Accessorial charges have a negative connotation in the logistics world, especially when it comes to the final mile. These charges are “add-ons” or “accessories” to the standard delivery charge, typically for something that requires additional service or work by the carrier.
Think of it as purchasing a meal from a restaurant and then “value sizing” it – you’re going to pay extra for the additional food provided. Except, you didn’t realize you “value-sized” it until after you ate the meal, and now the restaurant wants you to pay the extra charge — hence the possibly negative feelings.
Like many other things in the final mile, what requires an accessorial charge and what that charge should be lacks standardization among carriers. Don’t let fear of accessorial expense keep you from pursuing a final mile footprint with regional and local final mile carriers, though.
Learning the types of accessorials and how to address them with your final mile carriers can help keep these surprise charges away.
Types of Accessorials
While this is not a complete list of accessorials, the list below covers many of the most commonly seen in the final mile. You should speak with your carriers about your specific delivery needs to address the charges that apply to you.
- Liftgate: Trucks with liftgates are commonly used for deliveries where there is no dock, particularly residential final mile deliveries. This fee, typically for heavier deliveries, results from carriers having to utilize the liftgate on their trucks or other specialized equipment.
- Re-delivery: If a carrier is unable to complete a delivery on the first try, and has to make the time and effort to attempt the delivery a second time, you will likely be charged for it.
- Layover/Storage: Orders that have to remain in the carrier’s warehouse or facilities for a period of time before being delivered may accrue a fee for occupying that space.
- White Glove: Final mile deliveries with additional features such as delivery over the threshold or to a specific room may cost extra. White glove deliveries with drayage removal can also incur charges.
- Additional Men: The cost for a carrier to employ two or more men to complete a delivery instead of one will be passed on to you, the shipper, in the form of an accessorial charge. Additional hands may be needed to make deliveries of a certain size or for expertise needed if there is assembly or installation required.
- Stairs: If a driver has to transport a large piece of furniture or other delivery item up flights of stairs, it could result in an additional fee.
- Oversized: Additional effort to store, move and deliver an unexpectedly oversized package can be charged back to you.
- Hazardous: Extra care must be taken with hazardous deliveries, including special licenses or certifications and tight time frames. The knowledge and “extras” required can be charged to you, the shipper.
Accessorials aren’t an Afterthought
If you leave accessorials undiscussed, they can become a surprise charge after a delivery is made. This can disrupt your accounting and cause your expected last mile delivery costs to soar.
Utilize initial contract negotiations with your carriers to communicate about what kind of deliveries and equipment are expected. Be as detailed as possible about the service levels required, so your carrier can adequately quote your pricing. Ask questions about accessorials to ensure you won’t be incurring them after the fact.
Communication is Key
Data communication, that is.
Ensure you are submitting accurate information about the order, such as dimensions, weight, and job requirements. And upon submitting each order, allow the opportunity for a proper quote to be generated.
Your data should be delivered in real time between your operational system and your carriers’ system to protect information accuracy. Portals or lack of carrier systems can result in inaccurate or delayed information.
Visibility can also alert you to unexpected accessorials, before they hit. Know if a package was not delivered, multiple communication attempts, and other other accessorial-inducing events as they occur. Keep track of these in your reporting or business intelligence platform to gauge what charges are coming.
Your delivery data should also be stored, and reviewed later to help argue against any accessorials you were unfairly charged.
Final Mile Confidence
Have confidence in your final mile and your final mile charges by addressing accessorials proactively. Knowing what kinds of accessorials you may incur, communicating with your carriers, and having data integrations in place can all help keep unexpected final mile charges to a minimum.
eTrac is here to help provide the tools you need to proceed confidently in the final mile. We take the hassle out of integration and keep data flowing seamlessly between you and your carriers existing operational systems.
Request a demo today to learn more.