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There is a variety of accessorial charges that companies are likely to encounter when looking to ship their goods via LTL shipping. These fees are associated with any additional service(s) that is required to handle the freight. Knowing which accessorial fees are commonplace will help you to adequately estimate and prepare for the overall cost to ship your freight.
To help you get started off right, here are the 10 LTL accessorial charges you will most likely encounter.
The BOL or Bill of Lading is a document that serves as a receipt of services regarding the goods that are being shipped. This is a legally required contractual agreement between the shipper and the carrier and it contains a variety of information regarding the shipment that is useful for both parties. If the goods listed have changed in any way after the pickup has happened or if the BOL contains other incorrect information, there is usually a charge that the shipper is responsible for.
For the most part, avoiding BOL correction fees is rather simple. Simply ensure that the information listed on the BOL matches correctly to the goods, it specifies the proper freight class, purchase order numbers are written out clearly, and all parties' contact information is listed.
Standard shipment length is something that is determined by the carrier and therefore it can vary from one freight carrier to the next. However, the overall shipment length is usually set at 10 foot and anything over that length is generally considered to be excessive length and will incur a fee.
When negotiating your base rate, ask about the shipment length and the cost per foot if in excess.
Most freight is delivered between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday. Deliveries are commonly done in the morning and pickup is usually done before 1 pm. Any time a delivery or a pickup falls after the standard 8 am to 5 pm window, you will more than likely be charged a fee.
Most of the time you will also incur a fee for pickups that occur after 1 pm.
Anytime your carrier has to locate cargo (as in the cargo is located somewhere other than at the loading dock) it might cost you.
Carriers rely upon timely deliveries and anything which slows down the standard pickup and/or delivery has the potential to bring on additional charges.
To minimize this cost, ensure that you have the shipment waiting for your carrier at the loading dock or directly next to the dock prior to the scheduled pick-up time. If it is a delivery that they are dropping off, simply make sure that there is someone at the loading dock to receive the delivery as scheduled.
Notifications of upcoming deliveries are typically not a free service.
Anytime a carrier is requested to contact or otherwise notify a consignee before delivery, it costs time and money. This is reflected as a charge that the receiver will be responsible for and this charge varies from carrier to carrier.
This common accessorial fee is usually associated with products that need to be shipped according to the brand, flavor, length, material, or other distinctive characteristics. While this may help with the loading and unloading of the cargo and may even be required by law depending on the type of product, it will add to the overall cost to ship it via LTL.
Security gates and facilities which have security or limited access are likely to receive what is known as a limited access fee. The most typical places where these fees occur include schools, prisons, construction sites, government offices, military bases, and other generally difficult-to-access areas.
Weight and inspection fees occur when there are problems with the BOL.
Again, it is important to inspect your goods, inventory list, and BOL prior to shipment. Not only does a discrepancy incur a BOL correction fee, but there is also a weight and inspection fee that will be charged on top of it.
This fee is charged to any delivery, which is to a private or residential address. This fee is most commonly seen when the carrier is delivering a shipment to a residential construction site. However, it also gets charged if the delivery is to an area in which the carrier is on private property.
Any shipment of chemicals will gain this fee.
This is true for certain cleaners, industrial machine lubricants, and even chlorine. As these materials require registration and special handling, it is important to know which materials should be listed as hazardous since there are going to be charges associated with any hazardous materials you ship.
Understanding the common fees associated with LTL freight is the first step in maintaining accuracy in your quotes. And while this list is a good place to start, it is by no means a comprehensive one as there are other accessorial charges that you may run into.
The best way to avoid any surprise accessorial fees is to be as transparent as possible with your carrier. By doing so, you will get base quotes closer to the actual cost of shipment as they will be able to determine upfront what is going to be required to move your shipment and what that looks like in terms of accessorial charges as well.