No company likes to admit it, but too many know they’re consistently being overbilled on their freight invoices. The problem is that detecting instances of overbilling and reconciling them requires thorough freight invoice auditing. It’s important to recognize that overages add up fast, and putting in the time to detect and resolve them can significantly impact the bottom line.

Understanding the causes of overbilling

Several factors — often simple mistakes or clerical errors — can contribute to freight invoice overbilling. Here are some common culprits:

  • Rate discrepancies: Incorrect application of negotiated rates, misclassification of freight, or outdated rate information can lead to unexpected charges.
  • Measurement or weight errors: Inaccurate measurements or weights during shipment can result in higher charges than what’s due.
  • Accessorial charges: Carriers may add accessorial charges like fuel surcharges, detention fees, or liftgate services. Errors in applying these charges will cause overbilling.
  • Duplicate invoices: Occasionally, the same shipment might be billed twice due to processing errors.


The impact of overbilling on businesses can be substantial. For example, nVision Global has helped its customers save a collective $1.5 billion through freight audits. Considering the ever-increasing cost of freight transportation, effectively detecting and resolving these issues is becoming even more crucial to maintaining healthy margins with freight operations.

Detecting overbilling

If your company is struggling with invoice errors, discrepancies, or overages, here are a few key strategies to identify and address overbilling in your freight invoices:

  • Conduct regular invoice audits. Establish a schedule for auditing freight invoices. This could be weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on your volume and risk assessment.
  • Utilize audit software and tools. Leverage technology to streamline the auditing process. Solutions like those provided by nVision Global can automate tasks such as data extraction, comparison, and anomaly detection, saving you time and resources.
  • Cross-reference invoices with contracts. Carefully compare each invoice with the corresponding contract to ensure rates, charges, and details align with negotiated terms.
  • Employ data analysis and trend identification. Analyze freight data to identify patterns of overbilling. Look for recurring discrepancies with carriers, routes, or shipment types.
  • Prioritize vendor communication and query resolution. Maintain open communication channels with carriers. Promptly address discrepancies and work collaboratively to resolve them.

Preventing overbilling

While identifying and resolving overbilling is critical, proactive measures can reduce the costs associated with it. Some of the best ways to prevent overbilling include:

  • Robust contract management: Negotiate clear and specific terms in carrier contracts. This includes defining rates, accessorial charges, and service expectations.
  • Automated systems: Utilize nVision Global’s invoice validation software to automatically check for errors and discrepancies before payments are made.
  • Employee training and awareness: Educate staff about the risks of overbilling. Encourage them to pay close attention to details and report discrepancies.
  • Continuous improvement: Regularly review and update freight management processes. Learn from past overbilling and implement corrective measures to prevent future issues.

Reducing overbilling is an ongoing effort

Detecting and preventing overbilling not only helps protect your bottom line but also contributes to stronger relationships with your vendors and partners. By implementing the above strategies, you can take proactive steps toward reducing costs, ensuring accuracy, and enhancing your freight management process.

With advanced tools to quickly and thoroughly audit invoices and detect discrepancies, nVision Global is your partner for freight invoice audits. We offer worldwide freight audit services for all modes of transportation and process billions of dollars in freight spend annually, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in customer savings opportunities for our partners. Learn more at