Ocean freight invoices: Pressure and frustration piling up

Pieter Kinds

Pieter Kinds

September 14, 2016 - 16:09

Sinking freight rates and vanished revenue because of a lowering demand have fueled high tension between shippers and carriers in the ocean transportation industry. Especially the accuracy of ocean freight invoices is about to reach a boiling point.

According to a sharply written article by Hugh r. Morley, both containerlines and shippers are looking strongly to lower their costs, and many in the logistics industry notice the negative impact of these cutbacks in the auditing department of transportation invoices.

Hanjin, a classic wake up call for an industry in disbalance

Ocean Freight Audit

Pressured by budgetary needs and facing volatile container price changes, a complicating job as auditing ocean freight invoices has become a burden to many shippers. And the results are not too mild.

Ocean invoices accuracy

According to the article, many logistics professionals are dealing with declining invoice accuracy for sea transportation over the last few years, mostly because ocean carriers have significantly reduced their back-office staff or outsourced this daunting task to less experienced workers.

This has resulted in a blurred relationship between shippers and carriers because the first named group is now forced to increase the workload and budget on handling freight invoices.

One veteran freight invoice auditor claims the inaccuracy of his ocean invoices is costing his company between $ 50,000 and $ 150,000 on a yearly basis.

While some major shipping lines have admitted that the issues with ocean invoices were real a few years ago, and improved slightly since then, the industry is according to experts suffering as a whole.

"Some Audit experts estimate 30% of all shipping invoices are erroneous"

Critics say that that freight invoice errors in ocean transportation have long been riddled with problems and improvement still looks miles away. Asking about the reason for the inaccurate freight invoices in ocean transportation provokes a large diversity of reactions, indicating the scale of the problem. Complexity of the shipping process, the many organizations involved, the sheer volume and the lack of standardization are just a few to be passed in review.

If you then add the extreme volatility of current shipping rates, unclear business rules in current transportation contracts and 'sloppy and funky math', observers come to the bitter conclusion that ocean freight invoices still suffer poor accuracy.

Are you experiencing these issues? It is time to undertake action now. Start here by reading about the 10 best Freight Audit Practices for 2016.

The 10 best practices in Freight Audit

Contact ControlPay global Freight Audit

For more information regarding our freight audit services or solutions to your ocean freight invoice challenges, please contact us via info@controlpay.com. We are over 13 years active as a global freight audit provider and our experienced staff is happy to support you.