Here are several trucking paperwork documents that play an important role in the dispatching process. Most of the paperwork will be transferred from the driver(s), and most of the paperwork will be processed digitally if the organization is utilizing a TMS.
They include a bill of lading, proof of delivery, load confirmation rate agreement, commercial invoice, weighing and inspection report.
Rate sheet is a document that informs a customer of cost to transport a load between two destinations.
Most commonly, freight rates are divided into 100lb weight increments. A carrier must establish base rates because it increases the integrity of your rate system and provides a general overview to the customer of what they can expect in terms of costs. Freight rates are quoted per 100 pounds abbreviated as CWT.
A few factors that determine freight rates and specifically, LTL freight rates are weight, density, freight class, distance, minimums, and accessorial. Freight classes, established by the NMFC range from 50 to 500. Freight with a lower class is more dense, hard to damage, and easy to handle which means it is more economical to move.
Load Confirmation Rate Agreement
The load confirmation and rate agreement is a legally binding agreement that outlines specific details regarding the load being transported.
It confirms the rate that has been negotiated. After reviewing the terms, the carrier must sign the load confirmation rate agreement and send it back to the broker/shipper. The load confirmation rate agreement will have pickup or release number printed on it which may be required when loading and unloading freight from the shipper to consignee.
Weighing and inspection report
A weighing and inspection report is a document that outlines the inspection results performed by the carrier driver to ensure the freight characteristics of the shipment accurately match the description in the bill of lading. This report provides a proof of evidence if the customer requests a copy of the re-weigh and measurement. It requires measuring the dimensions and weight of the freight and determining if it matches the proposed specs on the bill of lading. If it does not match, the driver or carrier is able to re-class the freight.
Bill of Lading
Bill of Lading or BOL is a mandatory document to move cargo. The BOL has three primary functions. For instance, a BOL is a receipt of freight services, a contract between carrier and shipper, and serves as a formal commercial document of title. The bill of lading documents the goods being transported, and any special arrangements required on the driver’s part.
There are two main types of bills of lading. Firstly, a straight bill of lading means the carrier has received payment in advance. Secondly, an order bill of lading means the freight will be shipped before payment is received. The shipper will provide the bill of lading to the carrier upon loading of the freight onto the trailer.
Subsequently, the shipper will sign acknowledging the cargo is secured in accordance to NSC Standard 10 principles. Next, the carrier will sign the bill of lading confirming receipt of shipment. Once the driver delivers the shipment, the consignee or receiver will sign the bill of lading as proof of delivery.
Like the load confirmation and rate agreement, the bill of lading is a legally binding agreement and sets forth a contract of carriage. Although a bill of lading is not a complete contract of carriage, the load confirmation and rate agreement can cover aspects of it such as accessorial.
Accessorial are an important part of the contract of carriage because they cover for services that are out of the per/mile billing structure. For example, for services such as pallet jack, layover/detention time that is caused by the shipper, TONU (ordering a truck then cancelling an order), fuel surcharge, storage fees, and diversion miles.
Proof of Delivery (POD)
Proof of delivery is the last step in the process of transporting a shipment. It confirms what is being delivered and that the correct product has reached the correct shipper in undamaged condition. With technological development, electronic POD’s allow the consignee to digitally sign for the receipt of the shipment and it can be forwarded to other parties in real time.
After the obtaining the proof of delivery, it is time to forward it to the customer along with the commercial invoice.
The aforementioned information lists the main trucking paperwork involved in the transport process. A transportation management software may help dispatchers in organizing these types of documents.