Accessorial Charges: What You Should Know

Quick Guide to Accessorial Charges

Shipping LTL should be easy, right? Most of the time, you can get online with one of those easy-to-use digital brokers and book your LTL freight in a few minutes. You don’t have to talk to a real-live person, answer a bunch of questions, or waste a lot of time. Plus, you’re getting an awesome rate.

Or are you?

If you’re shipping LTL, you’ve probably experienced a little sticker shock when that low rate you were quoted was nowhere to be found on the actual invoice. Here’s what happened–you were hit with accessorial charges.


What is an accessorial charge?

Accessorial charges are additional charges for freight duties beyond normal pickup and delivery often associated with shipping LTL.


Here are a five common accessorial charges you might see on your invoice:


  • Lift Gate:  If the shipping or receiving address does not have a loading dock, manual loading or unloading will be required. Often this necessitates the use of a lift gate–a mechanized platform that can raise or lower a shipment. If your shipment requires a lift gate, you will be charged an additional fee.


  • Reweigh and Reclassification:  If you’re estimating weight or dimensions, if you’re not sure about freight class and don’t have the correct NMFC code, you’ll be charged if a carrier has to reweigh or reclassify. 


  • Residential Delivery: If your business, or the business you are shipping to, is located in a residential area, the carrier could charge an extra fee to navigate non-business areas.


  • Inside Delivery: If the driver is required to enter the building to pick up or deliver your freight, you will be charged additional fees.


  • Detention: If your driver is held up during the pickup or delivery of your shipment over their allotted time (typically 2 hours), you will be assessed an additional charge.


These accessorial charges can turn that quoted low rate into a budget buster. Knowing what accessorial charges are is your best bet for avoiding them altogether. But things like freight class and NMFC numbers can be tricky. When you work with a broker like AM Transport Services, we make sure you don’t have to worry about extra charges by giving you a reliable, accurate rate to begin with–a rate that includes the correct freight class and takes into account other special services you may need.


Lower Your LTL Shipping Costs

In addition, we offer a risk-free assessment of your LTL spending. With a month’s worth of LTL invoices, we can run a no-cost, no-obligation assessment to find out just how much money we can save you. And if your LTL shipping process is already optimized, we’ll make sure you know that too.

Don’t waste any more time and money on LTL. Give us a call today. We’ll make sure you’re getting the most bang for your hard-earned buck.