Understanding accessorial fees and which ones you might need
Because many shipments need more than standard pick-up and delivery options, transportation providers often offer additional solutions to customize the service. But since not everyone needs the same add-ons, they’re charged as accessorial fees. While some can be last-minute additions to the freight bill (e.g., detention charges), most are designed to ensure you’re paying only for the services you need, so the carrier can customize your shipments.
Keep reading to learn more about accessorial fees including what they are, how much they can cost and common charges to be aware of.
What are accessorial charges?
These are additional fees transportation providers charge for extra services or equipment used to complete a shipment — such as residential shipping, storage, liftgates and pallet jacks.
For example, let’s say you’re shipping boxes of desks and office furniture to a school. Because normally schools don’t have loading docks, the driver would need a lift gate to unload. Lift gates are not standard, so the carrier would charge more for this equipment. And if the driver takes the goods to a designated location inside, you would also pay an accessorial fee for inside delivery.
How much do accessorials cost?
As you might expect, the cost varies by carrier. Depending on the service(s) used, the shipper could pay anywhere from a few extra dollars up to hundreds of dollars. However, knowing what’s needed and letting the carrier know in advance will help with getting an accurate quote.
When are the charges added to the freight bill?
This depends on when the carrier was advised of the added service. If the shipper tells the carrier at the time of booking, the charges will be included on the initial bill. However, if services are added during shipping or delivery, those fees will be on the final bill.
20 common FTL and LTL accessorial charges
While several things can add to the cost of standard shipping, here are the 20 most common used with Truckload and Less-Than-Truckload shipments: