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Hidden Treasures Found within Carrier Invoices

Carrier Invoices can provide valuable insight into shipping characteristics that can open up opportunities to save your company money.  No, they are not just another bill that you use to pay the carriers.  The invoices provided by UPS and FedEx will provide intelligence to reduce shipping costs and improve your shipping process.

The data won't just jump off the page at you as actionable business intelligence .  It will require the effort of experienced personnel or a 3rd party company to identify any and all opportunities.

Carriers will provide you with billing and reporting options that detail all the charges and information you will need such as rates, service levels, zonal information, accessorial charges, addresses, dimensions, weights, credits, and tracking information.

So, now that you have all this information what are some areas that result in the most savings and improved efficiencies? 

Chargebacks and 3rd party unauthorized charges can be critical in monitoring to make sure you are only paying for charges you actually should be responsible for.  Many shippers allow other vendors, locations, and clients to utilize their shipper number(s) to send packages.  On the other hand, numerous companies ship out packages utilizing another company or persons shipper number.  In either case, the carrier will bill the account stated when the package is sent.  Its important to monitor your invoices to make sure you are not getting chargebacks or unauthorized charges to your invoices for those that dispute an approved charge once there invoice is received or you have charges showing up on your invoices that are from a non-authorized vendor.

Another large opportunity can be found from analyzing Address Correction Charges.  There are two ways to go about this.  You can work with Ship Watchers utilizing our swAddress Tool which corrects addresses prior to shipping or label printing avoiding the costly charges imposed by the carrier.  Or, if you do get charged for an address correction, the correct address is provided to you which can be implemented and changed in your internal system to avoid future changes when sending to the same address.  Our web portal easily outlines this information through reporting and export capabilities making it easy to change on your end.

Service Level Optimization can result in substantial savings if you are sending packages 2 or 3 day express when they could still arrive at the same time by sending the package via ground.  Looking at transit routing guides from the carriers can provide you with time in transit information depending on the shipped from and shipped to address.  Our development staff can quickly analyze your data to provide you with insight on service level optimization.

Accessorial charges and surcharges should be evaluated as these can be reduced, controlled, and managed in most cases.  Breaking down the invoice data into charge code description and measuring your costs by category will point out areas for savings opportunities.  Our experienced staff assists clients through determining these opportunities and presenting insight to help you reduce your shipping costs.

Do you send multiple shipments to the same delivery address over the course of days or weeks?  Considering consolidating your shipments to this location can result in additional savings.  Basic reporting capabilities in real-time with Ship Watchers will point these areas out for you.

Savings opportunities go much further in-depth through analyzing the detailed invoice data provided by the carriers.  I have mentioned a few above and have only just begun to scratch the surface.  Every shipper has their own unique shipping characteristics.  What is important for one may not be a priority for another.  Ship Watchers has customized solutions tailored around your own shipping characteristics and will work with you to provide the insight needed to further reduce your transportation spend.

While this information can be extrapolated from carrier invoices, the carrier provided reporting is only designed to facilitate payment of your invoice, not analysis.  An experienced individual with database and/or excel intelligence can manipulate this data from .CSV carrier invoices in order to point out opportunities and build plans from there based on priorities.  Another option is to work with a third party vendor such as Ship Watchers that includes these services as part of their auditing solution.  The incentives of working with an auditor go far beyond just the savings realized from errors and incorrect charges.  

If you have any questions or would like more information on utilizing Ship Watchers as your auditor, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.  24/7 support including Chat can be found at

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