There are many factors that can affect your general LTL shipping rates, accessorial charges are often overlooked and more times than not are one of the main factors. Having a good working knowledge of what accessorial charges are and how to minimize each of the various occurrences will help reduce your LTL freight costs. Many of our shippers have never heard of accessorial charges so below I have outlined a few of the most common ones for your review.
Accessorial charges are added services that the transporter of your freight might provide above and beyond the typical shipping and receiving services they provide for a shipment. The fees will more than likely be evaluated and applied after the shipment has been made. The makes it hard to estimate and account for in your transportation budget. Base rates under the accessorial category are the central portion of all LTL freight costs, accessorial fees can add up quickly, adding up to a substantial rise in your transportation expenses. Here are a few of the most common accessorial charges:
Lift Gate Service
Commercial trucks are specifically designed to be loaded and unloaded using loading docks. When deliveries are made to residential addresses there are no loading docks to quickly unload the truck, therefore a lift gated is used to lower the freight. This is an added expense for the truck, that is where an additional charge is required for use of a lift gate. if the freight carrier is unaware that a lift gate is needed and they arrive without the required equipment to make the delivery, they will not be able to make the delivery, adding an additional re-delivery charge to your shipment.
In most lift gate delivery situations, an inside delivery will be needed. This carries another accessorial charge for inside delivery. It is an extra fee because it involves added equipment (a pallet jack), additional time and in many cases the carrier will need an additional person to help delivery the freight inside.
Occasionally, the pickup or delivery is slightly more complex offering only limited access to the freight. This can happen with commercial and residential delivery sites. Typically, it’s because the location requires additional time or after hours’ service because they cannot accept deliveries during regular business hours.
Accessorial charges are always negotiable, but need to be considered when negotiating rates with LTL freight brokers into your total shipping cost. When looking to decrease your LTL freight costs, you must keep accessorial rates on your radar and don’t be fooled by low base rates.
To avoid unnecessary accessorial charges always work with a well-established 3PL. They should be able to negotiate rates on accessorial charges as well as the right questions about your shipment to save you the most money as possible.
Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics