ParcelPath Logo
accessorial charges

Accessorial Charges: What They Are and How They Affect Your Shipping Costs

Shipping comes with more than just the basic rates. There are extra fees known as accessorial charges. They can really bump up your shipping costs. It’s important for businesses to know about these charges and how to deal with them. This article dives into the various kinds of accessorial charges, who pays for them, and ways to lower your shipping bill.

Carriers put on accessorial charges for special services or extras. These include things like early notifications, more delivery stops, or handling dangerous goods. Knowing about these extra costs and how they relate to your shipping can help save money. It’s key to keep these charges in mind to control your overall shipping spending.

What are Accessorial Charges?

Definition and Overview

Accessorial charges are extra fees that freight carriers add for special services. These definition of accessorial charges come into play when more labor, equipment, time, or fuel are needed. They are listed in carriers’ fee schedules and rules, mainly for less-than-truckload shipments. Yet, they can also apply to small parcel, full truckload, and intermodal shipments.

Reasons for Accessorial Charges

Reasons for accessorial charges are for things like special handling or using extra equipment. For example, shipments might need a lift gate if a place doesn’t have a dock. Layover fees happen if load or unload times are late. Detention fees are for times a driver has to wait too long to unload. Liftgate charges are for helping unload in places without proper equipment. It’s key for businesses to know about these fees to better control their shipping costs.

Types of Accessorial Charges

Accessorial charges vary for different ways of moving goods. Knowing the types of accessorial charges and how they affect accessorial charges by transportation mode is key. It helps businesses control their shipping expenses well.

All Freight Transportation Modes

All freight methods have extra charges. These might be for telling in advance, making extra stops, fuel fees, putting inside, using a liftgate, or keeping things safe. Businesses often face these types of accessorial charges no matter how they move their freight.

Truckload Transportation

Truckload (TL) shipping adds its own set of accessorial charges by transportation mode. It might be for waiting too long, needing help to load or unload, or having to drop off again. These costs come up when there are delays or special needs at places of picking up or dropping off.


Intermodal shipping has its special accessorial charges by transportation mode. This can be for using special vehicles, paying when keeping containers too long, daily use fees, or checking the weight. Such fees relate to the unique handling of freight across different means of transport.


Less-than-truckload (LTL) cargo brings its set of types of accessorial charges. This includes fees for large or long shipments, changing the item type, reweighing it, or organizing it in a specific way. Handling smaller amounts of freight comes with its own complexity costs.

Getting a grip on accessorial charges and how they work in various ways of shipping is crucial. It helps companies fine-tune their shipping plans. This way, they can avoid surprise expenses.

Who Pays for Accessorial Charges?

Who pays extra charges can change by how a business works. Some companies make customers pay shipping extra costs after the delivery. Others pay these charges up front to give the best buy experience. The receiver of the goods is often the one asked to pay for these extra carrier fees.

Extra costs on shipping can really add up. So, businesses need to know who should pay for these extra shipping charges. They should work out deals with carriers, use tech tools, and make sure all the shipping information is correct. Doing this helps cut down on these extra costs and makes their shipping better.

Handling extra shipping charges better needs everyone to work together. This means shippers, carriers, and logistics folks talk a lot. They also use data in real time and come up with ways to do things better. This way, they see more clearly where they can save money and do shipping more efficiently.

Common Types of Accessorial Charges for Parcel Shipments

When you ship parcels, you might encounter parcel accessorial fees. These are extra charges that can add up quickly. It’s important to know about them to control your shipping costs.

Address Correction

Provide the right address when shipping. If it’s wrong, you could face an extra fee for finding the correct spot.

Additional Handling

Big, heavy, or special parcels need more care. This care costs more money. Be ready for these extra fees.

Collect on Delivery (C.O.D.)

If a customer pays when they get the package, a C.O.D. fee might apply. This covers the costs of secure payment collection.

Chargeback for Consignee Billing Shipments

If the person getting the package pays for the shipping, a chargeback fee might show up. It helps the carrier cover their extra billing work.

Delivery Confirmation Signature Required

Getting a signature upon delivery makes sure the package arrived safely. But, it might cost you extra with the carrier.

Accessorial Charges and Their Impact on Shipping Costs

Understanding the Cost Implications

Extra shipping costs like accessorial charges are a big deal for businesses. In 2022, almost half of shoppers said these extra fees made them leave their shopping carts. Charges like address corrections, extra handling, and residential surcharges can increase cost fast. This can lower profits if not managed well.

Strategies for Minimizing Accessorial Charges

To lower how much accessorial charges hurt, businesses can do several things. It’s important to know what fees carriers might add, such as for wrong addresses or handling. Giving carriers the right info up front and using good communication can help. Also, using transportation management systems (TMS) can cut down on these costs.

