Sheridan Explains It All: Guaranteed Shipments

In part two of our video series, Sheridan explains the process of “guaranteed shipments,” and how they can be useful for your LTL freight shipping.
Video Transcript: Hey guys, I’m back, and I want to talk about a guaranteed shipment. If you didn’t get a chance to watch out PRO report video, go to our website and check it out. It’s really informative, and I know you’ll love it. So, what is a guaranteed shipment? A guaranteed shipment is an additional service offered by the carrier. You can think of it as insurance for your time-sensitive freight. There are two types of guarantees. The first one is the GSS 12 which is delivery by noon, and the second is a standard GSS which is delivery by 5pm. This service is an additional cost, much like a lift gate or limited access fee. Now, how do you get this service for your shipment? Well, there are two ways you can do that. The first way is if you have access to your online account, go to the customer add shipment tab, then the second page, and it will be under your accessorial section. If you don’t have access to your online account, you can email or call anybody at the FreightPros office and we’ll be happy to help. Now, there are restrictions to this service. A carrier will not honor the guaranteed shipment if it’s going to a residence, a limited access, it needs a delivery appointment, it needs to deliver before the estimated transit day, or it’s being delivered by a partner carrier. All in all, this is all you need to know about a guaranteed shipment. If you have questions, or want more details about this service, call us at the FreightPros office and we’ll be happy to help. That’s it, and happy shipping. 

Sheridan Explains It All: The PRO Report

Account Manager Sheridan Phillips kicks off her new video series, Sheridan Explains It All, with a quick run through of the FreightPros PRO Report.
  Video Transcript: Sheridan Explains It All… Hey guys, my name is Sheridan and I’m an Account Manager here at FreightPros. I wanted to talk to you a little bit about The PRO Report, which is unique to our company. So, to start off; what is a PRO number? Well, a PRO number is a reference number that we use to track your shipment. The PRO number is given to the shipment, by the carrier, at the time of pickup. Every single shipment in transit has a PRO number.  What Is The PRO Report? On to our next question: What is the PRO Report? Well, a PRO Report is a report that we do here every single morning that looks at all the shipments that were scheduled the previous day, and shows us which shipments were not given a PRO. What If I Don’t Have A PRO? No PRO? No problem. So, what if your shipment doesn’t have a PRO? Well, in that situation we’re going to call the carrier and figure out why. And just because it doesn’t have a PRO, doesn’t mean it didn’t pick up. In some situations the carrier websites are not updated yet, so we simply don’t have a PRO. In the event of a missed pickup, there are a multitude of reasons why: 1. There wasn’t a BOL at the pickup location 2. The pickup location closed early 3. The driver arrived late 4. The driver’s truck broke down 5. Sometimes, the driver won’t attempt it at all. Regardless of the situation, we’re going to do all we can to make sure it’s picked up the next business day. Let’s Sum It Up… So, all in all, What is a PRO? It’s a reference number given to us to help us track your shipment. What is the PRO report? It’s a report unique to FreightPros. No PRO? No problem. We are committed to helping you and your freight.  My name is Sheridan, I’m an Account Manager at FreightPros, and I am out. 

