Loadsmart Resource Center

What is an Accessorial Charge?

As we addressed last week, there are many factors that influence the cost of shipping a full truckload. While you may not run into inclement weather or a high-demand route, chances are you will encounter a little thing called an accessorial charge. Accessorials are charged by carriers to offset costs incurred by services that go beyond standard pickup and delivery. There are many potential accessorial charges, but here are some of the most common, explained.

Accessorial Charge for Fuel

A fuel surcharge is the most common accessorial fee to show up on bills. Around 93% of companies add on a fuel surcharge to help displace the fuel burden from the carrier.

Tolls, Ports and Airports

As we have said before, where you are going and where you are coming from plays a huge role in freight cost. Carriers add any toll charges to the bill, so the more toll roads a truck has to take, the more you will be charged. It’s also standard to charge for pick-ups and drop-offs at airports and ports due to the extra time required to get in and out. Companies have also been known to charge for having to drive through congested areas such as New York CIty or Miami.

Equipment and Handling Charges

When your shipment requires special equipment or personnel, there will almost always be an accessorial charge. For instances, if warehouse employees or the driver have to  load or unload the shipment, there will be Lumper and Load/Unload charges. There are also charges for carrying equipment such as tarps, pallet jacks and lift gates that ensure your shipment is protected during transit and delivered safely.

Detention, Layovers, and Stop-offs

These are the accessorials that are most avoidable. If a driver is kept waiting at the pickup or delivery location for more than two hours, there will be a fee. Even worse, if a driver is kept waiting overnight (due to a misbooking of appointments or similar) there will be a significant fee involved. If you want to keep your costs down, try to make sure all pickups and deliveries are at the same location, as there is almost always a fee for additional stop-offs. Remember, the more time you can save for the driver, the more you can save on your truckload shipping.


Accessorial Charges: The Takeaway

Accessorial charges are not always a bad thing. Often they are simply payments for extra services necessary to get your freight moved to its final destination. On the other hand, some accessorials are charges that could be avoided by doing the following: double-check pickup and delivery appointments, make sure warehouses are loading and unloading trucks on time,  and maintain clear and open communication with your carrier. Here at Loadsmart we provide a platform that allows you to actively track your shipment and communicate with dispatchers to make sure the whole process goes smoothly. Our Instant Quote Calculator also includes a feature that allows you to factor in any expected accessorials, providing you with a realistic quote. 

Subscribe by email