Auditing Ocean Invoices: What You Need To Know To Get It Right

Auditing ocean invoices is a highly error-prone process. It involves extensive steps that often require manual entry of each international freight invoice, creating an increasingly inefficient and costly challenge.

Duplicated invoices and payments are too common as well, which also allows room for human error. These invoice inaccuracies lead to increased labor costs, mishandled products, and an inability for shippers to follow up on loss claims.

The ocean invoice auditing problem reached a tipping point with the impact of global events like the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Shippers must react by building efficiencies into the process of auditing ocean invoices.

Auditing Ocean Invoices are Costly

Moving products by ocean is less cost-efficient—particularly since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, limited bandwidth creates more difficulty during peak season, further increasing costs.

Where shippers could rely on contracted rates, steady carrier relationships have been replaced by reliance on spot quotes. This trend contributes to overcharges and inaccurate ocean invoices. In addition, increased port congestion, high shipping fees, capacity issues, and shortages are also causing overcharges and inaccuracies.

A Robust Process is needed

Managing the high-volume challenges of auditing ocean invoices requires a robust shipping process. When shippers move 50 plus containers at a time, it’s burdensome to organize the product, follow its route, track its arrival, and file claims to account for damaged or missing goods. That’s why, strong logistics management is a must to navigate a complex process with a high margin of error.

What Makes Ocean Invoice Logistics Strong?

When shippers develop a logistics system, prioritizing the use of logistics equipped to navigate the challenges of auditing ocean invoices is a must. Strong logistics can track payments against containers and invoice numbers to avoid duplicate payments. Robust logistics systems must also be capable of auditing invoices against contract rates of out-gate and in-gate reports. In tracking the timeline of billing, payment, and closing, an ideal logistics system will generate more specific reports and reduce the likelihood of duplicated or delayed payments error.

Ocean invoices present a few additional challenges for logistics systems that don’t ordinarily arise with invoices from other modes of transport. Managing the challenges of auditing ocean invoices is understanding how freight contracts are structured—Door to Door, Port to Port, or Door to Arrival Port. A logistics system makes all the difference when attempting to accurately identify the currency of contracts and payment, managing wait times, and tracking.

The Value of a Strong TMS

A robust TMS can help increase accuracy when auditing ocean invoices. HoneyBee TMS™ allows shippers to manage large contracts, compare rates, and structure freight contracts. With HoneyBee TMS™, shippers can organize carrier availability and link their entire operation to freight invoices. In addition, the Honeybee TMS™ allows shippers to manage their relationships with transparency. For example, when a carrier bills a shipper, the system automatically tracks payment processing, coded, and reported.

The strategy is to help shippers understand which carries they’re using and how their shipping needs are fulfilled. With real-time tracking and tracing of containers and their charges, the Honeybee TMS™ effectively reduces error.
If you’re looking for a more efficient process, close your operation’s options for error with the Honeybee TMS™. Contact CTSI-Global to learn more.