Before you haul a load for a broker or shipper, you have to negotiate the terms. This is usually done through a rate confirmation sheet that will list all of the pertinent information that you need to know.
A rate confirmation is a legally binding document that both the broker (or shipper) and the carrier have to sign. The party that is tendering the load agrees to pay the carrier the amount agreed upon. Likewise, the carrier is agrees to transport the freight listed from the shipper to the consignee.
Needless to say, it’s important that you carefully review a rate confirmation before you sign it. Failure to do this could cause you to overlook key information that can lead to you losing money on the load, or even driving to the shipper and learning that the freight is too heavy or too large for your equipment to carry
What You Need to know about Rate Confirmations
One thing to keep in mind is that a rate confirmation is almost always a schedule attached to your broker/carrier or shipper/carrier agreement. Why is this important?
Because there can be information regarding to the way certain situations regarding rate confirmations are handled.
For example, it may state that accessorials will not be paid unless the broker (or shipper) approves, and a new rate confirmation reflection the change is signed. What if this is overlooked, and you are stuck eating a $350 lumper cost? One thing’s for sure, you won’t be in business for long if it’s a repeating occurrence.
Your agreement can also include that actual amounts that will be paid for each accessorial. Failure to take notice will leave you confused when the customer disputes the invoice that you sent them. Hopefully you took notice and negotiated these rates from the start.
Where to Get a Blank Template
If you need a template to use, there are many free resources available online. Fortunately, they are pretty simple documents. The only major difference is the appearance.
If you use a TMS software to run your business, they can often times automatically generate a pre-populated rate confirmation that is ready for a signature.