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Manage Spot Market Bids

ShippersEdge a highly developed Transportation Management System, has an organized way of tracking shipment freight rate quotes on spot market shipments. Traditionally most spot market bids were obtained on the telephone and then morphed to email in the past decade. Now there is a system to organize and record spot market bids into a shipment or bid record and ShippersEdge has it.

Quit using Excel, email and tedious manual methods and automate the gathering of rates for truckload and partial freight shipment, in one place and have fingertip shipping management system complete with historical tracking and activity logging. Obtaining shipping rates with logistics software should be easy, not crazy.

Did you know ShippersEdge is also tracking software. We can track your spot market shipping or any shipping for that matter. There are various methods we use to track your spot market freight and sometimes it is a simple email check call to your broker. Other ways are to tie into the cell phone tracking apps or with a sophisticated broker we can tie into them electronically.

ShippersEdge also makes spot market freight invoice auditing a snap that’s what makes our transportation management solution one of the top rated logistics software products on the market. Since the quoted rate is already in our system and attached to the order, when the freight bill arrives, simply enter the invoice into our system and we’ll compare the billed charge to the quoted charge. If there is a mismatch the invoice will be flagged for further review.

Better yet, ShippersEdge has an imaging routine and have your freight broker, upload his invoices into the system and include his charges. Again, if there is a mismatch, it will warn your broker the invoice amount does not match his quote. Preventing errors before they happen is one way ShippersEdge TMS proves itself every day.

Call or write the affordable transportation management system, ShippersEdge today for a free analysis.

More information at or 952-777-4421

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The Spot Market – And How Not to Use It
By Tim Taylor
Many shippers don’t realize that they are sabotaging themselves in the spot freight market. It is standard rationale that competitive bidding achieves a lower price. However, our application of that principle distorts Adam Smith’s law of supply and demand by creating a false demand “bubble” that results in higher prices and less profit for shippers.

Many shippers broadcast a list of loads to multiple brokers looking for the lowest bid. But, what actually happens is that multiple iterations of the same shipment go out to the spot market, creating an artificial demand. As demand increases, the truckers naturally will hold out for the highest price.

A new price threshold for a given shipping lane is being breached every day; in part due to capacity stripped from the market by new hours of service requirements. As those thresholds breach, higher rates become the new normal, and it’s going to be hard to drive those rates back down. Let’s also not forget the once inexhaustible supply of new driver entrants into the market, which is exhausting itself due to increased regulation and driver age.

As these price thresholds breach, shippers naturally will retreat from the spot market, and who could blame them? The problem of driver efficiency still lies within the market, whether it be a spot market or a bid lane from an established carrier. The spot market, once unattractive to many major carriers, actually pays more per mile than most major carrier bid lanes. It won’t be long before these established carriers shift more capacity to spot market prices.

My advice for shippers is to use the spot market in a different way. Don’t put your daily or weekly loads out to multiple brokers, creating an overstated and unintended consequence of artificial demand. Instead, sequence to a single competent broker, and use the spot market as an example of accurate supply and demand.

If you have core carriers who have bid all of your lanes, and they can commit to only 80 percent of this week’s shipping, let the spot market take the other 20 percent. Go against common thinking and apply a new norm.

The new normal would be to have the spot market take what it wants, rather than try to force the spot market to take leftovers. Why is this the case?
In the real world, the spot market wants loads they know get them back to a home base or a point where they have known shipping at a good price. This spot market is impacted, and will not go to points where the certainty of getting out at a reasonable rate does not exist. Trying to force your will is like shoveling sand against an ocean - the natural principles of economics will serve us better than unnatural manipulations.
There are many advantages to using the spot market. For example, using the spot market correctly can ideally reduce backlogs of shipping and keep costs under control.
We must remember that economic principles, once properly understood and applied, will always serve the public and the logistics industry better than what we think is “slick” maneuvering.

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How Can a TMS Save Time?

It is accepted that technology is driving industry to new levels of efficiency. The days of managing shipments, without shipping software are headed for the trash bins of history. Since the Internet now makes access to shared resources available to companies large and small gaining access to a cloud based TMS is inexpensive and easy.

ShippersEdge TMS software has many ways to say time, here are some examples:

Freight rating engines give you the ability to check all of your provider’s rates, in one place with one login. In ShippersEdge TMS, we can handle the simple and complex rating scenarios. Pallet rates as an example are generally not available using Electronic Data Interchange [EDI] or Application Programming Interface [API] connections to carrier’s servers. ShippersEdge can use rate tables for this purpose and compare those sheet rates with your regular discounted rates.

