Ask AFS: What Should I Be Looking For in My Parcel Invoices?

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In an earlier blog post, you said, “Take the time to audit your carrier invoices, and be sure to carry a fine-toothed comb.” Two questions: Can I use a brush instead? And what exactly should I be looking for when I conduct my audits?

In answer to your first question: Yes, as long as it’s just a figurative one. (And by the way, thanks for the humor break.)

In answer to the second, we have plenty of ideas.

For starters, check to see if all of your accessorial fees are valid. AFS winds up (politely) disputing thousands of invalid accessorial fees on client invoices every year, and often it’s because no one’s taken the time to make sure that each package listed on an invoice is actually the kind of bigger or higher-maintenance package that the invoice says it is.

Next, look at the charged price on each invoice in order to make sure it’s correct – e.g. that it reflects the latest negotiated base discount you were promised in your most recent agreement with each carrier – bearing in mind that this is a very easy thing for a carrier’s billing department to occasionally miss, especially in the initial weeks after a new agreement takes effect.

From there, look at your weekly spends to make sure you’re being properly credited for the weekly tiered incentive discounts that your company has earned. Although your carriers are surely doing their best to try to keep track of this, it is possible to miscount qualifying parcel volumes.

Finally, don’t forget to double check the dimensional weight (DIM) divisor that’s being used if your company negotiated one. If a carrier inadvertently uses its default DIM divisor instead, it could significantly impact (read: increase) your final tally.

We’ll talk more about this subject – and why it’s so smart to audit every invoice every time – in a future blog post. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to AFS’s parcel experts at [email protected] if you’d like us to take a closer look at your parcel delivery bills.



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AFS is directing carriers and customers to direct all inbound invoices to [email protected] or via established electronic submission, such as EDI or eSubmit to avoid processing delays due to the impacts of the COVID-19 countermeasures and service interruptions at the United States Postal Service.

Carriers should contact Carrier Support via email at [email protected] in lieu of calls. We have added additional resources and later hours to assist you and email will serve as the method for fastest response. Please send an aging report with your inquiry so that we may provide you the most current status.

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