The hidden costs of LTL shipping can sneak up on you when you least expect it but there are some steps you can do to anticipate, avoid, and manage them.
What is an accessorial?
An accessorial is an extra charge because of additional time or effort was needed to make a delivery. Example scenarios may include:
- Liftgate – Is a special hydraulic platform that lowers to ground level when there is not a dock door available.
- Lumpers – A third party team comes in for a specific task such as unloading a large distribution warehouse.
- Oversized – Any cargo that is over 12 feet long.
- Reclassification – Improper LTL shipment classifications that must be fixed with the correct classification code.
- Sort & separate – Breaking down a pallet to separate and sort items.
- Residential – Delivery to your home or doorstep.
- Inside delivery – Driver must go inside deliver or receive the shipment.
- Redelivery – Having to make more than one delivery attempt.
- Hazardous material – Hauling any material that is labeled as “hazardous”.
- Appointment fee – Shipper having to set up an appointment for delivery.
- Attempted pickup fee – the delivery was attempted but the receiver was unavailable at the time of delivery.
- Construction fee – Delivery in a construction zone.
- Linear foot rule – A transportation industry standard which states that shipments occupying 10 linear feet or more of trailer space are charged for 1000 lbs per linear foot.
- Weight & research fee – Carriers’ costing models require accurate freight classes and weights, as they bill at a cost per hundredweight weight.
- Bill of lading fee – is one of the charges payable to carrier of goods at the time of releasing bill of lading.
How to be proactive
The first thing you can do to better manage accessorials is to understand that they are going to happen and they are just part of the LTL shipping world so it’s best to begin record your most common so that you are able to anticipate and budget for them in the future. Be upfront and clarify delivery details, ask your carrier to separate and itemize the accessorials from the line haul that way you can identify where the cost incurred. Utilize a transportation management system that makes it easier store and organize all those common accessorial and have list of them depending on what carriers you are working with. A good TMS can also help you analyze carrier data for common accessorials and through automation that display that data realtime.
Another thing you can do is work with a trustworthy 3PL. 3PL’s are experts at managing accessorials because of all the carrier connections that they have. 3PL’s ship thousands of shipments per week so they understand the accessorial game and can help guide you to avoiding, negotiating lower accessorial rates for your contract, and even getting a refund form the carrier. 3PL’s allow you to get accurate details and visibility right up to the point of delivery reducing delivery errors and frustrating shipping situations.
At MVP Logistics, we provide you with all the tools you need to build the most efficient solution. We do our best to help account for accessorial fees and avoid them. Make sure your freight quote is accurate by knowing the services your shipment requires. Not sure what services you need? Our Freight Agents can help you out. Contact us online or give us a call at 1-888-390-5320.