On truckload spot market rates, ShippersEdge has an ingenious method of gathering and then letting you compare quotes from your providers and will simultaneously compare any table or contract rates you have. Additionally, all of these rates are stored in the system for later analysis or auditing.

Tendering, be it LTL or Truckload can be done electronically through the use of EDI, API or email generated within our system. These tenders are monitored for acceptance* and you are notified if any tender is declined. Our Enterprise Edition can execute Waterfall tendering also known as sequential tenders using business rules specific to your company. *Monitoring tenders is important so you don’t have missed pickups or clog up your shipping facility.

Receiver tracking notification, this is a wow feature in ShippersEdge. If selected, upon shipment your customers can receive an email with a tracking link similar to what you get when you buy on Amazon. ShippersEdge retrieves tracking information daily from your providers so your customers always have the latest information. This will save phone calls or emails from you or your customer service reps.

Rate quote generator. If requested, we can create *profiles for your customer service or sales department to provide rate quotes with or without markup. The time savings here is enormous. No more answering rate questions and transit time questions. The information is now a click away thanks to ShippersEdge’s powerful rating engine.

*Special profiles. ShippersEdge can create profiles of a special user interface to create specific views for your employees or constituents. By limiting the data, a specific user can view you limit error and streamline that users experience. No doubt you probably don’t want customer service to hit a button and tender a shipment by mistake when all they wanted was a rate quote.

Advanced reporting. Getting your hands on analytical data is easy with our report generator. Simply select the search criteria and which fields to export, it’s that easy.

Freight accruals. ShippersEdge through its auditing function, can provide accurate freight accruals for your accounting department. It’s so simple, accounting can do it themselves.

Freight bill auditing. Since ShippersEdge stores your freight quotes, it can easily compare actual billed charges to the quoted freight charges. In fact, ShippersEdge is constantly monitoring your shipments and will know almost in real-time if a freight charges changes. This gives you an opportunity to investigate the change before its billed and preapprove it to streamline your auditing process.

Paperless billing. ShippersEdge can retrieve freight invoices and other documentation from your providers whether they have EDI or API connectivity or not. We offer the ability for your providers that are not electronically advanced to simply upload images and key in charges to make your company paperless. Join the green revolution and go paperless. Anyone with the proper credentials can log in and retrieve any document using a number of search criteria including your control number.

Address book. ShippersEdge has a rich address book to keep track of shipping and receiving locations and their specific needs and contact information. For instance, if you enter an order to a facility that requires a Liftgate, that information can be stored and then populated into the service request and rate quote. That is just one example but the capability beats either making a mistake or having to manually consult spreadsheets.

Carrier manager. Our sophisticated carrier manager allows you to keep track of things like insurance, contracts if you have them and all level of contact of carrier specific information. We can interface to common carrier monitoring applications. This is also where, in the case of table rates, we store the rate information. We will even notify you if a contract is expiring.

Well organized desktop. ShippersEdge took time to build its user interface. A user interface can make or break a system. Our clients tell us everything is laid our intuitively and “makes sense” this makes training easy and speeds workflow.

Customization is available. In our Enterprise Edition, we can create custom features specifically for your company. The possibilities are endless. A for instance could be inventory management for shipment handling units, such as pallets or carts.

What is your time worth; what is your people’s time worth? Let’s face it, freight is a specialty and talent is hard to find. We tend to devalue something we find easy to do. We only find it easy to do because we have developed a skill-set appropriate to the task. Interview 100 people on the street about how to ship three pallets of parts to Toronto and only a handful will even know what a pallet is.


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ShippersEdge has two versions of our award-winning transportation management system. Our Professional Edition is meant for small business and our Enterprise Edition is for small to mid-sized shippers. Both versions are extremely affordable and capable TMS software that is easy to use and so intuitive training is a breeze.

Rate gathering time is reduced exponentially by using ShippersEdge’s powerful rating engine. Simply enter origin, destination and description and rates and published transit times from all of your available carriers appear. ShippersEdge stores your rate quote online in case of a rate discrepancy. ShippersEdge can also help manage your spot market freight bids by organizing and retaining them all in one place allowing you to easily make a selection of providers.
ShippersEdge can provide full visibility to your customers by sending them an email with the tracking link for your shipment. This notification can also be embedded on your website or directed to other concerned parties. ShippersEdge can also locate incoming shipments to your facility if shipped by a compliant freight company. You can also prepare a bill of lading for your vendors to use for your preferred carriers.

