2023 Best Freight Audit & Pay Companies (and How to Choose)
November 28, 2022 •Rick LaGore
Let’s face it, the freight audit and pay process is one of the least favorite tasks within the logistics industry. One would think moving freight from anywhere in the country to anywhere in the country on any given day comes with challenges that would never approach paying a bill, but that is just not the case.
Paying an invoice or getting paid for the work you have done for a company can often be more difficult than moving the freight itself. There are several companies in the industry that specialize in this process, but there are still a number of challenges.
Top Freight Audit and Pay Companies
- Blume Global
- Cass Information Systems
- Transporeon Freight Audit (Formerly ControlPay)
- CT - Global Freight Audit
- CT Logistics (The Commercial Traffic Company)
- Intelligent Audit
- nVision Global
- Software Solutions Unlimited (SSI)
- Trax Tech
- U.S. Bank Freight Payment
InTek has a unique perspective to the freight payment process because we live the challenges of the freight settlement from both sides of the equation.
From the payment side, InTek is a non-asset service provider, so many times we are at the mercy of a payment process not going well while we collect on the freight we moved for a company.
From the processing side, InTek provides managed transportation services to companies of all sizes.
From this perspective, we feel we can offer additional insight that buyers can use in their discovery and decision-making process of how they will handle the freight settlement function. We will go through our perspective by walking you through the following topics in detail:
Freight Audit and Payment Challenges.
Ramifications of a Poor Freight Audit and Pay Process.
Best Freight Audit and Pay Company Listing.
Additional Points to Consider
Top 6 Challenges of Freight Audit & Pay
The volume of transactions can be overwhelming because of the one-to-one relationship between shipment and invoice.
The amount of paperwork backup required to validate the charges compounds exponentially with the volume of shipments.
The incredible amount of detail included on an invoice and tremendous variability from carrier to carrier makes it difficult to hone in on a repeatable audit process.
Complexity of freight rates, along with various fuel charge and accessorial matrixes that are often not uniform across all carriers.
The number of approvals required often cause paperwork to get lost in the cycle.
The number of emails and phone calls associated with payment, whether collecting on an invoice or correcting an invoice often causes confusion with email-after-email that seems to run through an infinite loop without resolution in site.
Ramifications of a Poor Freight Audit and Pay Process
Studies indicate the average invoice error rate in the freight industry is 5% to 8%, so if the freight settlement is not handled properly then a company risks spending more because of the errors.
The carrier - shipper relationship can deteriorate because the carrier is not getting paid.
At some point, the carrier will refuse to pick-up freight because the shipper goes beyond credit terms.
The credit score will be put under pressure because the carrier will report slow and no pay issues to the credit industry, which will make it difficult to find carriers to move the freight.
Prefer your "best ofs" in video form? Check out our similarly titled video, the Best Freight Audit and Pay Companies:"
Top 13 Freight Audit & Pay Companies
Location: Pleasanton, California
Services: Freight Audit & Pay, Supply Chain Platform
Cass Information Systems
Location: St Louis, Missouri
Services: Freight Audit & Pay, Telecom Expense Mgt, Cloud Mgt Services, Utility Bill Mgt, Waste Expense Mgt, Integrated Payment Solutions
Transporeon Freight Audit (Formerly ControlPay)
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Services: Freight Audit & Pay, Business Intelligence, Rate Management, Freight Tendering, Spot Bidding
CT Global Freight Audit
Location: 1720 Solihull Parkway, Birmingham, B37 7YD, GB
Services: Freight Audit and Payment, Benchmarking, Business Intelligence, Analytical Reporting, Processing in 38 Global Languages, Operating in 84 Countries Worldwide, Data Analysis, and Logistics Consultancy.
