Involved in Shipping? Common Accessorial Fees Explained

by Leah Palnik, PartnerShip

Additional services required outside the standard shipping and receiving procedures result in additional fees called “accessorial fees” to cover the extra costs incurred by the LTL carrier. These fees make up just one part of a company’s freight costs but can be a challenge to account for since they often are applied after the shipment has been delivered. PartnerShip has compiled a list of common accessorial charges with a brief description of each, so companies can learn how to plan for them and avoid them when possible.

  • Lift Gate Service: When the shipping or receiving address does not have a loading dock, manual loading or unloading is necessary. A lift gate is a platform at the back of certain trucks that can raise and lower a shipment from the ground to the truck. Having this feature on trucks requires additional investment by an LTL carrier, hence the additional fee.
  • Inside Pick Up/Inside Delivery: If the driver is required to go inside (beyond the front door or loading dock) to pick up or deliver a shipment, instead of remaining at the dock or truck, additional fees will be charged because of the additional driver time needed for this service.
  • Residential Service: Carriers define a business zone as a location that opens and closes to the public at set times every day. If the business is located in a residential zone (among personal homes or dwellings), or is shipping to or from a residence, the carrier may charge an additional residential fee due to complexity in navigating these non-business areas.
  • Collect On Delivery (COD): A shipment for which the transportation provider is responsible for collecting the sale price of the goods shipped before delivery. The additional administration required for this type of shipment necessitates an additional fee to cover the carrier’s cost.
  • Oversized Freight: Shipments containing articles greater than or equal to 12′ in length. Since these shipments take up more floor space on the trailer, additional fees often apply.
  • Fuel Surcharge: An extra charge imposed by the carriers due to the excessive costs for diesel gas. The charge is a percentage that is normally based upon the Diesel Fuel Index by the US Energy Information Administration.
  • Advance Notification: This fee is charged when the carrier is required to notify the consignee before making a delivery.
  • Limited Access Pickup or Delivery: This fee covers the additional costs required to make pickups or deliveries at locations with limited access, such as schools, military bases, prisons or government buildings.
  • Reweigh and Reclassification: Since weight and freight class determine shipment base rates, carriers want to make sure the information on the BOL is accurate. If the carrier inspects a shipment and it does not match what was listed, they will charge this fee along with the difference.

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