Sequential also known as Waterfall tendering is available on our Enterprise Edition. Sequential tendering is done on your business rules.

ShippersEdge can electronically accept freight invoices and check them against the quoted rate. If a discrepancy is found, ShippersEdge place the shipment in a special tab for investigation and approval any level of tolerance can be set. ShippersEdge will retrieve the original quote for comparison. With our Enterprise Edition, ShippersEdge can automatically send invoices to your accounting system for payment. Many shippers also append freight charges to their sales orders or purchase orders ShippersEdge makes this task easy.

ShippersEdge user interface is simply intuitive. Everything was designed for ease of use and is laid out logically. People with only a glancing knowledge of freight transportation can sit down and become immediately productive.
ShippersEdge has a powerful consolidation engine and has optional optimization capability. ShippersEdge integrates with popular mileage programs such as PC Miler and tracking systems like Macropoint. Consolidations only available on the Enterprise Edition.

If you markup freight charges to your customers, ShippersEdge can be configured to automatically apply a markup when used for quoting by sales or customer service. ShippersEdge can also be integrated to ecommerce sites. ShippersEdge also can provide package rates and tracking. These features are available on the Enterprise Edition.

Professional Edition starts at $199.00 per month and our Enterprise Edition begins at $499.00 per month. Enterprise per shipment costs can be as low as $0.80 for high volume shippers. TMS software was never so affordable and affordable TMS software was never this capable.

Talk to ShippersEdge 952-777-4421 or

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Terms and Conditions of a Bill of Lading
The bill of lading is the “deal” between the shipper (and, by reference, the receiver) and the transportation company.
Many people think that a bill of lading is only a document that describes a shipment and tells the trucker where to deliver the load. However, a bill of lading actually has many functions and sets up important stipulations regarding:

title (ownership) of the goods

where title passes from seller to buyer (yes, it’s important)
liability for loss

the amount of responsibility the carrier will assume

payment of the freight bill and other contractual obligations.

Abiding by the carrier’s rates, classifications, and rules
The first recital on the bill of lading states,
“Received subject to individually determined rates or contracts that have been agreed upon in writing between the carrier and the shipper, if applicable, otherwise to the rates, classifications and rules that have been established by the carrier and are available to the shipper, on request.”

The above statement is found at the beginning of virtually every bill of lading contract issued in this country or is incorporated by reference in carriers’ rules tariffs. It is imperative that you understand it’s meaning; in essence, it states that you agree to abide by the carrier’s rates, classifications, and rules.
The wording of that opening statement was amended as part of the new bill of lading, adopted by the carriers as a result of the ICC Termination Act.

The ICC Termination Act of 1995 is a United States federal law that changed the requirement of carriers to file rates with the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). It actually abolished the agency entirely and in turn created its successor agency, the Surface Transportation Board.

It’s important to note that even if your current bill of lading doesn’t include the new language, you are still agreeing to the terms of the new bill of lading.

Tariffs or rules established by the carrier

Under the new bill of lading provisions, a carrier can establish rules without any government agency validating the particulars of those rules. For example, a carrier could say in his tariff that on Fridays that coincide with the close of a calendar quarter, rates and charges shall be increased by ten percent. Without a contract to the contrary, you would be required to abide by that tariff provision.

Another more likely rate issue would be disallowing discounts to remote locations. The disallowance of discounts is common for a variety of reasons, such as remote areas, late payments, and inside deliveries.

Released value

Many shippers have reported that carriers have published released value tariff items in their in-house rules tariffs. Most of those items release shipments to $1.00 per pound or $100,000 per shipment, etc. Historically, court cases have always held that the shipper must specifically release a shipment’s value in writing for a released value to apply. Check with your carrier’s rules tariffs to verify that they cover you to full value at the rate you paid.

It’s important to understand these segments as they make up the whole document, strengthening the agreement between shipper and transportation company.

Commodities Requiring Special or Additional Care

“Note 3” of the new bill of lading speaks to issues of commodities requiring special or additional care. Basically, note 3 is a disclaimer which could negate any damage claim you may have with the carrier, assuming the carrier was not made aware in writing of any “special” care required.
In the absence of written instructions, problems arise when the courts decide what constitutes “special.” What is “normal” to you could be “special” to someone else. That’s why listing care requirements of your shipments on the bill of lading is generally a good business practice.

Additionally, you also need to list any temperature requirements on the bill of lading in uppercase letters, according to most carriers’ rules tariff requirements.