Taking action before problems arise is key. Businesses can lower their shipping costs and run more smoothly by doing a few things. This includes making things automatic, working on better rates with carriers, and improving the last-mile delivery.

Avoiding Unplanned Accessorial Fees

To avoid accessorial charges and unexpected fees, businesses need to plan ahead. They can use smart methods and technology to cut down on extra costs. This way, they can make their shipping spending work better.

Accurate Shipment Details

It’s key to give carriers the right shipment details to dodge accessorial charges. Make sure the weight, size, and how it should be handled are clear. This stops charges for re-weighing or for getting to hard-to-reach places. Updating your shipping info often keeps it correct.

Communication with Carriers

It’s important to talk openly with carriers to avoid accessorial charges. Learning their rules, discussing the prices, and knowing what adds extra costs helps. Working closely with carriers can lower these unexpected fees.

Leveraging Technology and Automation

Using technology is great for steering clear of surprise fees. Tools like transportation management systems (TMS) show important shipping info. They help companies spot and tackle possible extra costs early. Also, automatic audits and checks on bills catch wrong fees before paying.

Carrier Policies and Accessorial Charges

When we talk about carrier policies on accessorial charges, it’s key to know that they differ. Each company has its own rules and costs for extra services. It’s vital to know these to lower your shipping costs.

Variations Across Carriers

Extra fees can change a lot between carriers, even for the same job. One might ask for $50 for a wrong address, while another wants $75. Detention costs could be $25 an hour for some, but $100 for others. Shippers need to check each carrier’s rules and prices to avoid surprises.

Negotiating Accessorial Rates

If you’re smart, you can talk down accessorial rates with your carrier. This could mean asking for discounts, skipping some fees, or getting extras for free. Good negotiating means knowing the carrier’s prices and your own shipping needs well. Working together can help you get better rates and control your costs.

Accessorial Charges and Last-Mile Delivery

Businesses are working hard to offer quick and easy delivery. This push has made accessorial charges more common in last-mile delivery. These extra fees can significantly raise overall shipping costs. So, it’s key for shippers to know and handle them well.

Residential Surcharges

The residential surcharge is a big deal in last-mile delivery. It’s a fee for delivering to homes, not businesses. Since home deliveries often need more time and special care, costs go up. Shippers need to remember this extra cost when planning their shipping budget.

Limited Access Fees

The limited access fee is another important charge. Sometimes, deliveries go to hard-to-reach places like gated communities or busy cities. The carrier has to put in more time and work to get there. This means a higher cost for shippers.

Knowing about accessorial charges for last-mile delivery helps businesses plan better. This includes understanding residential surcharges and limited access fees. By managing these costs, companies can boost their profit. They can also make shipping more clear and affordable for customers.

Managing Accessorial Charges with a TMS

In the world of freight transportation, handling accessorial charges is key to cutting shipping costs. Luckily, a transportation management system (TMS) is a big help. It automates tasks, gives clear views, and offers advanced ways to settle freight bills. This makes it easier for companies to keep their accessorial fees in check.

Automation and Visibility

A top-notch TMS can deal with a lot of the job of managing accessorial charges. It covers everything from setting up specific fees to using the right charges when booking. Shippers can steer clear of surprise charges with this automation. Plus, a TMS lets users watch and check these fees as they happen.

Rate Management

To handle accessorial charges with a TMS, you need good rates for carrier and hub fees. A TMS lets you easily set up and keep these rates accurate. This means all the charges are right for every shipment. It makes it simpler for businesses to plan and watch for these fees, cutting down on unexpected costs.

Freight Settlement and Audit

A TMS doesn’t just set rates. It can also smooth out how you pay and check accessorial charges. This part helps catch and fix any wrongly charged fees. This fine-tunes your shipping budget.

With a TMS, handling accessorial charges becomes more efficient. It lowers surprise fees and boosts control over shipping costs. It’s a strategic way to save money and make supply chains run better.


Extra charges can greatly increase the shipping cost. It’s crucial for businesses to know about them. By giving correct shipping details and talking clearly with carriers, companies can cut down on these costs.

Using tools like a transportation management system also helps. This tech can lower your shipping charges. Knowing about extra fees is key to handling supply chain and logistics well.

ParcelPath’s shipping services are great for small businesses and people shipping things. By working with ParcelPath, you can get lower prices. This improves your business and shipping process.

To wrap, managing extra fees is vital to saving on shipping. With the right steps and tools, you can deal with these charges. This makes your supply chain and logistics work better.

Contact us

Recent posts