Transportation Payment Trends Part 2: Auditing Practices

Last week we shared the first of our three-part series of posts inspired by American Shipper’s Transportation Payment Benchmark Study, which surveyed nearly 190 payers (shippers and 3PLs) to uncover insights and trends in freight payment technology, auditing and strategy. This week we’ll discuss the study’s findings on current auditing practices.

Auditing is an important process for any business, especially freight. Performing audits both before and after making payments ensures that finances stay on track. As the following findings show, many businesses are diligent about auditing, while others are leaving room for error.

  • The Finding: Two-thirds of system-based respondents see value in their audits, whereas 44 percent of manual respondents find audits valuable.
  • What It Means: Auditing manually is very time consuming. When using a system to audit, the respondents saved time and in turn were better able to recognize the value of audits.  

FreightAuditTrends

  • The Finding: Forty-four percent of manual shippers were uncertain if their audit savings met expectations.
  • What It Means: The time commitment and margin of error that results from auditing manually can lead to uncertainty and discontent.
  • The Finding: Sixty percent of the manual shippers surveyed had never hired a third party to conduct an audit of their ability to accurately pay freight bills, had only conducted one of these types of audits in the last five years, or were uncertain if an audit of this type had been completed. Whereas only 32 percent of systems-based shippers hadn’t or were uncertain if an audit had been conducted by a third party audit in this timeframe.
  • What It Means: Systems-based shippers are more aware of their payment process and better equipped to have a third party review it. Meanwhile a significant number of manual shippers are unable to be certain that their payment processes are being handled efficiently or accurately.

This freight payment audit data demonstrates something we could easily predict – that systems-based shippers are more aware and certain of their current payment processes. Furthermore, because they don’t have to dedicate time and effort to manual auditing, they are better able to recognize the value of audits.

At Trans International, we’re proud to provide our clients with a number of services that can improve auditing and payment systems. We offer freight bill auditing, reporting, and payment systems to easily organize, assure and fulfill our clients’ freight payments.

We’re curious, how does your company handle freight payment and audits? Let us know in a comment or contact us directly and we’ll do whatever we can to provide the system you’re looking for.

Transportation Payment Trends Part 1: Technology

Being the best in your business means constantly staying on top trends. At Trans International, we make a point of consuming all of the industry research we can get our hands on, so that we can serve as knowledgeable advisors for our customers. This blog post is the first of what will be a three-post series inspired by a study we recently received from American Shipper.

American Shipper’s Transportation Payment Benchmark Study surveyed nearly 190 payers (shippers and 3PLs) to provide insight on trends in freight payment technology, auditing and strategy. We’ll share highlights from the study on each of these topics in the coming weeks, starting with freight payment technology.

Below are some of the survey’s most interesting findings about trends in freight payment technology:

  • The Finding: More than a quarter of customers don’t use any technology to pay freight bills.
    What It Means: A fair amount of shippers are not comfortable using an automated payment system, or have not found one that fits their needs and budget.
  • The Finding: When dealing with international payment, large shippers are twice as likely to handle it manually, where as small and medium shippers are 50% more likely.
    What It Means: Automated freight payment platforms are more available domestically and many companies are likely expecting the platforms they currently use to extend their services internationally.
  • The Finding: About 40% of domestic payment and 25% of international payment is outsourced.
    What It Means: With a large amount of payment being outsourced, companies need the ability to monitor transactions to a higher degree to ensure accuracy.
  • The Finding: The number of respondents using one freight payment system for all of their needs was lower this year than last.
    What It Means: Companies are becoming more interested in using payment systems for a variety of specific needs, but are struggling to find one system that fits them all.
  • The Finding: More than three times as many systems-based respondents are planning to extend payment terms this year over last.
    What It Means: Using an automated shipping process provides respondents with the free time to fully analyze their own strategies and tactics, such as payment terms.

Overall, this data told us that today’s shippers are looking for payment systems that are very user-friendly and offer international services, customizability, and an easy way to monitor transactions. All of these components are currently included in Trans International’s Freight Bill Payment options and software products, meaning we offer all of today’s most-desirable payment services through one provider.

This is something we’re very proud of, but it’s not enough to just be on top of the trends – system providers need to be able to fulfill your specific needs, too.

That’s why we want to know: Is there any technology you’d like to see from an automated shipping payment system that wasn’t on this list? Tell us in a comment below or contact us directly and we’ll do whatever we can to provide the system you’re looking for.