Some trucking companies will quote you a rate to move your product but when you get the bill it’s significantly higher than the originally quoted rate. More often than not, that will be due to what we call in the logistics industry “accessorial charges”. At First Call Trucking & Courier, we aim to be transparent so there are no hidden fee’s or “accessorial charges” to surprise you after the fact. Below I list my top ten accessorial charges, what they mean, and how much you can expect to pay for them.

Liftgate Fee: A lift-gate (also called a tail-lift) is a mechanical device permanently fitted to the back of a truck that is designed to facilitate the materials handling of goods from ground level or a loading dock to the level of the load bed of the vehicle, or vice versa. It looks something like this:
If you have a delivery picking up from or delivering to a residence, a lift-gate will definitely be needed. Similarly, if you’re delivering to a business without a loading dock or a forklift, liftgate use will be required. Standard lift gate use among carriers in the Boston area is typically $50. If someone tries to charge you much more than that, it might be time to shop around for another carrier.

1) Inside Delivery Charges: If your freight has to brought further than a business’s loading dock then you will likely have to pay an “inside delivery” fee. This type of fee would be assessed if freight has to be brought inside a home, inside an office building, up any stairs, or even up an elevator (freight or passenger). Inside delivery charges vary based on what is required which is why it’s important to let the carrier know exactly where you expect them to drop the freight in order to get an accurate quote.
2) Detention/Loading/Offloading Charges: Typically a carrier will give you a certain amount of free time for loading and offloading before charges are assessed. This depends on the carrier, the truck size, and the job specifics. At a minimum, you should be getting at least 15 minutes of free loading and offloading. Most carriers will not give more than an hour of free time. Charges vary between $60/hr and $100/hr thereafter.
3) Fuel Surcharge: Fuel surcharge is a charge that is calculated, usually as a percentage of the total, and varies based on the average cost of fuel. Our current fuel surcharge as of May 2015 is 22% for our standard size box trucks.
4) Second Man Driver’s Helper: If a second man, or what’s also known as a ” driver’s helper” is needed to help load or unload the truck or complete an inside delivery, a fee will likely be added for this service. Typically, to add a driver’s helper is going to cost you around $25/hr with a four hour minimum charge.
5) Tolls: This one is pretty self-explanatory but is not always included in the price quoted. Make sure you ask if additional toll charges will apply and if so, how much they will be.
6) Uncrating/Debris Removal: If freight has to be broken down from a pallet, or uncrated, there may be an “uncrating” fee assessed. This will vary based on how extensive the work is. Additionally, if the empty crate then has to be removed, there will likely be a fee associated for its disposal.
7) After Hours Pick/Delivery: If freight has to be picked up before 7am or after 6pm on a weekday, you might be assessed an “after hours” charge. Likewise for all day Saturday or Sunday. Rates vary, and can be anywhere from $25 to $100 or more.
8) Storage: Do you need your freight picked up and held overnight, or for a few days; if so, make sure you ask about storage charges. Storage can vary widely from $5/skid to $25/skid; it may also be complimentary if it’s only for a short period of time.
9) Residential Delivery: If your freight is being delivered to a residential as opposed to a commercial location, there could be a “residential delivery fee” assessed over and above the basic delivery fee. Make sure when booking your freight you are clear on whether or not a residential delivery is needed.
10) Hospital/University Delivery: Hospitals and college campuses are notoriously difficult to deliver to, as such, an accessorial fee may be assessed for delivery to such a location. Just be sure to ask ahead of time if you have freight going to one of these locations.
For further information on accessorial fee’s or a free (and transparent) shipping rate, please contact us: 800-HAS-SKID!