You are a 3PL Warehouse Manager, you want to know how to avoid retail chargebacks, freight claims, damage claims and rejected loads using LoadProof


Your Role

3PL Warehouse Manager

3PL Warehouse Director

3PL Vice President Operations

3PL Network Manager

3PL Industrial Engineer

3PL Continuous Improvement Engineer

Customer Examples

  • Kenco Group
  • NFI
  • Suddath Logistics
  • Saddle creek Logistics
  • XPO Logistics
  • Ryder Logistics
  • DHL Supply Chain
  • CEVA Logistics
  • Kane is Able Logistics
  • Berner Foods 3PL
  • You could set up at the Site level or could set up at the Customer Account level

Your Business

  • 3PL business – your core competence is moving products – you can move products as pallets, as parcel boxes as shipments, as loads – it is all about moving products for other businesses, typically manufacturers or vendors that source product from the far east – because everyone wants to do what they are good at – so as a manufacturer I am good at manufacturing, so I want to find the best 3PL and outsource all my logistics, distribution, delivery, order fulfillment everything to the best in business, so I can do what I do best.
  • An OEM or a Name brand vendor manufacturer is coming to you because they could go ahead and buy 1000 boxes they need to buy, rent the equipment that is needed, get the warehouse space rented out and they can do all by themselves, but if they come to you, they can take advantage of the economies of scale and the logistics expertise you bring to the table, so essentially by coming to you 3PL, they can reduce the cost, so as a 3PL Warehouse Manager you are expected to deliver on that promise, if you cannot deliver on that lower cost, then you lose that business, typically that happens if you don’t know how to run that business, how to handle all the logistical requirements in smooth fashion at a lower cost.
  • 3PL business is an operations intensive business – in order to be successful in this business you have to be really good in operations, which means your operations systems have to be great, your processes have to be great, your people have to be great, the steps you are performing to complete a function, for example picking, assembly, packing, whatever it may be, you have to be very lean, very efficient, if you are not you will lose big dollars, when you lose dollars, it directly impacts your bottom line, your profitability drops, even if your top line is growing, if you lose money you are not driving towards your profits, your EBITDA is falling, which is a very bad spot to be in, then your stock price goes down, your investors are upset, wall street rates you negative, all kinds of crap you got to deal with now,
  • Often the 3PLs own both warehouses and transportation infrastructure and or they have a lot of partnerships in the Supply Chain Community.
  • 3PLs have warehouses that are dedicated to customers or multi-client sites, where there are multiple customers in one single facility.
  • Also, from a systems perspective, they follow two models
    1. Tightly coupled model – the 3PLs systems are integrated with the customers Systems – that means systems are talking to each other.
    2. The Loosely coupled model – there is no integration – usually the 3PL personnel log on to the customers systems are operate those systems.
  • As a 3PL warehouse manager, you are responsible for the following.
    • The 3PL manager leads and coordinates all aspects of the distribution process within the Supply Chain network. Leads site’s planning, execution, and communication of all daily clerical and operational processes, including:
      • Labor Planning & Driver Management.
      • OSHA, FDA and DOT Compliance.
      • General Administrative Duties
        1. Employee hiring.
        2. Payroll
      • Customer Service Responsibilities.
      • Human Resource Administration
      • Product Functionality Checks and Cleaning
      • Warehouse Functions/ Servant Leadership
      • Load Planning, Routing, and Carrier Management
      • Collection/Reporting of KPI data.
      • Sometimes you are responsible for the P&L of the site as well.
  • 3PLs specialize in many things some of them are
    • Handling Food grade products – FMCG
    • FDA DEA Regulated.
    • Just keep in mind – if you are handling products that require FDA approval – you have to maintain all the documentation for up to 12 years, it could be anywhere upto 3 or 7 or 12 years. We have a customer, these guys ship health related products, every return they get, they need to maintain that returns documentation for 12 years, they have this large warehouse that has only papers – all the returns documentation from the returns they received.
    • Offering VAS – Value Added Services
      1. Price Ticketing
      2. Assembly
      3. Special packing
      4. Gift Orders – These orders are special, because the most important thing in a gift order is to wow the recipient, so it requires special skills to execute gift orders flawlessly,
    • Ecommerce fulfillment.
    • Cross Border Transportation – Mexico & Canada
  • Story – about how creative this 3PL was – I was part of a team of Supply Chain Systems experts, where in I had to move a business from one 3PL to another 3PL, because this first 3PL become financially week, so I was given this project to move the business, meaning all the SKUs that were handled out of the 1st 3PL needed to be moved to the 2nd 3PL and the associated SAP systems work had to be done super-fast – And we got it done, this was one of the largest projects I had ever done – the 2nd 3PL was so creative in making things happen, these guys had made these small light weight carts to perform the parts batch picking process, they had just gone to Home depot, bought all these PVC pipes and glued it together to make low cost carts that were one third the price of the carts you would buy normally.
  • Food 3PL is one of the toughest businesses ever.
  • Typically, you are shipping on behalf of a OEM or a brand named manufacturer.
  • You typically get heat from 2 sides.
    1. If you are shipping to a retailer, and if the retailer imposes chargebacks, you will have to take heat from your OEM and the retailer.
    2. If you are shipping to somebody on behalf of the OEM or a name brand vendor/manufacturer, if there is a damage, again you have to take heat both from the OEM/name brand vendor/manufacturer, but also the Receiver.
    3. If there are damages, the same thing.
    4. If there are shortages, the same thing.
    5. And you cannot just piss off a retailer or a carrier, because you have to do business with them again and again – so you really have to work on this long term – be fair to all the parties and still CYA as well as make money for offering your services
  • Often you have to absorb costs even though it is not your fault

