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How to Avoid Five Surprise LTL Freight Shipping Fees


How often do you stop and completely read all the fine print on a contract? What about your PODs? When you are busy or in a hurry, it is easy to quickly scan it, sign it, and move on to your next task. Carriers may have a different format to their POD. This could make it confusing to see where extra services have been checked off that you haven’t specified. Your POD is one document that you and your consignee should always stop and read through completely.

Here are five surprise charges you and your consignee need to look for on your POD and question before signing:

1. Residential or Limited Access

The carrier has discretion in determining whether the consignee’s address is located in a residential area. This can happen if the consignees run their businesses from their homes or if the businesses are located in or near a residential area.

2. Lift Gate

Large loads cannot simply be unloaded by a driver or customer. If the delivery destination does not have a loading dock, lift gate service will be needed., espcially for shipments weighing over 100 lbs. A lift gate is a hydraulic lift on the back of the truck that is used to unload freight, including palletized shipments.

3. Inside Delivery

This extra charge can be a little tricky because you could see this checked off even if the truck driver does not bring your freight “inside.” You could be charged for inside delivery if the driver helps move the delivery more than five feet from the truck.

4. Detention

Most LTL carriers will give you a grace period of 10 minutes after the driver arrives. But if you keep the driver waiting or it takes him more than 10 minutes to unload, you could be charged for any time over that 10 minutes.

5. Sort/Segregate

Check with your customers to find out if their deliveries will need to be sorted and segregated upon delivery. This is a common practice with distribution centers and grocery stores and goes beyond the normal duties of the driver.

Be Proactive to Avoid Surprise Charges

Make sure that your consignees understand the processes with their freight delivery. If they sign the POD without questioning any extra charges, you may be the one stuck paying them. Remind your customers to check their deliveries for any signs of possible damage, including concealed damage that should be noted on the POD before signing it.

Do your due diligence by confirming if:

A liftgate will be needed if a loading dock is not availableThe destination is a residential addressAssistance will be needed to help unload the freight

Was this article helpful in alerting you to surprise LTL fees? Test your knowledge of LTL shipping with our fun shipping quiz!

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