CT Logistics (The Commercial Traffic Company)
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Services: Freight Audit & Pay, Freight Rating & Routing, Rate & Contract Mgt, Professional Services, Shipping CO-OP, Freight Under Mgt, Freight Claims Mgt
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Services: Freight Audit & Pay, TMS, Managed Services, Business Intelligence
Location: Fort Myers, Florida
Services: Freight Shipping Bill Processing, Freight Shipping Bill Auditing, Freight Shipping Bill Payment, Logistics Consulting, Global Shipping Consulting, and Freight Invoice Processing
Location: Carmel, Indiana
Services: Freight Shipping Bill Processing, Freight Shipping Bill Auditing, Freight Shipping Bill Payment, Logistics Consulting, and Freight Invoice Processing
Location: Rochelle Park, New Jersey
Services: Freight Auditing, Freight Payment, Small Parcel Audit, Supply Chain Solutions, Financial Logistics, Analytics & Data Information, Carrier Analysis and Supply Chain Consulting
Location: McDonough, Georgia
Services: Freight Audit & Pay, Supply Chain Optimization, Logistics Management, Transportation Management, Business Intelligence, Freight Claims, Contract Management, Global Services, Supply Chain Services, Supply Chain Software
Software Solutions Unlimited (SSI)
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Services: Freight Audit & Pay, Consulting Services, Business Intelligence
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Services: Freight Audit & Pay, Business Intelligence, Sourcing & Consulting
U.S. Bank Freight Payment
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Services: Freight Audit & Pay, Commercial Banking, Business Banking, Wealth Management
The last topic for us to cover is points to review in your freight audit and pay relationship and additional services that a freight processing payment can bring to your company.
Key Points to Review When Selecting a Freight Audit and Pay Company
Time in Business
There is something to be said for how long a company has been in business. It indicates there is a level of competence that the group you are talking with has been able to find its niche and do well with it over time. This should not be the highest ranked item, but worth noting.
Under this heading, I would add that you should look for up and comers that are operating on the fringes that may have found a new mousetrap. Many years ago I found and began working with a company by the name of Software Solutions Unlimited for the freight audit and pay process. Very few had heard of the company, but in my evaluation, I felt they had the best technology and service for our company’s needs. I took SSI with me on my next three career changes and they were ahead of the curve on value and performance. Now you see this company in the top ten listing of this blog.
Customer Service & Satisfaction
We would consider customer satisfaction and reputation with carriers in the industry as a top 5 category. You want to know that the company you are working with cares about your business and will be there both in the easy and difficult times.
Reputation with Carriers
There are many companies in the freight invoice processing and settlement business that are notoriously difficult to work with and pay slowly because of this fact. We all know their names and you should make sure you learn them too because they will impact your ability to work with carriers and gain the freight capacity at the best price for your business.
Not all companies audit bills the same, so request a demo and take the time to visit the company to ensure they are a good fit for your business requirements.
Data Capture, Recording, Retention & Document Management
This is another area where not all freight settlement companies operate in the same manner or have the same retention policies, so don’t let yourself be surprised and ask the questions. Also, check with how you and others within your organization can access your data and documents.
This is a big topic, as the freight audit and pay industry history is based on using a company’s float to make its money versus working on a transaction fee. The reason this is important is any delay by your freight payment company is a direct reflection on your business and its standings within Dun & Bradstreet ratings structure.
With that in mind, validate how long it takes for your payment to them to get to your carriers. Make sure you ask if they pay via check, ach or wire and see what drives their decision to use the various payment methods.
Reporting & Analysis
Last but not least on the topics you need to review in your discovery process is what are the reporting capabilities? Freight payment data has so much more to offer than just reports on carrier payments and cost allocation, so ask questions on:
Ease of pulling data down in a form that can be used for analysis.
Are there capabilities to benchmark your exact freight lane information with other companies.
The benchmark should not be averages-of-averages, but actual lane information to help you validate your competitiveness in the market and help manage your next request for quote process (RFP). Incredible savings can be had by running this analysis monthly.
Can the data be worked through an optimizer that is supplied by the freight audit and pay company to review supply chain execution and strategy validation?
Insource or Outsource
The last question to ask yourself is does your company have the technology and expertise to manage the process internally, or will you either have to outsource the entire freight audit and pay process or bring in top tier audit software that would not only audit the invoice, but create them and send the customer bill instantly off the freight audit?
The decision process will be different for everyone. The key is to do your due diligence and find the best fit for your company. We’d love to be a part of your freight audit and pay decision process or if you want to look to outsource more of your logistics functions talk with you about transportation management software (TMS) selection and / or managed transportation services. Also, if you do choose to manage the process in-house we have the leading technology that we would help configure, install and train on your site.