Your Supply Chain Community

Your Supply Chain community comprises of people that you do business with, usually it is made of all these people

  • Manufacturers that manufacture products
  • Carriers
    • Trucking companies
    • Ocean Carriers
    • Rail Carriers
    • Air Carriers
    • Multi modal – Ocean, Land, Rail, Air
  • Third Party Logistics Service Providers
  • Vendors that you buy your products from
  • Cross Dock Facility operators
  • Consolidation Facility operators
  • LTL Terminals
  • Parcel Carriers
  • Delivery Companies
  • Freight Forwarders
  • Freight Brokers

It is very important to keep in mind that you will work with all these people on a regular basis, so build and maintain professional relationships. While shipping products, moving products mistakes do happen, sometimes it is theirs, sometimes it is yours, whatever it is work with your partners, keep proof in LoadProof to demonstrate that you did your job right. So, you can have a professional conversation and articulate your position in a professional way, it is okay to say in a very professional and gentle manner, “Hey it is not fair for us to pay for mistakes that is not ours, here is a proof in the form of pictures”. However, do not burn bridges everybody is working very hard to make it for themselves. Also, people move on and change roles very quickly in this industry, so the same person could take up a different role and you might face them in a completely different side. So always build and maintain professional relationships, do not burn bridges. So, when you are working with such a community of Supply Chain service providers, having LoadProof and pictures to prove that you did your job right, gives you a solid ground to stand on, when something happens to your shipment.

Your Challenge

  1. You are losing money on Retail chargebacks
  2. You are losing dollars due to freight claims
  3. You are losing money on damages – your customers are submitting damage claims to you
  4. You are losing money on rejected loads
  5. You want to keep that money in your customer’s pockets
  6. So, you started taking photos in your official Digital camera
  7. Some of your people started taking photos in their personal cell phones but the process had the following drawbacks
    • Take photos in a device, either a digital camera or a smart phone.
    • Then you have to save the photos somewhere in a Google drive or Shared drive or Shared Folder.
    • Then manually have to search the photos to find the right ones when there are any questions.
    • Cumbersome to copy the photos from the camera.
    • Time consuming to organize photos for future reference
    • No back up for the photos – What if your computer suddenly crashed?
    • No visibility across the Supply Chain – Other operators in the Supply Chain cannot see the pictures – your vendors, customers, carriers, lumpers, personnel at the cross-dock facility, insurance companies cannot see them.

