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Invoicing Like The 60's

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, with Love

After a shipment has been delivered, an invoice makes its way to you. It is a note, bearing your name, from the logistics service provider who handled your shipment. It includes details like the name and cost of their service, and all other cost incurred while handling your shipment, like taxes and duties. The invoice was mailed – from provider to shipper – the good old-fashioned way. It was inked, signed, folded, and stuck in an envelope. Then a stamp got licked, and it was dropped-off with hope and fingers-crossed. In through a little black hole, on to be processed and paid. All very romantic.

These days, thanks to electronic invoicing, staff of enterprise shippers are freed from that process. They organise a shipment and the rest goes automatically. As of the mid-60s, it’s Digital EDI, XML and CSV formats over Analog paper, envelopes, and stamps. In some cases, shippers even outsource the entire process to third-party billing organizations.

The benefits are obvious. Invoices are being sent immediately upon issuance, with no chance of getting “lost in mail”. It is all automated, compliant, there is less room for error, it is efficient, audited and environmentally-friendly.

Some Letters Get No Love

It is however, a completely different situation with spot-buy freight. With “No-Rates-On-File”, shippers and even their third-party billing organizations have trouble matching it, and ad hoc freight invoices risk getting marked as rejected. So sending a paper invoice sounds like the right thing to do. Or maybe not. These invoices normally end up on the wrong person’s desk; someone neither in charge of payment or logistics. Or, it’s met with an need for additional approval and higher clearance levels; a real bottom-of-the-priority-pile task.

To sum it up, the invoicing for ad hoc freight comes down to lost and rejected invoices, providers chasing for payments, shippers paying late payment fees and extra work for everyone involved; a throwback to the 1960’s.

It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way

With Cargobase you have an E2E solution that includes the audit and payment of invoices. All quotation and shipment details, approval confirmation, tracking events and communication between all parties are documented in Cargobase. This allows us to check online submitted invoices from providers directly with all shipment events. Avoid payment delays, late payment fees, and unnecessary man-hours on follow-up calls and emails to check on payment status.

Contact one of our experts to learn more about this feature.

Auditing, payments and invoicing can create many challenges with spot-buy freight.