Accessorial Charges: What Are They and How to Avoid Them

Companies that sell goods and services all benefit from an optimal supply chain. Shipping and logistics is an area that commonly results in unexpected additional fees for businesses, and holds a lot of potential when it comes to risk management. Accessorial charges are some of the most common extra charges and fees that a shipper incurs when they go outside of normal procedures for freight (FTL or LTL) shipping. These additional charges make up a component of overall freight charges, and can put great strain on a business.

Common accessorial fees include:

  • Inside Pickup/Delivery: When the driver has to go past the front door or loading dock to pick up or deliver.
  • Lift Gate: When the shipping address doesn’t have a loading dock, so the driver has to load or unload manually.
  • Ground Pickup or Delivery: If a shipment arrives at a location without a loading dock and there is no lift gate or other way to offload.
  • Driver Assist: If a driver uses labor to load or unload a shipment from the truck.
  • Driver Load Count/Verification: If a driver needs to verify shipment contents while loading or off-loading.
  • Driver Clean: If a driver is required to clean their track as the result of moving the shipment.
  • Misuse Charge: If Carrier A uses Carrier B’s equipment at the customer location.
  • Out of Route Miles: If the driver needs to transport the shipment more than 10 miles out of range.
  • Residential Service: When your shipment needs to go to a residential address.
  • Collect on Delivery (COD): When the transportation provider has to collect funds for the goods shipped before delivery.
  • Oversized Freight: If the shipments are larger than stated (equal to or greater than 12 feet in length).
  • Fuel Surcharge: If there are excessive gas costs by carrier.
  • Advance Notification: If the carrier has to notify a consignee before delivery.
  • Limited Access Pickup or Delivery: If there are additional costs to make a pickup or delivery somewhere with limited access, like government buildings, schools, military bases, or prisons.
  • Reweight and Reclassification: If the weight/freight class of the shipments doesn’t match what was specified on the Bill of Lading (BOL).
  • Stop Off: When a shipment has two or more destinations so a driver has to make additional stops.
  • Lumper Service: If a third-party has to help load/unload shipments of a trailer.
  • Shrink Wrap: If the driver has to wrap pallets in shrink wrap.
  • Pallet Jack: If a driver has to load or unload the contents of a trailer using a pallet jack.
  • Detention: If a carrier is delayed for any reason, detention charges may be imposed.
  • Storage: If the shipper needs the carrier to store the final product at their delivery service center, either in the short term or the long term.
  • Redelivery: If the shipment needs to go back to a location to be unloaded before redelivery.
  • Rework: If there are damaged or overweight shipments that need to be corrected by a carrier.
  • Hazardous Materials: If your shipments have materials that are not properly stored, transported, or controlled, and pose a potential threat to health and safety.

The nine hazmat qualifications are:

  • Class 1: explosives
  • Class 2: gases
  • Class 3: flammable liquids
  • Class 4: flammable solids
  • Class 5: oxidizing substances
  • Class 6: toxic and infectious substances
  • Class 7: radioactive materials
  • Class 8: corrosives
  • Class 9: miscellaneous dangerous goods

It is critical for shippers to understand these accessorial fees and what factors are at play so that they can negotiate rates and discounts for these services to better forecast shipping costs and incorporate them into pricing for a product or service. Open communication with a shipping provider on dimensions, weights, materials, destinations, and other requirements will empower business owners to establish a thorough, repeatable process for shipping freight, minimizing confusion and optimizing cost structures.

Perhaps the most significant way of eliminating these extra fees is by choosing the right carrier for your needs. Inxeption is a supply chain partner for businesses that offer various products and services, one of which is flat-rate parcel and freight shipping services, both domestically and internationally, FTL and LTL. When companies can accurately forecast shipping costs up-front, business profitability and efficiency both reap the rewards.

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