Common accessorial shipping fees explained

Guest editorial
By Leah Palnik, PartnerShip

This article was published in the October 2019 edition of NTEA News.

Additional services required outside of standard shipping and receiving procedures result in accessorial fees, which cover extra costs incurred by the less than truckload carrier. These make up just one part of your freight costs, but can be challenging to account for since they are often applied after the shipment is delivered. Following is a list of common accessorial charges and descriptions, so you can learn how to plan for and avoid them when possible.

Liftgate service
When the shipping or receiving address does not have a loading dock, manual loading or unloading is necessary. A liftgate is a platform at the back of certain trucks that can raise and lower a shipment from the ground to the vehicle. Having this feature requires additional investment by an LTL carrier, hence the extra fee.

Inside pickup/delivery
If the driver is required to go inside (beyond the front door or loading dock) to pick up or deliver your shipment, instead of remaining at the dock or truck, fees will be charged because of the additional driver time needed for this service.

Residential service
Carriers define a business zone as a location that opens and closes to the public at set times every day. If your company is located in a residential zone (among personal homes or dwellings), or if you’re shipping to or from a residence, the carrier may charge a residential fee due to complexity in navigating these non-business areas.

Collect on delivery (COD)
COD is a shipment for which the transportation provider is responsible for collecting the sale price of the goods shipped before delivery. The added administration required for this type of shipment necessitates an extra fee to cover the carrier’s cost.

Oversized freight
Oversized freight shipments contain articles greater than or equal to 12 feet in length. Since they take up more floor space on the trailer, additional fees often apply.

Fuel surcharge
This is an extra charge imposed by carriers due to excessive costs for diesel gas. The charge is a percentage normally based on U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Diesel Fuel Index.

Advance notification
This fee is charged when the carrier is required to notify the buyer before making a delivery.

Limited access pickup or delivery
This fee covers costs required to make pickups or deliveries at locations with limited access, such as schools, military bases, prisons or government buildings.

Reweigh and reclassification
Since weight and freight class determine shipment base rates, carriers want to make sure bill of lading information is accurate. If the carrier inspects a shipment and it does not match what was listed, they will charge this fee along with the difference.

PartnerShip can help NTEA member companies save on inbound, outbound, small and large shipments through its NTEA Shipping Program, a free member benefit. Call 800-599-2902, email or visit to speak with a specialist or learn more.