Freight Bills

Understand Reconsignment Fees

What are freight rebills or additional charges?

Typically, when you buy a product or service you know exactly how much you’ll be paying. With less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping, that’s not always the case. After your shipment has been completed, additional charges, also known as rebills, can be added to the price you were initially quoted. Because of how complex LTL shipping can be, rebills are a fairly common occurrence in the LTL industry. Delays that keep the driver waiting, inaccurate freight measurements or weights, incorrect paperwork, or unexpected equipment needed to load or unload your cargo can all result in unpleasant surprises on your invoice. And they can be substantial. Depending on the circumstances, reconsignment fees can be among the most expensive.

What are reconsignment fees?

Reconsignment fees are charged when the destination of a shipment is changed after it has been picked up by the carrier. This can happen for a variety of reasons. A customer may cancel an order, requiring the shipment to be returned to the shipper, or the address on the BOL was incorrect. The amount of the fee generally depends on how far the new destination is from the original destination. If it's nearby, it shouldn't cost too much. If it’s in another state, it can get very expensive.

Also, any time there is a reconsignment, that also means that the Bill of Lading (BOL) needs to be changed. Carriers charge a fee for this as well.

How do I avoid reconsignment fees in the future?

If your customer cancels an order and you need the shipment back, unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done. However, a mistaken address, even due to a simple typo, is something that can be easily avoided. It is best to get into the habit of carefully checking the BOL multiple times and asking another member of your team to review the details as well. Lastly, give the BOL one final look before your driver picks up the shipment.

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