Auditing Freight Bills

In a world where every dollar counts, more and more folks are scrutinizing every bill and every charge their company receives. Freight charges are no expception, that is why more customers than ever are investing in a heavy duty NTEP 4×4 Floor Scale. When you do find discrepancies with your freight carrier, don’t be surprised if it has to do with the readability of their scale.

Recently, I stumbled onto something that at first looked coincidental. I was auditing freight bills for a customer and I kept coming up with corrected weights by the carrier and the corrected weights all ended in either a “5″ or a “0″. One shipment contained 8 pallets and each pallet had a corrected weight that ended in 5 or 0. That intrigued me. Coincidence? I then researched and found that of 170 corrected freight bills due to weight changes, all 170 ended in 5 or 0.

My hypothesis was that perhaps forklift scales had something to do with this. I knew that carriers had been using forklift scales for some time so I decided to do some research. I contacted a few carriers and the manufacturer and learned the following:

•Floor scales measure in 1 pound increments but forklift scales measure in increments of 5 or 10 pounds.
•Forklift scales are “legal-for-trade” meaning they are used to assess charges to the “public” and thus under the jurisdiction of each State’s Weights and Measures Department. Much like a gasoline pump, the State or an authorized party must inspect and calibrate annually “legal-for-trade” measurement devices. Scale dealers are certified to calibrate and certify the devices.
•The forklift scale manufacturer specifications dictate that for accuracy purposes, the forklift must be idle, have forks no longer than 42″ and spaced 23″ center-to-center.