What is a Retail Chargeback?

  1. You are shipping to a retailer on behalf of an OEM or a Name brand manufacturer/vendor.
  2. The retailer is either issuing a chargeback or automatically detecting your invoice because they are citing noncompliance or damages.
  3. So, what happens – your OEM / Name brand vendor manufacturer is looking to you and saying – Hey guys – I hired you because you told us you are the best in the business – but now why am I getting these chargebacks?
  4. Now you are in a tough spot because the retailer is issuing chargebacks, so you have to have a conversation with the retailer. It is not always easy because they are so big, you cannot get their attention easily, so you start with the pictures, typically you will have to submit the pictures to their portal. And with Loadproof you can do that very easily because with all the pictures you have taken, you can generate only one PDF document and upload that PDF document into the retailer portal and start the conversation.
  5. If you have a genuine noncompliance issue based on the retailer’s routing guide, then you have to make sure that noncompliance issue is fixed first. If you are still getting chargebacks and the reasons that you are getting from the retailer doesn’t make sense, then pictures will help you, with pictures you can push back on those chargebacks.
  6. And also, often Retail Chargebacks come with automatic deductions, which means your Accounts Receivables team is going to see this first. Then they will call you the warehouse manager next to see if you have any proof to show that the warehouse team shipped the product in good condition without any of those damages cited by the retail customer. That is when you can show LoadProof and the pictures you took while shipping that shipment. You can also set up your AR people as users in LoadProof, so that they can login to LoadProof and retrieve the pictures without even calling you. And you can also set up anybody else that requires access to these pictures to show that your warehouse team did a great job. So everyone can push back and say – hey we did our job right, so it is not fair for us to pay for these issues.
  7. Always keep in mind, the Supply Chain is a small community of people, so you are going to see these people again and again and they all make moves and take up different roles in the same industry. So, you will see them again and again, all you have to do is go to a trade show and you will see them, so it is important to maintain the relationships so don’t burn bridges. You are going to see them in a different role at a different 3PL at a different retailer or at a different distributor. So, work with them maintain the relationships professionally, you will not get surprises when they take up other roles and might be on your opposition side. Also in the 3PL industry people jump ship so fast, so always keep that in mind while working with people in Supply Chain, overall your journey within the Supply Chain industry is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

What is a Freight Claim?

You shipped your product through a carrier to your customer. The carrier failed to deliver the product in a perfect manner, it was not delivered in the same condition as it left your facility. And often the carriers insure these transportation moves. So, if there is a problem or if there is an act of god, for example thunderstorm or a tornado or any natural disaster that damaged your shipment you can file a claim to the Carrier and then get compensated. We are actually a partner with Mercury Gate My Ez Claims, so if you have pictures in LoadProof and you are already using My Ez Claim, you can automatically pull the pictures from LoadProof into My Ez Claim and submit those pictures to the Carrier along with your Freight Claim. That makes getting compensated by the carrier easier. Because these shipments are insured, often the insurance companies get involved and you know what happens when an insurance company is involved, you got to submit all kinds of proof to prove that the shipment left your facility in perfect condition, that is where LoadProof comes in, using LoadProof you can exactly do that. You can take 1000s of pictures and within no time you can find those pictures and share them with whoever you need to share them with.

This could get really complicated if you did not pay for the transportation, which means you don’t have a contract with the carrier and you cannot even talk to them. Typically, this happens when you ship to a retailer, a retailer will often take advantage of the economies of scale and get their own carrier and the carrier will come to your facility and pick up the products. In that case if there is a damage then you really have to talk to the retailer and if they are one of those big retailers, and if you are small supplier, the 3PLs can help.

What is a Damage Claim?

