What is a Freight Accessorial?


Accessorial Definition


The definition of an accessorial in relation to freight is “a charge for any freight service that goes beyond traditional dock-to-dock transportation.” For example, an accessorial fee will be charged if the use of a forklift or liftgate is required at pick up or delivery when a loading dock is not present. Other common fees include residential delivery, sorting, and inside delivery, to name a few.


Accessorial charges for shipping are added to your freight bill upfront as long as you are transparent with your quote. Failing to inform your carrier that a liftgate or some other sort of special service is required will result in being billed post-delivery. To avoid any surprise charges, be sure to consult with all parties involved to understand what LTL services need to be booked.

Reasons for Accessorial Freight Charges


There are many reasons why carrier accessorial fees might be charged; however, there are three main categories to consider: equipment use, transit fees, and administrative reasons. Below you will find more information about these types of charges.


  • Equipment: If a shipment requires additional equipment and it was not marked on the BOL, you will be charged extra fees. An example of this would be if a liftgate was used at a location without a loading dock.
  • In Transit: In transit fees typically apply when a carrier needs to redeliver due to an error on your part. For example, carriers will only wait so long at a location to make a delivery. After a certain period of time, they will apply freight detention fees.
  • Administrative: Admin assessorial charges stem from errors with the bill of lading post-pickup. These mistakes and fees can be avoided by triple-checking your shipping documents for accuracy.


These are just a few of the main reasons for receiving additional LTL fees post-booking. Consult with your carrier if you have any specific questions regarding any unexpected charges. Or, if you’ve booked with uShip, give us a call, and we can do the investigating for you. It’s one of the many beneficial reasons to ship LTL freight with us.

Types of Accessorial Services


There are several types of accessorial services, and they are either charged as a flat fee or by the time it takes to complete the service. The problem is with accessorials is that they can sometimes be unexpectedly added and cause problems for your business. For that reason, it’s important to know the common types of additional services available.


Accessorial Definition
Liftgate Service Traditional commercial trucks are designed to load and unload via docks. Addresses where no loading docks are available, liftgates are required. A liftgate is a special platform attached to the back of a truck that can raise and lower freight to and from the trailer. In place of a liftgate, you can use a forklift to avoid an additional fee.
Reclassification and Reweigh LTL base rates are contingent on shipment weight, freight classification, and dimensions. If your provided measurements are off, the carrier will need essentially redo your order. Reason being that dimensions and weight are tied to how a truck driver loads the freight. Any disruptions can cause added word that results in less efficiency.
Residential Pickup/Delivery
Delivering or picking up freight in a residential neighborhood (home delivery) differs from a commercial building or office. Navigating smaller streets and tight corners is a challenge and costs extra.
LayoverIf for whatever reason, a truck is unable to deliver or make the pickup due to an error on your end, they will charge you a fee. Layovers cause massive delays and can eat up a day’s productivity.
RedeliveryA redelivery fee is charged when the carrier needs to redeliver your freight due to a problem on the receiver’s end.
Truck Ordered Not Used (TONU) If you order a truck and it shows up and isn’t given freight, you will be charged a dry run fee or TONU fee.
Diversion Miles
If a driver is told they need to go to another location to pick up or deliver goods to a customer, you’ll be charged a diversion miles fee for fuel and lost time.
Additional Stops
Additional stops mean that a driver must stop at multiple locations to complete a delivery or make a pickup.
Advance Notification
Advance notification occurs when a shipper or receiver of freight requests notification before making the delivery.
If the truck driver is requested to load or unload the freight per the receiver, this is outside of everyday job responsibilities; thus, a lumper fee is charged. Typically, a driver will only place the freight on the dock. A lumper fee is accessed when the unloading of the freight exceeds typical dock delivery services.
Hazardous Materials
If the freight is considered hazardous per the Department of Transportation (DOT), it must be appropriately marked and documented. Freight carriers charge for the added paperwork and additional risk.
After-hour Deliveries
If a facility requires delivery outside of regular business hours, carriers will charge for additional time and effort.
If a driver is required to break up the contents of a pallet or crate upon delivery, you’ll be charged this fee.
If a carrier is delayed at pickup or delivery for any reason, detention charges usually will apply. Detention charges commonly occur at pickup while the driver waits for the freight to be loaded.
Inside Delivery Additional equipment is required when a shipment needs to be taken inside a house or further into a warehouse. You’ll be charged for a pallet jack or forklift service.
Overlength Charge When a shipment takes up more space than a pallet or crate, carriers must plan loads accordingly to accommodate the shipment. Typically, this fee is accessed when the freight exceeds 12 feet in length or width.
Limited accessA limited access fee will be charged whenever a carrier experiences a challenge delivering or picking up freight. Limited access could be government facilities, prisons, hospitals, schools, or any non-traditional dock-to-dock location.

Avoid Accessorial Charges with uShip


Unexpected charges are annoying and can slow down a business’ shipping operations. At uShip, we are committed to offering our customers the best possible solution to help with avoiding accessorial charges by offering upfront education, rebill audits, and proactive disputes.


If you have any questions about what LTL services you need for your business, please contact us to discuss your options. We can assist you with determining the best solution for your freight so that you can reduce the risk of unwanted fees.


We also offer rebill audits on all shipments booked through uShip. If we see something that looks suspicious, we will reach out to you for confirmation. If we determine that any charges aren’t applicable to your shipment, we will automatically reach out to your carrier and dispute the charges on your behalf.

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