LTL shipping can be a convenient and cost-effective way to ship goods. However, this process has many pitfalls and intricate details that often confuse a shipper. One area of LTL shipping that may cause confusion is additional LTL services.
What are additional LTL services?
Additional LTL services are extra services available when the shipper needs them. The caveat is that they come with extra fees. When you ship less-than-truckload (LTL), clear communication between the consignee and the carrier is crucial for a successful delivery. It is very important for the shipper to know how the entire process after the delivery looks. LTL shipping is comparably low-priced, however, it has many additional services that may add up to the final shipping cost. Essentially, the definition of an additional service varies from carrier to carrier. Knowing the very basics of the additional services in LTL help you avoid misunderstandings and money losses.
What are the different types of additional LTL services?
Lift gate service at pickup/delivery
The lift gate is a piece of special equipment at the rear of the truck used to simplify loading and unloading. If you do not need this service, notify your carrier about it since most carriers offer it. A lift gate is needed for almost every residential delivery, but make sure to discuss it before scheduling a shipment.
Inside delivery is when your freight is delivered right to the door of your facility or residence. There are two main types of inside delivery: residential and commercial. It’s a tricky service because many shippers mistakenly assume that the driver will normally leave freight somewhere near the building. This is not always the case. If you don’t request inside delivery, the driver just leaves the shipment at the exact same location where it was unloaded from the truck. Therefore, it is important for you to talk about this detail with your carrier to avoid confusion.
A delivery appointment is the agreed time and date of freight arrival between the shipper and the carrier. This option is common when you ship to a warehouse or facility that has strict delivery schedules.
Limited access shipping
Shippers often think remote areas are something like mountain villages. But the limited access category actually covers a substantial number of locations like private houses, schools, churches, etc. It is important to define your delivery access as “remote” by the carrier if it’s not a usual location a typical carrier delivers to.
Exhibition, or trade show shipping, is a special type of service where freight is delivered to and from a certain location. Most carriers classify trade show shipment with freight class 125 regardless of what you ship.
When a carrier arrives at a delivery address they can wait up to 30 minutes to unload. If they spend more time waiting, they can apply a detention charge to the shipper. So, the next time you schedule a shipment, discuss all the details in advance to avoid this charge.
A basic understanding of additional LTL services and proper communication help you avoid extra fees. It also helps you prepare for a better shipping experience and improve your process each time.