Terms and Conditions: Carrier Liability

“Every service to be performed hereunder shall be subject to all the conditions not prohibited by law, whether printed or written, herein contained, including the conditions on the back hereof, which are hereby agreed to by the shipper and accepted for himself and his assigns.”

This is where the receiver is brought into the contract.
The above statement is part of the “long form” bill of lading in the recitals (and incorporated by reference in the “short form” bill of lading). Many people don’t know the significance of this provision, but the back of the long form contains numerous terms and conditions you should be familiar with.

Exceptions, generally.

The first of the terms and conditions refers to the carrier accepting full liability for the shipment with certain exceptions. The exceptions, approved by Congress in the Carmack Amendment of 1906 as an amendment to the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, include the following:

Acts of God; i.e. tornado blowing the truck off the road, causing damage to the product

Public enemy; i.e. a truck and its contents being destroyed by a terrorist act

Authority of law; an inspector at a scale damaging freight during his inspection.

Acts or default of the shipper; this is the most common reason a carrier deny a claim. Packaging is the single most applied act or default of the shipper.

Inherent vice of the product; most easily described by a statement that is on every box of cereal “some settling may occur during shipping and handling.”

Until August of 2016, to invoke an exception recited above a carrier had to prove freedom from negligence. The National Motor Freight Traffic Association {NMFTA] amended the bill of lading as published in National Motor Freight Classification Tariff [NMFC] to change the burden of proving negligence [or freedom from negligence] from the carrier to the shipper. This is contrary to the intent of congress as proscribed in the Carmack Amendment referenced above.

He is the specific language changing burden of proof:

Original: “…The burden to prove freedom from negligence is on the carrier or the party in possession.”
As amended: “…The burden to prove carrier negligence is on the shipper.”

There will probably be a test case to determine if the NMFTA can, by fiat, alter the terms of Carmack without Congress changing the law. The Surface Transportation Board allowed the change after shipper’s groups challenged the NMFTA prior to the adoption of the new language.

The language changes also added riots or strikes as defenses see below:

Original “No carrier shall be liable for any loss or damage or for any delay caused by an Act of God, the public enemy, the authority of law or the act or default of shipper.”
As amended “No carrier shall be liable for any loss or damage or for any delay caused by an Act of God, the public enemy, the authority of law, the act or default of the shipper, riots or strikes, or any related causes.”

Further language changes also subtlety altered language

Original: “…except that claims for failure to make delivery must be filed within nine months after a reasonable time for delivery has elapsed.”

As amended: “Claims for loss must be filed with the carrier not more than nine (9) months from the date of the bill of lading.”
Carmack had held and case law supported, a carrier may not set a time period of less than nine months and that the time bar did not begin to toll until a reasonable amount of time had passed for delivery. That has not changes to the date of the bill of lading and should be considered the date of pickup.

Common Claim Declinations

As stated above, the problems that arise usually involve “improper packaging.” Packaging rules are outlined in great detail in NMFC 100-X (the rules and classification tariff).
Generally speaking, packaging should be sufficient to withstand the “rigors of transportation.” Bumpy roads, fast stopping, sharp curves, in the absence of negligence on the part of the carrier, are considered normal “rigors of transportation.”
Rollovers, crashes, and panic stops, however, are not normal “rigors of transportation,” but such events are difficult to prove. In a large claim trial, the carrier’s driver would likely testify that no such event occurred. The carrier will also offer the packaging material used in your shipment into evidence in an attempt to convince the court of its inadequacy.

Though improper packaging is an often-used declination on the part of many carriers, you can take precautions to defend yourself against such a claim. The National Motor Freight Classification tariff contains over 145 pages specifically defining packages. Freight classification items frequently define the packaging that must be used to constitute “proper packaging.” Boxes, which are allowed in most classifications, are described in item 222 of the NMFC, including minimum specifications for various sizes and weights.

If it is apparent to the trucker that the packaging is inadequate, then the carrier should refuse the shipment. A carrier has a duty to have knowledge of the shipment he is transporting. Without refusal, the carriers can no longer claim “improper packaging.” However, if a defect in packaging is not apparent, the carrier will probably prevail in his declination.

Timely delivery

Section two of the terms and conditions on the back of the long form Bill of Lading (the short form incorporates these provisions directly into the bill) says that unless agreed upon in writing, the carrier is not bound to deliver a shipment at any specific time. Carriers are only required to transport the shipment in the regular course of its providing transportation services.

Delay or losses of market claims are a nemesis of every carrier. Problems do arise in shipping, and shipments are often delayed. Companies make sure to protect themselves against this. For example, if Delta Airlines delays your flight to the Super Bowl and you miss the game, are they liable? Not according to the law or their “terms and conditions.”