A damage claim is submitted by a customer to you, when the product you shipped did not arrive in a good condition where the customer is doing extra work to get the product to work. This could potentially result in an automatic deduction in the invoice you submitted to your customer, meaning if you submitted an invoice for $10,000 the customer is going to pay only $9000 and quote the damage claim as the reason for the automatic deduction. That is where you can show pictures from LoadProof to demonstrate that you did your job correctly and it is not your fault. If it is a Carrier’s mistake you can submit a Freight Claim to the carrier if you paid for the carrier, or if your customer paid for the carrier, then you can tell that to your customer and get paid fully on the invoice.

What is a Rejected Load?

A rejected load is an extreme case, but you would be surprised to hear, how often it happens in the Food distribution business. Basically, the load was delivered in such a bad condition, the customer at the receiving end is so mad, they are completely rejecting the load, because they cannot take it and fix it, they don’t have the resources to take it and fix it. Now you have to take it back, bring it to another place, either another nearby facility or bring it back to your own facility, fix it and ship it back. So now you spent extra on the transportation both hauling it back and re-delivering, then also you spent on extra labor to fix it, also think about how bad this can be if these products are perishables, for example lettuce or cheese. So the loss could be a lot. So now imagine if you have pictures to prove that you did your job right, at least you can push back and say – Hey I am not going to pay for this, because it is not your fault and you can have the party that is responsible for the problem to pay for it.

Different 3PL scenarios to take pictures of

  1. Outbound Loading and Shipping
  2. Inbound Receiving
  3. Inbound Damages
  4. Outbound Trailer Seals
  5. Trailer Conditions
  6. Trailer Cleanliness – especially when shipping food products
  7. Documents
    • DEA Licenses (Drug Enforcement Administration), FDA (Food and Drug Administration), sometimes even Drivers licenses of Drivers that are picking up your loads and making deliveries of your loads.
    • Bills of Lading.
    • Proof of Delivery
    • Parcel Manifest
  8. GEMBA walks – Gemba (also written as genba) is a Japanese word meaning “the actual place.” In lean practices, the gemba refers to “the place where value is created,” such as the      shop floor in manufacturing, the operating room in a hospital, the job site on a construction    project, the kitchen of a restaurant, and the workstation of a software programmer. A popular approach in companies who implement lean principles is called “Gemba walks,” which denote the action of going to see the actual process, understand the work, ask questions, and learning from those who do the work (showing respect to them).  It is an opportunity for management and support staff to break away from their day-to-day tasks to walk the floor of the workplace to identify wasteful activities. The objective is to understand the value stream and its problems, rather than review results or make superficial comments from their office or conference room.
  9. Building Maintenance – Tenants Move in & Move out
  10. Temporary storage locations – I still remember, I was talking to this 3PL manager, he said these guys delivered a $200K shipment and they completed their delivery, they thought, they had done their job, then they submitted their invoice, 3 months later the customer came back and said, they never got the product and they were not going to pay the invoice. It turns out, that after the 3PL had made their delivery nobody from the customer site even looked at the product. And it was some kind of a product with perishable life, so basically it was ruined.
  11. Trailer Numbers
  12. Thermometer Readings at the time of hand off from one party to another
  13. Proof of compliant loads
    1. Packing
    2. Labelling
    3. Stacking
    4. Stretch Wrapping
      • Using the wrapper with the right gauge – The gauge is even more important because if it is an LTL shipment the gauge you apply have to be higher because you are going to move the product too many times.
      • If it is an FTL shipment, then the gauge can be slightly less.


