applies your funds, are you confident they are applying them to the correct loads? Furthermore, even if you use the carrier’s invoice or pro number, how does it correctly tie back to a company’s system? At AMTR, we will request a complete and separate payment file from a company’s system if it is available, in addition to the regular shipment data. We run queries on reference numbers, as well as study them by eye to learn the format. By doing this, we learn a company’s workarounds for invoices that do not fit the typical format. Seeing all payments being made to a carrier—not just the ones that “match up”—allows us to suggest improvements to streamline your payment process and keep hidden erroneous payments from leaving your bank account.

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