LTL Freight Claims

This video describes some simple steps you can take to make your ltl freight claim go smoothly. Want to learn more about claims? Check out our Freight Shipping Guide.
Video Transcript: [Chris Clever, President – FreightPros] Hey my name is Chris Clever, I’m the President of FreightPros and today I want to talk to you really quickly about some quick tips on making claims, successful claims, when there is damage on your LTL freight.  Now we all hate getting that call from our customer, or I’m sure that you as a shipper, dread when you get damage on your freight.  You might ship to someone, they call you up and say “hey this pallet was crushed in transit.”  That’s kind of the worst news you can get in this industry.  I just want to have some quick pointers for you to help guide you along this process and make sure you have the best chance of getting paid out and as quickly as possible. Number one.  The most important thing you can take away from this video is to make sure that damage is noted on the proof of delivery or the bill of lading at delivery.  Without that, the carrier is always going to back off the claim and put all the responsibility on you, saying “nothing was notated, we can’t pay out on that, how do we know the damage didn’t occur after we dropped off the freight?”  That’s number one. Number two.  If there is damage, you’ve noted it, let’s get the process rolling.  Take a picture, take several pictures from all angles of your freight.  Make notes on what is damaged.  If something is lost, make notes on that.  Once you’ve got that step down, get with your broker or go to the carrier’s website directly and download their freight claim documentation form.  Usually its a one page form.  You need to get that filled out to get the process rolling.  One other piece of documentation that you’re going to need is a commercial invoice stating the value of the freight.  The key thing to know is that you’ll need to know the replacement value.  A freight carrier is not going to want to reimburse you at your customer’s cost, they are going to want to reimburse you at the cost to replace that freight. Final thing with a freight claim with LTL carriers.  Unfortunately there is a huge waiting time.  Carrier’s don’t like to pay out quickly on freight damages for freight claims.  Expect sixty to ninety days at a minimum.  We wish there was something we could do to speed this process up with the carriers.    But the most important thing you can do is get the process started.  Don’t wait a couple of months to file that freight claim. So, note the damage, get your documentation in order, and get that freight claim submitted. Hopefully that’s helpful.  Work with your broker to help speed along these processes.  If there is information that you need or want more information on these processes, feel free to reach out to us, and we will help you out.

Know Your Freight Broker

FreightPros team of freight brokers talk about their interactions with some of their favorite customers to work with.
We asked some of our employees to talk about their relationship with their favorite customers since we know that having a strong relationship with our customers and really understanding their business and needs is key to a successful relationship.  See the results in the video above. And don’t forget to check out our freight shipping guide, available for free download.
Video Transcript: “We asked our team of freight brokers about some of their favorite customers to work with.  Here was their response:” [Ashley Phillips, Sr. Account Manager – FreightPros] My favorite customer to work with is Dave.  He works at a hardwood flooring company.  He’s hilarious.  We normally talk every single day.  He’s big on customer service to his customers, which I am as well.  So we have that connection as far as work ethic.  Dave knows that when I say I’m going to do something for him, that I’m going to do it.  He’s very proactive on his end, but also lets me kind of show him my work and get back to him.  Oftentimes I’ll send him a reminder email “hey Dave I’m still working on this for you” and he says “Ashley, I know you’re not going to forget about me.”  One good thing about working with my customers is usually I get a sense for what they do.  On the free time, all of us are very hard workers.  But for instance, Dave and I are both from West Texas.  We found this out a few months after working together through natural conversation.  When he’s going back home to visit, for say Christmas or the holidays, we joke about “uh we’re having to head West.”  Because of course, there is nothing out West, we both now have a love for Austin and call it home, but its really fun to hear those conversations and learn where my customers live and come from and about their life.  We joke about it when it comes up, even in freight you know, “oh we’re shipping something back West, let’s see how this goes.” [Randi Hawley, Account Manager – FreightPros] The relationships I build with customers on a day-to-day basis are very personable.  And that’s the one joy I have with this company and building relationships in general.  You can talk to them about their family and what they are doing on the weekend and their hobbies.  It makes it seem like we’re not just computers over here, we’re actually real people and we really like to get involved with each customer.  One of my favorite customers to work with is Kirk.  He works at this awesome company and what they do there is make nutrition bars.  I feel like I help their business operation and the way that they process things.  Kirk he travels a lot, so what I do is when he’s off traveling, he’ll send me an email saying “hey I really need your help with this quote” or “I need you to build this shipment.”  So I’m helping him in a way where he can go off and travel and make more business while I’m helping him on the back end. [Logan Theissen, Account Manager – FreightPros] I’ve been taking care of Brandi now for two years and over those two years I’ve learned about her family, I’ve learned about her husband, I’ve met her, I’ve went and taken donuts to her team and crew over there multiple times.  Its one of those things that I do it every day and even as my position changes and maybe other people send tracking updates to other customers.  I still personally take it every morning to send that email over to Brandi and let her know that her shipments are being taken care of personally, by me and if its a Friday, invite her out to happy hour and hope that she has a good and safe weekend. “If you don’t have a great relationship with your freight broker, we’d suggest getting to know one of ours…  Connect with our team @ 888-297-6968”

