A common problem, particularly for carriers, is that every month they can have a large number of missing transfer on dockets.
Accounting for transfer on dockets is one of the basic functions of a pallet controller. If this task is not done well then it creates a lot of work for the receiver and the sender.
The first awareness of missing transfer on dockets is normally when an import file is received from CHEP or Loscam. In the case of CHEP you can get a daily import file so you can get ahead of the game if you opt for daily imports. Loscam can not yet offer this service.
The problem of missing transfer on dockets can be caused by a number of reasons, including:
- The delivery to you was made without a pallet docket being presented to your staff.
- The driver may have presented one of his company's transfers instead of the sender's transfer docket. The sender and the carrier can both have transfers processed for the same pallets. An easy way to lose pallets if you accept them both.
- The transfer docket could get lost between your receiving staff and the pallet controller.
- The driver may have used a mobile device.
There are a few areas you do need to have a look at.
Driver check on pickup
There can be times where your driver is refused access to a loading dock so that he/she can check pallets being loaded on his truck. This could be for safety reasons but there needs to be an understanding between the sender and the carrier/receiver as to how to resolve quantity differences.
If the driver cannot check pallets being loaded then you should not be liable for any quantity differences.
Transfer On Documentation
It is very important that a transfer on docket is received at the same time as the equipment is received. If the pallets are being transferred on to your account then your receiver/driver needs to ensure that the equipment received is checked against the physical equipment received.
If a truck arrives at your site without a pallet docket then consider asking him to get one emailed/faxed through.
It is also important that the docket is checked, not only for equipment type and quantity, but that the correct date of receipt is recorded. Your staff should ensure that they sign it legibly and using a date stamp with your site name on it is recommended.
Reconciling Transfer Ons
Every transfer on to your account needs to be reconciled. If you do not have a copy of the docket then you can request the other party to provide one signed by your staff. It is important that the docket is signed by your staff as there has been occasions where a transfer has been duplicated and accepted against a different docket number. This can also be the case when the carrier and the sender both claim the same pallets.
CHEP have a very useful feature in that you can query their online system for contact details. This is done by searching for a docket number from the other party and then clicking on a button which will provide contact details if CHEP have them. The PalletWatch equipment control system automatically fills in request for copy details if they are in the PalletWatch database.
It is considered poor form to reject a transfer on docket without asking for a copy. If a copy is not received within a set number of days, e.g. 5 days then the receiving pallet controller is likely to reject it.
There will inevitably be a move away from paper transfer documentation to mobile devices. Some carriers are already using mobile devices for pallet transfers but until there are good protocols in place it can be troublesome.
Some receivers refuse to "sign on glass". There is also the problem that the receiving pallet controller is not provided with a paper copy so has nothing to reconcile against.
If a carrier is to use mobile devices for pallet control then they need to ensure that they have acceptance from their customers and good procedures in place.