Carrier Re-weigh are a common frustration in the shipping industry. This usually stems from the fact that a large percentage of shippers are ill-equipped and do not have large enough certified scales to weight the skids being shipped, or just don’t have the time to weigh each individual skid prior to shipping  relying on internal documentation that was produced several years ago, usually forgetting to include the weight of each pallet (typically 40 lbs) to the shipment in question.

Carrier re-weigh

Carrier re-weigh scale.

Since a change in the total weight of a shipment can have a dramatic impact on your rate, as well as legally create an issue for the carrier who is bound to run trailers below 45,000 lbs for a typical 53-foot dry van in North America. They weigh certain shipments in order to remain within the legal weight limits of the department of transportation. If the shipment in question does not conform to the stated weight on the bill of lading, then a re-weigh inspection form is created and a re-weigh is performed incurring additional charges to the shipper. 

What’s the most effective way to dispute a carrier re-weight?

If you just received your carriers invoice and were stunned at the rate increase that you never approved, chances are that its a carrier re-weight. However, you can dispute the re-weight charge by following this usual procedure but it must be done correctly for you to get the best chance of reducing or eliminated the increased re-weigh fees.

All Skyfer Logistic carriers posses certified scales during a carrier re-weight inspection and provide re weight and inspection certificates detailing the reasons for such increases. If you are convinced that the carrier re-weight & inspection is wrong you can dispute the carrier re-weight charge by following a few steps.

What documentation should be submitted to the carrier in order to correctly dispute the carrier re-weight charge?

Most common carriers require two distinct documents in order to accept a claim that disputes a carrier re-weight. These two documents must be official docs from the shipper or manufacturer and not a handwritten annotation.

A. Product Spec Sheet – This is a sanctioned document from the manufacturer or shipper that contain basic information about the shipment in question, including its Weight, Dimensions, and Description

B. Shipment Packing Slip – This paper comes from the shipper and is usually included with the skids during transit. It would itemize each product in the shipment along with the number of pieces and weights. The weight on the packing document and the Bill of Lading is the total weight of the shipment which includes the skid or skids.

In order to have a much better chance of success in the dispute of a carrier re-weigh, we suggest that it be made within a few days of being invoiced. Claims against a carrier re-weight can take anywhere between two weeks and a couple of months, so patience is a virtue in this case.

Most freight brokers worth their salt will assist you in filling a carrier re-weigh claim or even perform it on your behalf, Skyfer Logistic certainly does. Once the process is complete, they will usually provide you with a claim number that you can track and discuss any further issues with the carrier in question. This claim number is your proof that the process has started and is in the carriers claim system. If your dispute is approved you will be re-invoiced the correct amount and your original re-weight invoice will be voided in their system.

Author: Pierre is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Skyfer Logistics, a B2B firm that helps small and large businesses save money on shipping costs and helps them reduce their overall risk when it comes to their day-to-day freight needs. He loves following formula 1, traveling, and covering the latest stories on entrepreneurship. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter