How to Avoid Unexpected Accessorial Charges for LTL ServicesWritten by Neal Willis
All it takes is accuracy and a few simple steps to ensure you save yourself both time and money on your next LTL shipment. Accurate shipment information helps to ensure that carriers are properly prepared for performing the LTL services needed for loading or unloading a delivery, and it helps shippers safeguard against unexpected freight charges being incurred when carriers have to perform LTL services that weren’t originally planned.
In addition to simply hauling the freight, LTL freight carriers perform a number of different LTL services for shippers, most of which are performed for a nominal fee. A few LTL services that are commonly billed as accessorial charges can include but are not limited to the following:
- Re-delivery Fee
- Limited Access Fee
- Non-commercial Delivery
- Hazardous Material Fee
- Lift-gate Fee
- Inside Delivery Fee
- Weight Inspection Fees
If not prearranged and/or expected, accessorial charges for LTL services performed by freight carriers can be costly. LTL services, such as call/notify before delivery, lift-gate service, inside delivery and residential delivery, all come at a price to both the LTL freight carrier and the shipper. Excluding the application of section seven on the bill of lading and/or unless the consignee or other party makes arrangements otherwise, carrier rules state that the charges for LTL services (accessorial services) performed by the carrier are due from the paying party of the freight bill.
It costs the freight carriers time and money to perform these additional LTL services, and the carriers can and will bill for the additional LTL services they perform, even when they weren’t marked and/or given authorization to perform the LTL services on the bill of lading and when they’re requested by the consignee at the time of delivery.
Knowing your customer’s requirements and what specific LTL services they need in order to complete a pickup or delivery can prevent shippers from receiving unexpected freight bills for these LTL services not requested or noted on the bill of lading. For example, ensuring correct shipment weights and dimensions will help shippers avoid fees for LTL services such as reclassification and reweighing of a shipment.
Accurate LTL freight rates begin with accurate shipment information being provided to the carriers, which includes accurate information, not only about the product, but also about the LTL services needed to complete loading and unloading of the shipment. Especially when they’re not anticipated, LTL services along with their added costs can really eat away at your bottom line.