Accessorial Charges for Services Not RequestedWritten by Neal Willis
A driver can’t wait around at the consignee's location waiting for written authorization for a service, and simply requesting or writing that the carrier must call the shipper for approval of any service not requested on the BOL, does not protect the shipper from incurring and having to pay additional accessorial fees required to deliver a shipment. Carriers can and will bill for lift gates and inside delivery if it’s required, even if carriers aren’t given authorization to do so upfront. It’s a carrier policy, and it applies to all LTL carriers.
Having the driver wait for authorization for a service not requested at every stop is just not feasible. It would require a driver to get in touch with the terminal, have someone there call the shipper, wait to obtain written approval, and then notify the driver that he can go ahead with delivery. Carriers can’t and won’t do that.
For example, the tailgate of a truck normally ranges anywhere between 48”-50” off the ground. It would be rather difficult to get a heavy skid off the back of a truck by hand and a carrier would never allow someone other than the driver to do it for liability reasons. If the shipment cannot be offloaded safely, the driver has to leave without completing the delivery, take it back to the terminal and put it aside until authorization can be obtained. The additional handling and ride time involved could potentially increase the freight’s exposure to damage. In this situation, the shipper will also incur a redelivery charge and a liftgate charge. These additional charges could have been avoided if the shipper had known what was required to offload the freight at destination and communicated that information to the carrier prior to shipping.
Carriers also monitor a drivers’ time by the minute and they know how long it takes for a normal pickup and delivery. If your deliveries always take longer than others, this will be calculated into the carrier’s operating ratio for the shipper’s account and will eventually affect a shipper’s pricing.
It’s a shipper’s duty to know their customers/consignees, and it’s the carrier’s duty to deliver shipments in good condition and in a reasonable amount of time. A shipper is often the only party who knows what the consignee requires for offloading at destination and is also in communication with the carrier before the delivery. Unexpected accessorial charges can be drastically reduced by asking the customer/ consignee a few questions up front and obtaining as much information as possible about the delivery requirements at destination.
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