Shipper abuses . . . No STC's, SLC's . . . driver count

Discussion in 'Shippers & Receivers - Good or Bad' started by Hornswoggled, Jun 26, 2021.

  1. Hornswoggled

    Hornswoggled Light Load Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    Went to a shipper this week for a live load in a dry van. Saw signage in the office for drivers stating to sign the bills for receiving loads with no STC's, SLC's etc. For the benefit of those that don't know, STC stands for Said To Contain and SLC stands for Shipper Loaded and Counted. Signing for a load with these designations helps absolve the trucker or trucking company from being responsible for any shorts in the load, especially a sealed load.

    I looked at the bills, and the box was checked at the bottom stating the driver counted the number of units on each pallet, number of pallets loaded, etc. Of course, I wasn't anywhere near the dock for loading, nor was I invited to be. And even if I were, why would I want to count what's loaded? I don't know their product. If the shipper loads, the load is sealed, and I deliver the load with seal in tact, any dispute is between shipper and receiver. Of course, there is no logical reason to force a driver to sign for a load that he counted what was loaded; this is a scam by the shipper to shirk responsibility for any shorts. Or could even be a setup (condoned or not by management) to support an inside pilferage operation at the shipper.

    I work for a big company, and called our claims department before accepting the load. About the only thing they said I could do was state in writing when signing "driver not present during loading". So I did, and the shipper was really pissed off! And didn't want to explain why they had their guy load (and obviously count what was loaded), yet have me sign that I counted. The clerk grabbed some white-out for the bills, and basically kicked me out of the office. I called back my claims department to update them, and obviously they logged the incident.

    So, my questions are:

    Does anybody know of any effective leverage against this abuse by shippers? Obviously you could refuse and you'd lose the load. Anybody have advice on how to keep a load without giving in to this scam?

    Secondly, for those owner operators that book or bid their own loads, would there be any repercussions/retribution if you got to a shipper that was doing this, refused to give in, and lost the load as a result? Any penalties you'd have to pay?

    Besides these questions, I kind of wanted to put this out there because my claims department said this happens all the time, and most drivers never read what they're signing. Which is probably what pissed off the shipper noted above, because I do read these bills.
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  3. JoeyJunk

    JoeyJunk Road Train Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    Washington, PA
    I write it down regardless. I ignore those signs. They can white out their copy all they want. Next time take a picture of the BOL before you hand it back. That’s petty BS used by the shipper. That sign should read like this, “We don’t have a good handle of our operations and won’t do anything to fix it so we are passing the buck. “
  4. joey8686

    joey8686 Light Load Member

    Jul 1, 2014
    Good job, look after yourself out here nobody else will.
  5. MTN Boomer

    MTN Boomer Road Train Member

    Feb 4, 2019
    A shipper shipped sealed Trailers of T V's. Made in the U S A. So you know how long ago that was. One arrived at its destination with the seal intact . Nothing in the trailer. Never heard what the conclusion was. Places like that, don'tgo back.
    alds Thanks this.
  6. Hornswoggled

    Hornswoggled Light Load Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    I imagine even if you booked a load like this yourself, driver count is not a detail revealed in the booking, correct? It only gets revealed when you're present and asked to sign the papers?

    It would be nice to throw some kind of outrageous fee at them, like "We have an $850 driver count fee. And that has to be paid up front, just like a lumper fee." Just to see the reaction!

    Good idea to take a photo of document with signature before alterations are made!
  7. NavigatorWife

    NavigatorWife Road Train Member

    Apr 30, 2012
    Cental West, AL
    Also very few shippers even let you on a dock or a building to watch/and or count a load. I think most company dispatchers know this by now. But I do go along with documenting that it was not SLC/watched or otherwise.

    Years ago when driving for US X, electronic loads were loaded and the driver had to count and verify that that was the amount loaded on the truck. They had very high security standards at the company shipping the order.
    Dave_in_AZ and JoeyJunk Thank this.
  8. Hornswoggled

    Hornswoggled Light Load Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    Yes, I agree about being on the dock. The way some of these forklift drivers operate, having truck drivers on the dock is an injury and an OSHA violation waiting to happen.

    I too first became aware of this issue at a shipper out in (I believe) Pomona CA or there abouts several years ago, except they actually were insisting that the driver be on the dock and physically count what's being loaded.

    Just had two of these recently where they had the notices posted about no STCs, SLCs, etc. Trying to figure out if this is a trend.
    JoeyJunk Thanks this.
  9. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

    Apr 26, 2013
    Gettin' down westbound
    Wow ive never heard of this before. I have never heard of this happening in flatbed. I didnt even know what stc and slc meant before reading this.... Good on you for reading the bills and thanks for this post, i will be looking at my bills more closely from now on
    Gearjammin' Penguin and JoeyJunk Thank this.
  10. Hornswoggled

    Hornswoggled Light Load Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    A lot of bills have a standardized format; down near the bottom there will be a couple of check boxes on the left for who loaded it (shipper or driver). Then next to that there will be three more check boxes for who counted it. Usually the choices are shipper, driver noting a pallet count with each pallet said to contain a certain amount, and then finally driver, with a total unit count. That's the one they were trying to push off on me this week. That middle choice leaves too much wiggle room for the carrier if the shipper is trying to pin something on the carrier, so they usually try to go with the final total piece count check box if they are attempting to pull this scam.

    And I'll say here now, if there is another side to this I'm not seeing . . . a legitimate reason to insist on a driver count of a load that's going from shipper to receiver in a secure dry van with numbered seal on it, I'd like to know.
    JoeyJunk and D.Tibbitt Thank this.
  11. Val_Caldera

    Val_Caldera Light Load Member

    Apr 2, 2021
    Greensboro, NC
    Been (from 1999 - 2018) to a large number of Shippers Nationwide and signed STC/SLC after being told By Some "You're not allowed to do such".
    THEY would cross it out and verbally state "Do So On YOUR COPY/COPIES!"
    So, Okay, Roger That, when I signed the Bills, I entered SLC/STC in small letters in MY Signature.
    (There were some times where I simply signed My Copies but Included "marks" on their Copies and forwarded [faxed] that "info" to Base.)
    Round 2:

    I need Make a Call!
    Okay, yet "YOU ARE GOING TO INSTALL THE SEAL" and this is "NOT OPEN FOR DISCUSSION PER THE BROKER and COMPANY Hauling The Freight and You Are REQUIRED to State Such On The Paperwork and SIGN Trailer Sealed By Shipper"!!


    They Wanna Play, WE Play!!
    No Need To Get All Bent Outta Shape, Just Toss The Sunshine Back At 'Em!

    >>Just "updating" considering the unavailability of Drivers being Allowed on Docks (due to C-19) to "verify shipper load/count"<<
    The FEW TIMES I had such Issue, I refused to sign unless SLC/STC was Placed on BOL(S)!!

    Rolls of Paper or Ingots, no big deal, but, say 40 Pallets cannot be confirmed, hence SLC/STC!!

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2021
    Reason for edit: updating for current year Shipping problems.
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