To prevail in any delay claim, you generally need to have a written agreement for pickup and delivery time, as well as an agreed dollar value for any delays.

Filing overcharge claims

Overcharges include duplicate payments, two or more payments for transporting the same shipment, and over-collections. A claim for overcharges accrues upon payment to the carrier of the overcharge amount. The law requires that the shipper contest the original bill or subsequent bill within 180 days of its receipt of the bill, and bring any civil action within 18 months.

Filing loss and damage claims

Section three of the terms and conditions contains a few key points one should keep in mind when filing loss and damage claims.

First, claims must be in writing. If you go to court and did not file a bona fide claim in writing with the actual carrier, you’re probably out of luck if the judge follows the law. That said, the law does not specify a standard form for filing a claim. Case law has precedent that at minimum a claim must be a demand for a specific monetary value and contain information which identifies the shipment.
Second, claims must be filed within nine months of the date of the bill of lading.

Third, lawsuits in the case of declined claims must begin within two years and one day of the carrier’s first declination.
Miss any of the above-mentioned provisions and most likely you won’t get paid. Simple procedures should be set up to get a claim filed on any loss or damage immediately after delivery.

Shipment in storage

Section four of the terms and conditions deals with carrier liability should the shipment go into storage. Essentially, the carrier must arrange for a “reasonably safe” storage facility or a public warehouse. The carrier’s liability for the shipment decreases to warehousemen’s liability. Warehousemen’s liability is for “reasonable” care; it is essentially NO liability unless you can prove negligence.

The carrier must give proper notice as defined by the laws of the state where the goods are stored. The carrier must give said notice (two notices within two weeks) before it can offer any goods held in storage to public auction to recover its freight costs. The amount recovered at auction (absent gross negligence on the part of the carrier) is final, and if it is not enough to cover the freight and storage costs, you will still owe the difference.

No signed delivery receipt

The final part of section four deals with deliveries to places where the carrier cannot get a signed delivery receipt, such as a vacant job site as a for instance. Essentially, the carrier waives further responsibility.

While on the subject of delivery receipts, what happens when a delivery receipt is lost or damaged? You still would have to the pay the freight bill unless you’re claiming the shipment was lost or damaged. At that point, the best prima facie evidence of delivery is gone and other methods of fact determination will come into play.

On a final note, what happens if you sign a delivery receipt “subject to further inspection”? This is essentially the same thing as signing it off free and clear. Inspect your shipment upon delivery, otherwise the entire burden of proof in a freight loss or damage claim is on the claimant.

History and Development of the Bill of Lading

Below is an excerpt on the originations of bills of lading courtesy of the University of Miami Law School Institutional Repository: If you care to know the earliest forms of bills of lading appear to have originated in Spain in 1544 .
University of Miami Law Review 9-1-1983

History and Development of the Bill of Lading
By Daniel E. Murray

Before the advent of air travel, sellers would send goods to a distant buyer by sea. Even today, the carriage of goods by sea constitutes a significant portion of all long-distance commercial transactions. In a typical transaction, a shipper delivers goods to a carrier ship. The carrier, the ship's captain, or a clerk then issues a bill of lading.

The bill of lading is an acknowledgment by the carrier that it has received goods for shipment; it includes an agreement to transport these goods to the consignee or his assignees at a specified destination. A bill normally contains statements concerning the nature, quality: and quantity of the goods. These statements reflect either the shipper's representations to the carrier or the carrier's notations from its own inspection of the goods.

If the bill of lading specifically notes the defective condition of the goods or their packaging, it is "claused" or "fouled." If no defects are noted, it is called a "clean" bill of lading.

The duty of an ocean carrier to transport goods safely is beyond cavil. But what has been disputed historically is the extent of the carrier's liability to the consignee of the goods or to the buyer of the bill of lading based upon the carrier's issuance of the bill.

The issue of the carrier's liability for misrepresentations in the bill of lading arises in two factual situations: 1) when language in the bill purports to limit the carrier's liability for misrepresentation of the nature, quality, or quantity of the goods, and 2) when the carrier has entered into an indemnity contract with the shipper by which the latter agrees to hold the carrier harmless against claims based on an inaccurate bill of lading.

This article examines the judicial and legislative treatment of these issues, discusses the rights of the consignee or holder of a bill of lading who is damaged by misrepresentations in the bill, and describes several European approaches to the issue of the respective liabilities of shippers and carriers.
Finally, the article considers the impact of several international conventions on uniform bill of lading requirements.

