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Why freight companies should send professional invoices
The proper handling and shipment of freight is a highly specialized service. You need an invoice that clearly indicates the items for shipment, as well as all the associated freight charges, including special requirements such as temperature, packing, and unloading instructions.
But while your invoice needs to include all the details, it must be clear and understandable so your customers know exactly what they are paying for. Your work also requires great customer service, as businesses are entrusting valuable goods to your care.
Make sure your invoices look as professional as the service you provide, and reflect positively on your high quality results.
- Look through our great selection of invoice templates designed specially for freight companies
- Download the invoice template you like in the format you prefer – Word, Excel, PDF, Google Docs, or Google Sheets. It’s fast, easy to do, and it’s free!
- Insert your freight company name, address, phone number, and email address. If you offer cross-border service – add it in here
- Add in your wonderful freight company logo, website address, and any promotional graphics you use
- Insert the customer’s name and contact information – including contact information at the final destination
- Generate a unique invoice number and, if appropriate, a job number for ongoing customers
- Add the date of the invoice, and the shipment and delivery dates
- Insert a detailed list of all the freight, including descriptions – along with the volume, weight, or other appropriate measurements
- Clearly indicate the cost for shipping the freight
- If this is a commercial shipment travelling across borders, include the appropriate customs information, and any importing or customs charges to be billed to the customer
- If you provide additional services, such as special packing or unloading services, add line items to include all the important details. The template is easily customizable to make sure you cover all the work you provide, as well as any insurance details
- If you are including a discount for a high volume of work for a regular customer, add a line highlighting the discount so your client knows they are receiving a special rate
- Calculate the total price, including all applicable taxes, and list the total
- Add in your payment terms, including the methods of payment you accept, and the payment due date
- There’s lots of room to add lines for a personal note to thank the customer for entrusting their freight to you, and to say you hope your freight company can be of service again soon
- Save a copy – and give a copy to your customer
When is the right time to send an invoice to your freight customers?
Transporting freight is a complex business involving many moving parts to keep deliveries safe and on time. Many freight companies ask for a percentage of the payment up front, with the remainder on delivery, especially if it is a long-distance haul and includes cross-border services.
If it’s a small job, some freight companies have the customer sign an estimate and then ask for payment upon delivery.
Whatever payment cadence you choose, make sure it’s clearly noted on each invoice, and clarify what portion of the final ‘cost’ has been paid to date.
Quick invoicing tips for freight professionals
Always include a payment due date
A payment due date can help you get paid promptly. It also reinforces your professionalism, as your customers will see you have an established system in place for your freight business.
Accept a variety of payment methods
It’s always a good idea to let your customers pay in the way that is most convenient for them. That means adding e-Transfers, debit cards, direct bank deposits, and other online methods to the list of payment methods you accept.
Send a proforma invoice before the job starts
Let your freight customers know how much it will cost to transport their freight, as well as any insurance details, by sending them a proforma invoice ahead of time with your agreed-upon terms and expectations. This can help prevent any misunderstandings that can delay payment.
Make sure you have the correct contact person
Eliminate delays in payment by making sure you send your invoice to the correct person when you are providing freight services to large companies or organizations. Your shipping contact might not be the right person to receive invoices and issue payment.