Freight Bill Audit

Freight bill auditing and payment has long been about leveraging data—scrutinizing invoices to discover billing mistakes that can cost shippers thousands of dollars in erroneous rates and accessorial charges. No question, ferreting out errors is still important. But many freight audit and payment companies are now delivering an entirely different set of benefits using the data shippers share about their freight bills.

Today’s freight audit and payment services focus on applying deep analytics, married with supply chain consulting expertise, to glean insights from data—then delivering those findings quickly and clearly to help shippers drive both tactical and strategic decisions that improve supply chain efficiency and remove costs.

Increasingly, those needs and expectations don’t apply just to shippers’ domestic freight bills. More shippers are seeking the same level of visibility and analytics about international freight activity, unified in a single platform with consistent formats that resolve differences in language, currencies, units of measure, and other variables.

Freight bill audit process
Flow chart of FBA

Challenges faced:

  • Uncertainty in submission of Invoices by transporter
  • Visibility of Invoice


  • Supporting Documents collection
  • No process defined
  • Leakage Identification
  • MIS Reports and Analysis
  • Statutory Compliances
  • High TAT for payment processing.
  • Non-contractual lanes – Approval Mails to be submitted along with Invoices
  • No regularity of In-time stamp (at security gate).
  • Statutory Compliances.


Freight audit and bill is of high attractiveness


Benefits of outsourcing freight bill audit


  • Everyone benefits

Freight payment data can reveal a lot to shippers about their business. In response to customer feedback and requests, many freight payment companies have developed new types of services, improved reporting capabilities, and added more telling key performance indicators (KPIs).

  •  All data under one roof

Some providers complement their freight payment and audit services with a full TMS to tender and track customer shipments. Housing all the data in one place means shippers can gather the information they need from a single source—rather than collecting various components from carriers, freight payment companies, and TMS solutions—to gain full supply chain visibility.

  • IT multiplies potential savings

Effectively using freight data can benefit shippers in ways beyond simply catching invoicing errors. Because supply chains evolve as companies grow—with lines of business or customers continually being introduced or discontinued, and routing needs shifting—regularly analyzing freight bill data can deliver new insights, drive intelligent decision-making, and increase potential cost savings.

  •  Overhauling the system

Once data is processed and readily available for decision-making, it’s common for freight payment companies to establish custom portals to provide shippers online access to their data. But a growing number of shippers are seeking deeper integration between freight payment companies’ IT and their own backend systems to complement the online tools and enable them to use the information in their internal software.

Setting up communications protocols with carriers’ systems can also prove challenging. Large carriers can typically handle direct exchange of shipping data, often via electronic data interchange (EDI), but smaller operators may lack this capability.

  • Accommodating global expansion

For many shippers, expanding their global footprint has been a critical component of business growth strategies. Some companies focus on finding new sourcing locations for raw materials and production services, while others seek new emerging markets for their products and services. Pursuing globalization requires intensive decision-making, including how to accommodate increased complexity and the risk it introduces into the supply chain network.

  •  Carrier collaboration unlocks savings

On the surface, the existence of a whole business model dedicated to finding errors that reduce shippers’ freight bills would seem to be a thorn in the side of carriers. But in fact, carriers devote considerable human and IT resources responding to and correcting issues with customer invoices. Identifying and eradicating bad data is in everyone’s best interest, because it lowers costs and increases customer satisfaction.

Some freight audit and payment companies expend considerable resources on nurturing carrier relationships for this purpose. They maintain departments specifically devoted to interacting with carriers, and some attend carrier conferences where they exchange ideas on how to improve the processes that connect them.



All that adds up to substantial value, particularly for those shippers that draw maximum benefit from the expertise and extended services their freight payment providers offer. Those that choose carefully and maintain close, collaborative relationships enjoy deep insights into their supply chains to feed well-informed, strategic decision-making.


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