Revolutionising the Freight and Logistics Industry

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In the vast and intricate realm of global freight and logistics, a multitude of players including shippers, carriers, and manufacturers weave a complex web of operations. On average, a shipment might traverse through approximately 12 touchpoints within the supply chain, with numbers potentially escalating to 20 for a single conveyance. This makes the journey of goods from supplier to consumer not just complicated but also significantly data driven.

Amidst this complexity, the industry faces a notable challenge: the reliance on manual processes and multiple outdated systems. This reliance renders the shipper and carrier data susceptible to errors, with an alarming 20% of freight invoices reportedly containing discrepancies. Considering the sheer volume of freight moving daily, particularly in the US where around $53 billion worth of goods are transported, these errors represent a substantial financial leak, yet they also unveil an opportunity for substantial cost savings through a method known as freight audit.

 

What Exactly is a Freight Audit?

Freight audit and payment is a critical process where a shipper meticulously reviews a freight invoice issued by a carrier. This scrutiny aims to ensure accuracy and prevent overcharging. Through freight bill audits, shippers analyse costs related to trucking, air shipping, demurrage, and more, against estimates provided on rate cards by carriers, enabling them to reclaim any undue charges.

 

Unravelling the Complexity of Freight Audit

The freight audit process is daunting, primarily due to the diverse formats of thousands of freight invoices it encompasses. Compiling and standardising this data, which is scattered across emails, spreadsheets, and PDFs, poses a significant challenge, making the audit process not only tedious but also time-consuming.

Yet, the drive to surmount these challenges stems from a singular compelling motive: the pursuit of cost savings.

 

Navigating Error-Prone Freight Invoicing

A considerable portion of freight bills bear errors, burdening importers of record with unnecessary financial losses. The use of dated transportation management systems, fragmented data sources, and manual interventions contribute to inefficiencies in the freight invoicing process. The lack of seamless integration among various touchpoints exacerbates data misinterpretation, further complicating accurate cost forecasting and potentially incurring hefty penalties due to delayed payments to carriers and partners.

 

The Intricacies of Freight Contracts

Freight contract complexities further compound the challenge, with costs influenced by variables such as fuel surcharges and accessorial charges. The diverse calculation methods across different freight lanes and the sheer volume of shipments and invoices necessitate a vigilant audit process to track and validate each cost meticulously.

 

The Manual Burden and the Path to Automation

The manual nature of freight audits, coupled with the complexity and time consumption, underscores the need for improvement. Automating the freight audit process can significantly reduce the manual workload, enhance data reliability, and unlock considerable time and cost efficiencies.

By leveraging automation, companies can streamline their freight bill audit workflows, ensuring precision and fostering better decision-making through trustworthy data integration. This transformation not only recoups costs but also reallocates valuable human resources to more strategic roles, ultimately bolstering profitability and efficiency in the global freight and logistics industry.

In essence, the freight and logistics sector stands at a transformative juncture. By embracing freight audit and leveraging technological advancements to automate and refine this process, businesses can navigate the complexities of the supply chain with greater ease and efficiency. This strategic shift not only promises significant financial savings but also propels the industry toward a more sustainable and streamlined future.