  1. Cost Savings
  2. Labor Reduction – no need to manage all these photos
  3. Show that the product was shipped Outbound Damage Free – No damages
  4. Capture damages in the Inbound Product
  5. Prove that the correct quantity was shipped – No overages, No shortages
  6. Paper Trail – Supply Chain Visibility & transparency across multiple parties
  7. Significantly improved Customer Satisfaction
  8. Significantly improved Relationships with customers
  9. You are eating the cost yourself in order to not lose customer (even though it was not your mistake)
  10. 95% customer compliant reduction
  11. Compliance
    1. Overage, Shortage & Damage issues avoided
    2. Proof for Damage Claim
    3. Proof for Shortage or no shortage
  12. 75% cost reduction in labor spent on researching problems after they happened
  13. Whenever there was an issue the following happened
    • Your OEM or the Name brand customer – would call & ask – hey what happened with that?
    • Then as a 3PL warehouse Manager you will have to respond to that
    • There will be a lot of back and forth on what was the problem, how exactly it happened, how come this happened blah blah – look at all the time that was spent on this
    • But with LoadProof, the OEM Name Brand customers have access to the pictures themselves, so they can login and see the pictures for themselves – all the back and forth is avoided – so claims went down by 95% – All this was because the customers knew there were pictures and they can see those pictures anytime they want

Additional Customer Results

  1. Customer Satisfaction through self-service portal – customers love this – no training needed.
  2. DEA Compliance fine avoided – $10K
  3. Documentation – cost savings $20K
  4. Trailer Damage fine reduction – $5K
  5. Compliance for International Shipment – Cargo containers that go international, very often they would bounce around and move so many times in the ships and would get damaged very frequently by the time they reach the international destination after travelling through the ocean.
  6. 20% Savings in Freight Claims

Marco Gillum – Kenco FMCG

Luke Gendreau – Kenco Construction Products

Josh Keeney – Kenco Pharmaceuticals

Jaye Nardo – Kenco Oil Products

Ryan Bicksler – Berner Foods 3PL

David Conover – Kenco – White Glove Delivery Services

Puga Sankara is the co-founder of Smart Gladiator LLC. Smart Gladiator designs, builds, and delivers market-leading mobile technology for retailers, distributors, and 3PL service providers. SG LoadProof is a patent pending Centralized Enterprise Photo/Video Document System on Cloud for Supply Chain. SG LP is built on the fact that photos & videos are vital docs as important as POs/SOs/Legal Contracts/Fulfillment Orders that reside in ERP/WMS/TMS systems, that serve as compelling, conclusive, unequivocal proof of crucial, critical, vital operations executed in Supply Chain within/across orgs when fulfilling customer orders as well as meeting contractual obligations between orgs as merchandise is transferred between different parties that partake in Supply Chain functions & operations. And these photos/videos data should not be stored in someone’s Smartphone or Email Inbox or in their personal/work Computer, but should be stored in a Centralized Enterprise system, where such data can be pushed into super-fast, stored securely, accessible to all stake holders (CFO/Sales Reps/Customer Support/AR/AP) in an org, as well as facilitates super-fast retrieval/sharing. LP is an Enterprise System of record for Photo/Video docs & is as important as an ERP which is an enterprise system of record for POs, SOs, Legal Contracts between parties etc. that have huge legal ramifications, also as important as a WMS (Warehouse Management System) that hold indispensable shipment & fulfillment data on orders. Like how Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat etc. have evolved into social media platforms/systems that enable individuals to showcase their beauty/pretty clothes/lovely cosmetics/hep coolness etc., LoadProof is an Enterprise system that holds similar photos/videos, but for a different reason, not for show off, but to serve as compelling, conclusive, unequivocal & indisputable system of record and proof that can be presented even in the court of law, when there is a dispute between parties while they execute many facets of the Supply Chain functions & operations. Puga is a supply chain technology professional with more than 25 years of experience in deploying capabilities in the logistics and supply chain domain. His prior roles involved managing complicated mission-critical programs driving revenue numbers, rolling out a multitude of capabilities involving more than a dozen systems, and managing a team of 30 to 50 personnel across multiple disciplines and departments in large corporations such as Hewlett Packard. He has deployed WMS for more than 30 distribution centers in his role as a senior manager with Manhattan Associates. He has also performed process analysis walk-throughs for more than 50 distribution centers for WMS process design and performance analysis review, optimizing processes for better productivity and visibility through the supply chain. Size of these DCs varied from 150,000 to 1.2 million SQFT. Puga Sankara has an MBA from Georgia Tech. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit the company at Also follow him at