Common Law Before 1851

Bills of lading came into common use in the sixteenth century. Most of these merely recited the quantity of packages or bales shipped. A few of these early bills, however, referred to the condition, of the goods. Such references were most frequently found in bills for goods shipped from Spain or goods owned by Spaniards.

For example, in 1544 a bill of lading was issued in Cadiz, Spain, which contained a statement that the master of a ship had received "112 bags of allam whiche goyth for tonne pype markyd with the marke in the margent to be delyveryd well condyshioned in the ryver of Themys." s

Two years later, a bill was issued in Flanders to a Spaniard residing in Bruges in which the master stated, "The wiche fardells and bailes I knowledge to have receyved of yow John de Fica Spaynyard drye and wel condicioned whiche I shall delyver God preservinge me and my shipp."

By 1549, statements of the condition of shipped goods were becoming even more specific, as illustrated by a bill issued in Bordeaux in which the master acknowledged receipt of the "nombre and quantetie of one hundreth and fyftie tonnes of wyne full and ullagid, which wynes the sayede maister confessyth to have receyved for the sayede Naudyn Revell."

This trend toward more sophisticated bills of lading continued. A 1554 bill limited the carrier's liability for damages caused by dangerous seas: "[X]v tonne ij ponchions of wyne and a barrell of apples all marked with this marke for to be consigned and well condicioned from this aforesaid toune of Roan unto the citie of London exceptid the casalties and dangers of the sea.""

By 1802, merchants had established several principles governing bills of lading. The Marine Ordinances of Louis XIV made the master "answerable for all the goods laded aboard his ship, which he shall be obliged to deliver according to the bills of lading." Clauses certifying the condition of the goods were no longer discretionary; all bills were required to "contain the quality, quantity, and mark of the goods."
The ordinances also recognized the need to limit the liability of a master who signed a bill indicating the condition of goods shipped in containers or packages. Because the master could not know their actual condition, it became customary that "by the quality the exterior and apparent quality only is meant."
It became the usual practice for a master to insert in the clean bill of lading a clause indicating that his statements of quality and quantity were based on the shipper's representations. Qualifying or clausing the bill of lading protected the master if a dispute arose as to the quantity or quality of the goods.

Prior to the 1851 English case of Grant v. Norway," American decisions favored the third-party consignee, who relied on the representations in the bill of lading, over the carrier. In fact, the courts generally considered representations in a bill of lading to be conclusive evidence against the carrier in an action brought by a consignee. In 1810, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts held that a carrier was estopped from contradicting a recital in a bill of lading that it had issued.
Similarly, the Supreme Court of New York held that when the bill of lading recited that seventy tons of coal had been received by the carrier, the carrier was estopped from proving that it had received only sixty tons from the shipper.
The legal ramifications of the bill of lading continued to evolve in the nineteenth century. During this time, English and American courts applied similar rules regarding the carrier's liability under bills of lading.'

Common Law After 1851
The scope of a master's authority to bind the owner of the carrier by a false recital in a bill of lading became a crucial issue at common law. As an agent of the ship owner, the master undisputedly had some authority to bind the owner by recitals in a bill. The master's authority was not, however, unlimited. English and American courts during this period defined the master's authority by looking to the type of recital at issue.

In the landmark case of Grant v. Norway,"' an English court addressed the scope of a master's authority and established a doctrine that profoundly influenced the common law of both the United States and England. In Grant the ship's master fraudulently signed a bill of lading stating that twelve bales of silk had been loaded on board. In fact, the master had loaded no silk. A third-party pledgee, who had relied on the false representation, brought suit against the ship-owner based on the bill. The court held that the owner of the ship was not liable for the master's misrepresentations because "the general usage gives notice to all people that the authority of the captain to give bills of lading, is limited to such goods as have been put on board. '

Relying solely on established custom, the court defined the scope of the master's agency: The master had the authority to sign bills of lading reciting the quality or condition of goods actually received, but lacked the authority to sign for goods not received on board. Therefore, the master's signature on a bill of lading falsely reciting that certain goods had been loaded on the ship did not subject the owner of the vessel to liability.

The distinction' between statements on a bill of lading referring to quantity and those referring to quality of goods presented English and American courts with difficulty as they attempted to define further the scope of the master's authority to bind the carrier."'

For more reading visit this link…

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Shipping Software Became Affordable

In the not too distant past, shipping software was the exclusive realm of very large enterprises. Advancement in programming has now made Shipping Software also referred to as Logistics Software accessible even to companies with modest freight spends. Hosted transportation management software also means very little overhead on a company’s IT department.

