Shipping Fees 101
Accessorial Charges —Truckload drivers are frequently asked to do more than just drive. They often load and unload cargo, deliver shipments after hours, and collect payments from the recipient. These types of services are considered “special” or “accessorial,” and they come with costs that are separate from standard shipping fees.Many carriers offer similar à la carte services, and their rates vary. You might pay a flat fee, or the carrier may charge a minimum fee. Below are common accessorial fees associated with freight shipments:
After-hours deliveries — Carriers charge this fee for deliveries outside normal weekly business hours. “After hours” typically means Saturdays, Sundays and nationally recognized holidays.
COD (Cash on Delivery) — Carriers assess a COD fee for collecting payment from the recipient. Note: You may pay a percentage of the COD amount plus a flat fee.
Cross Border — Some carriers charge a cross border fee for shipments moving to or from Canada.
Deadhead — According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, deadhead is the return of an empty container back to a transportation facility. It’s also called an empty backhaul, and shippers may be charged for mileage.
Detention Charges — This fee is assessed when carriers are delayed beyond a specified loading or unloading time. According to Stream Logistics, the typical allotted time for a full truckload is two hours for loading and two hours for unloading.
Driver loading/unloading — Truckload drivers are only paid to drive. However, if they are required to help load and unload containers, carriers charge extra for that.
Fuel Surcharge — This fee covers the cost of fuel. The surcharge is based on the current price of diesel gas and is calculated using info from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Hazardous Materials — This fee is for carrying cargo that poses an unreasonable threat to the public, handlers or carriers during transportation, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation definition of hazardous materials. These may include medical supplies, lithium batteries, dry ice and other substances. Shippers are primarily responsible for properly preparing hazardous cargo for transport.
Inside delivery — Carriers charge this fee to move shipments to positions beyond the adjacent loading area.
Liftgate service — Some trucks are outfitted with a liftgate, which can raise and lower shipments from the ground to the truck. If there is no loading dock at the shipping or receiving address, liftgate service may be required and an additional fee is charged.
Notification — Carriers may charge this fee if they are required to notify receivers of the delivery date and time before arrival.
Oversize Shipments — This fee is assessed for handling and transporting shipments that are excessively large, as defined by the carrier.
Truck Ordered Not Used — Carriers charge a TONU fee for ordering a truck and then cancelling it. Some contracts may have a clause allowing for a TONU, but there is generally an established cutoff time for cancellations.
Redelivery — Carriers will assess this fee for failed delivery attempts.
Reweigh and Inspection Fee — Also called a weight correction fee, this charge is assessed when carriers believe there is a weight discrepancy with a shipment. They charge this fee to reweigh and re-inspect the cargo if there is an error.