Why am I getting a rebill when I got a freight quote?

You ever accidentally mistake salt for sugar? It’s an unpleasant surprise for sure. Rebills are a lot like that. Unfortunately they are part of LTL freight shipping. There are several different reasons rebills happen. In this article we will discuss the more common reasons you might get charged differently then what was on your freight quote.

What is a rebill?
A rebill is when the charges change from what was given on the original freight quote. What likely happened is the carrier weighed and/or inspected the shipment while in transit. The carrier has found that the shipment is different in some way from what was originally quoted. From the carrier’s perspective had the information been provided when you got the freight quote this would have been the charge.

Change in commodity
Most times it isn’t that the commodity changed but that there some difference in interpretation of the NMFC item and class applied to the shipment. This change could be based on the use, packaging, value or material the product is made of. Often when there is a change for commodity one of two things has happened. The shipper has provided some paperwork that suggests a different commodity or the carrier has completed a visual inspection and found a different product shipped. Often in this case the carrier will have documentation or pictures to back up their claim.

Change in weight
One of the main factors in an LTL freight quote is weight. If the weight increases the rate will likely go up. Some tariffs will allow for minor changes to weight with no change to the freight rate. A lot of times changes in weight are because the shipper has a scale that isn’t calibrated or didn’t have a scale to get an accurate weight. Other times it is because something was added last minute or was omitted. Often this is the case when the product weight is used and not the gross shipping weight (i.e. the pallet wasn’t included.) The carrier can provide a scale ticket or weight inspection ticket showing the details of their findings and claim.

Change in dimensions
A change in dimensions will usually come through looking like a change in the NMFC item number and freight class. Carriers have fancy things called dimensional scales that use lasors to capture the cubic dimension of your shipment. They are very accurate and even come with pictures! These rebills are most common when the freight class or tariff is based on density. A lot of times in the hurry to get the freight out shippers will say the freight is “standard pallet” size to account for the length and width. This may be true but it doesn’t account for items that may be hanging over the dimensions of the pallet. Other times there are changes because the pallet was originally stacked square at the top and a single box was added. This will lower the density, raise the class and the rate.

Change in special services
A rebill for change in special services is due to some extra chargable activity having to be performed by a carrier. This is most often seen when the person booking the shipment didn’t know there was a special requireent like a lift gate at the shipper or consignee. Another common one is deliveries to a home based business, which becomes a residential delivery and lift gate.

Rebills happen when something changes about the shipment after the original freight quote was issued. Often if you have received a rebill they can be very difficult to overturn. That said, they can be disputed but you have to have proof. As one of the largest LTL freight brokers in the country we know a lot about rebills. Feel free to call us with questions!

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Dave Stevens

Dave Stevens

Transportation Executive with experience in developing processes and controls for early stage start up companies. Specialties include: Sales, Marketing, Transportation, Trucking, Brokerage, Project Transport and Rail Operations.,Organizational Design, Process Development, Accounts Receivable Management, Leadership, and Business Start-ups.

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