There is Shipping Management Software available for as low as $200.00 per month if you are not looking for integration. Integrated Shipping Software begins at about $500.00 per month and up and is usually priced on a base number of shipments and a per shipment basis once the base is exceeded. Good Shipping Software will contain many individual modules. Below we will talk about some of the modules available:

LTL rate comparison used to be very tedious if done by logging into individual carrier websites. Now you login once, enter shipment information once and through the use of an LTL rating engine, check all your carriers (why limit it to three?) and see their rates displayed on one screen. You may then choose your carrier and an electronic shipment tendering routine automatically advises the carrier you have a shipment waiting for them at the dock. Pallet rates, linear foot rates and specially negotiated spot market rates are easily managed.
Enhancements to a basic shipping software solution include the ability to preprint (and barcode) the carrier’s pro number on both the bill of lading and shipping labels, greatly increase efficiencies in shipment handling. From there, more advanced systems will continuously track the shipment and alert you to any transit problems. Another nice feature is the ability, should you choose, is to send your customer (or anyone else you choose) an email with tracking information imbedded in it.

LTL rating software, if it is advance enough, continually monitors the shipment for changes in expected freight charges due to carrier inspections. A reweigh as a for instance can dramatically change the actual freight charges. Guess what, carrier reweighs aren’t always correct and some carriers seem to have a thumb on the scale or maybe an enterprising dock man on your pallet. You can challenge reweighs and have a shipment scaled at the destination terminal for validation of a reweigh and sometimes even your customers have scales.
A variance report can tell you when the low-cost provider was not selected for a shipment. Usually our customers have reason codes that need to be selected when the low-cost provider is not used as a for instance it could be transit time or possibly a preference by your customer.

An address book is also an important but often overlooked enhancement. Why? One reason was referenced in the last paragraph, your customer may have a preference on what carrier is being chosen. In some cases, customers require a certain carrier, retail stores come to mind. Another feature of the address book should be type of equipment needed or that a lift-gate is required. Having the ability to know assessorial charges before a shipment leaves your dock is important because assessorial charges vary from carrier to carrier. If you don’t have the complete charges displayed on a shipment, you may not be selecting the lowest price because your data was incomplete.

A comprehensive reporting module is important both for internal management purposes but also for use when it comes time to send out an RFP for new bids on your transportation. Fully flexible and if needed, automated reporting greatly simplifies month end reporting. If ShippersEdge freight audit is enabled, month end freight accruals are as easy as point and click.

For incoming transportation, you can price your vendor freight and send them a bill of lading for use with your shipment. ShippersEdge gives you end to end supply chain visibility. Finally, a TMS that can give small and medium sized business a feature that is so needed for running a distribution or manufacturing company. ShippersEdge is not just shipping software, it is a lightweight transportation management system.

Full truckload rate comparison is also provided. Generally full truckload rates are loaded into the logistics software and a rate is retrieved with integration to a mileage program like PC Miler. The rate and miles are computed as well as fuel surcharge. If the carrier has the ability to let us hook up to their server, tracking can be monitored. If not we have an email workaround for the carrier to update the status of a shipment. There are also cell phone based tracking systems available and the feed can be displayed and monitored within our system.
ShippersEdge also has a consolidation module for multi-stop truckloads. It will optimize the routing and warn you if your consolidation is too much weight or floor space for the trailer being used. A customized cost allocation algorithm can make allocating shipment costs in a consolidation a breeze.

Spot market rates from brokers on full truckload and partial truckload shipments are easily organized when using ShippersEdge. Through the use of imbedded links in emails generated by ShippersEdge, the broker(s) enter their rates so you can make an informed selection. ShippersEdge also retains the other rate quotes for the non-selected broker for your records and to use in future negotiations.

Lane intelligence is a feature of ShippersEdge to show you what you had been paying for similar shipments in the past. This can give you the intelligence to provide reliable shipping estimates on truckloads and spot market partials.
Integration is a Godsend to busy shipping departments. We can integrate with your existing software to import shipment data so you don’t have to rekey information already available in a digital format. ShippersEdge can also send data back to your existing software. Appending the freight cost to an order was never easier. If you choose, ShippersEdge can also upload freight bill payment information to your accounting system, saving keystrokes and enhancing accuracy.

ShippersEdge has the ability to receive and store your freight invoices and backup paperwork. You can eliminate bothersome filing and use ShippersEdge to become paperless when it comes to freight invoices.