FAK-Freight All Kinds Explained

Chris explains the basic concept of what an FAK is and how it can effect a shipper’s freight pricing.
  Hey, everyone. Welcome back. I am Chris Clever, president of FreightPros. And we’re back, talking about freight topics, trying to help our small- to medium-sized freight shippers and really give them the knowledge that they need to make sure that they ship their freight in the most economical and efficient way. And today, we’re going to talk about Freight of All Kinds, or more commonly known as the FAK. We get this question all the time. Customers want to know what is an FAK? How do I get an FAK? How does an FAK affect me? And in simplest terms, an FAK– or, again, Freight of All Kinds– it’s a pricing tool. And it’s a tool used by the common LTL freight carriers. And what the FAK does, it essentially groups classification ranges so that they are billed at one specific class. And so in simplest terms, and as an example, let’s say that we are a shipper, that we ship a product that’s a class 92 and 1/2. We might go to the carrier and during our negotiations with them, we might be able to negotiate so that anything between a class 60 and a 92 and a 1/2 will actually be rated or priced at the class 60. So that would then be your FAK range, of 60 to 92 and 1/2, and being charged at class 60. So in effect, that will generally lower your price. Now, of course, if you’re a carrier, you might give a less of a discount to that customer if you’re giving an FAK. So it might not generally lower your price. But in most cases, if there is an established discount and you’re able to negotiate that FAK, it’s a good thing for you because your price will come down. Now we run into some issues. We are a freight broker. So we’re out there looking for customers. And we’ll find a customer that may have an FAK in place already with their carrier. And they’ll demand an FAK with us. And from a broker’s perspective, FAKS are a little bit tougher to come by. Now we do have negotiated some blanket pricing with different carriers where those FAKs are already built in. But unless you’re a shipper that’s going quite a bit of volume, it’s tough for us to go out and get customer-specific pricing for you to ensure you get an FAK. Now that being said, that doesn’t mean that the pricing that your broker, or even another carrier, may have in place or be able to offer you, those discounts might be larger and might actually give you cost savings even without an FAK. Some other pitfalls that we commonly see is a customer will be used to having an FAK and either they or their employees, they might assume that their class is class 60, if we go back to that previous example, even though their class is 92 and a 1/2. And what happens is when they come over to a new broker or a new carrier, they might just automatically put down class 60 when they’re getting a rate or filling out the bill of lading on that shipment. What happens is then their freight’s going to get re-classed. And the excuse of, well, I always put class 60 with the previous carrier, that doesn’t fly, again, unless that FAK is in place. So, again, to boil it down, an FAK stands for Freight of All Kinds. It’s a pricing tool. It’s usually coming directly from the carrier. And it groups ranges of classes on LTL shipments. And typically it will bring a higher class down to lower class. And one other good example of a way that an FAK is beneficial to a company, if they are shipping a wide range of products– say they might have 10 diverse products that are going out of the warehouse– if they’re able to negotiate an FAK, then they can just put one class for all those products. So everyone doesn’t have to become a classification expert to figure out what’s the class for air filters, but what’s the class for nuts and bolts. If they do it at FAK already established, and those things fall within the FAK range, they can list that one class and everything will be rated at the same price. So that’s just some real basic information on an FAK, what it is, how it affects some of our customers, and hopefully that was helpful for you today. Again, Chris Clever, president of FreightPros. Please come to our website at freightpros.com.

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