Dealing with Disputes: Part II

Back That Dispute Up: Re-Weigh and Re-Class

Reweigh. Like when you hop on a scale right after eating that quarter pounder and fries and the number is different from what you weighed that morning. Super. This can happen with your freight shipments, too. A carrier may inspect the weight of your scaleshipment, and if it doesn’t match what is on the BOL, you can be faced with a reweigh charge. The same is also true with a re-classed shipment. The carrier may determine that the class of a commodity is higher and as a result, you will be assessed with a re-class charge.

Don’t agree with the re-class or reweigh charge? First, make extra sure that your dispute is valid. For a reweigh this means double checking that the original weight you provided was not an estimate and that it included all packaging materials and the pallet. For a re-class this means thoroughly reviewing the NMFC description and notes for the application of that class. Sometimes, factors like packing material, type of crate, the intended use of the commodity, or product materials change what the class of an item is.

If after reviewing, you still find that the re-class or re-weigh is incorrect, you will need to make sure you have all your back up documentation ready so that you can prove your dispute is valid. This documentation includes:

  • Original packing slip/purchase order/invoice
  • Product spec sheets showing the ship weight of the product, material composition, dimensions
  • Photos of the shipment prior to shipping, including the packaging and commodity, if possible
  • Certificate showing customer scale has been calibrated in the last six months
  • Documentation indicating purpose or practical use of the product (NMFC class interpretations rely on the intended use of the product. For example fish tank vs. plastic articles)

As with all other negotiations with the carrier, the more documentation you have to prove your case, the better.  Disputes can take anywhere from two weeks to two months, sometimes longer, depending on the carrier.  Remember, the faster and easier you are to work with and the more documentation you provide, the more efficient the carrier should be.

Totally down with this Disputes Series? Check out last week’s post 3 Best Practice Tips To Help Increase the Odds of Success and check back next week for more tips.