If your company marks up the freight charges to your customers, ShippersEdge can do that automatically for you through any formula you like. The markup can be a customer specific markup or generic freight markup. We advise that you use the term “shipping and handling” and not simply “freight” to keep your markups completely legal.

Deployment in sales, customer service or other departments complete with controls as to who can do what and who can see what, is commonly done with ShippersEdge. This can eliminate emails and phone calls to the transportation department for rate quotes and tracking information. Anybody with a web browser can be given login specific access. Also, multiple shipping locations can be filtered so they only see the shipping they are responsible for.

ShippersEdge is Affordable and Capable contact us at 952-777-4421 or

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ShippersEdge named Top 100 Logistics Technology by Inbound Logistics

Excited to announce we've been named as one of the Top 100 Logistics Technology companies for the 4th year in a row. This award was by Inbound Logistics, the industry's leading trade publication.

ShippersEdge developed affordable hosted Logistics Software starting in 2002. Now in our 15th year in business. ShippersEdge offers Small to Mid-Sized Businesses access to powerful Transportation Management Software formerly only available to the largest of large companies.

Talk to ShippersEdge 952-777-4421 or read more about us at

Here is the text of the award:

Congratulations! ShippersEdge has been selected as an Inbound Logistics Top 100 Logistics IT Provider for 2017. As always, the editorial selection team had their work cut out for them, ultimately selecting 100 technology solutions leaders from the 400+ candidate pool.

The Top 100 list appears in the April 2017 print, digital, ebook and app issues. Shortly afterward, the list will be posted online at, and promoted across the entire Inbound Logistics platform.

You'll also find the Logistics IT Decision Support Tool at readers can enter their IT requirements and match the solutions providers best suited to their needs.

In addition, to help you share this success with your customers, business partners and well-wishers, we will soon make available a Top 100 logo for use in web initiatives, annual reports, newsletters, sales literature, brochures, advertising -- in short, any internal and external communication. As soon as the logos are ready, I will send you the link for download.

Congratulations again. If you have any questions, please call me at 212-629-1563 or email

Best regards

Felecia Stratton, Editor
Inbound Logistics
Five Penn Plaza, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10001

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A More Capable TMS

With the proliferation of new TMS platforms providing LTL rating software and little else ShippersEdge, the leader in Small to Mid-Sized Business Transportation Management Software provides a more capable Logistics Software Platform.

Here are some key differentiators against the low-end providers:

Supply Chain Visibility

ShippersEdge can track and manage your raw materials and imports. Transit problems are automatically flagged based on custom business rules. It is best to know of a problem than be surprised by a problem.

Shipment Tracking

ShippersEdge can provide the tools to allow your customer or customer service department to track shipments and be notified of transit problems.

Freight Consolidation and Pool Distribution

ShippersEdge has the tools to create your own consolidated truckloads and pool distribution. We can help you track your savings by using advanced shipping techniques.


ShippersEdge can integrate with your ERP, WMS or Order Management System as well as to common CRM software.

Freight Cost Variance Reporting

Freight variances are tracked in real time giving you the opportunity to attempt to rectify them before they actualize. After the fact reporting is also provided.

Freight Accrual Reporting

ShippersEdge knows which freight bills haven’t come in yet and our advanced reporting makes it easy to provide accounting with an accurate freight accrual.

ShippersEdge is Affordable and Capable

We built a more capable TMS that has features of expensive systems but at a fraction of the cost. You owe it to yourself and check us out. 952-777-4421 or

Why Transportation Management Software is so Important

February 10, 2017Tim Taylor
In today’s rapid fire work environment a capable TMS referred to as a Transportation Management System driven by Transportation Management Software, is essential to cut workload and drive down the transportation spend. A good TMS will give visibility on the freight rates and transit times of all of your providers allowing you to select the provider based on either cost or transit time. This is just the beginning.

As TMS software modernized and gained full connectivity to the transportation providers the best systems will now, notify the provider of a needed pickup, confirm their acceptance or more importantly notify of an exception (unable to pickup) and track the shipment through to destination. All while recording every event in a computerized log.

Exceptional systems also now provide notice if an anticipated charge from the transportation provider changes and provide an audit path to rectify the discrepancy. Enterprise Class Systems now offer complete connectivity to your in-house systems eliminating hand keying of anything that is already in a data format when captured.

ShippersEdge was at the forefront of this TMS revolution back in 2002 when it introduced the first web-based (now referred to as hosted or cloud based) TMS in the country. Big companies had Transportation Management Systems with 7 figure price tags and 6 figure annual maintenance spend. We thought there was a better way.


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