Tips From PartnerShip: Common Freight Accessorial Fees Explained

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PartnerShip®, an American Booksellers Association business service affinity partner, helps member booksellers save on shipments they send and receive. Here, PartnerShip offers an overview of common accessorial fees and how they are incurred. To learn more about all of ABA’s affinity partnerships, visit’s Business Services page.

Additional services required outside of standard shipping and receiving procedures require additional fees called “accessorial fees” to cover the costs incurred by the less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier. Here is a list of common accessorial charges and a brief description of each:

Lift gate service: When the shipping or receiving address does not have a loading dock, manual loading or unloading is necessary. A lift gate is a platform at the back of certain trucks that can raise and lower a shipment between the ground and the truck. Having this feature on trucks requires additional investment by an LTL carrier, hence the additional fee.

Inside Pickup/Inside Delivery: If the driver is required to go inside (beyond the front door or loading dock) to pick up or deliver your shipment, instead of remaining at the dock or truck, additional fees will be charged because of the additional driver time needed for this service.

Residential Service: Carriers define a business zone as a location that opens and closes to the public at set times every day. If you are a business located in a residential zone (among personal homes or dwellings) or are shipping to or from a residence, the carrier may charge an additional residential fee due to the complexity of navigating these non-business areas.

Collect on Delivery (COD): A shipment for which the transportation provider is responsible for collecting the sale price of the goods shipped before delivery. The additional administration required for this type of shipment necessitates an additional fee to cover the carrier’s cost.

Oversized Freight: Shipments containing articles greater than or equal to 12 feet in length. Since these shipments take up more floor space on the trailer, additional fees often apply.

Fuel Surcharge: An extra charge imposed by carriers due to the excessive costs for diesel gas. The charge is a percentage that is normally based upon the U.S. Department of Energy National Average Diesel Fuel Index.

Advance Notification: This is meant to cover the cost of time needed by the carrier to notify the consignee before making a delivery.

Limited Access Pickup or Delivery: This fee covers the additional costs required to make pickups or deliveries at locations with limited access, such as schools, military bases, prisons, or government buildings.

Carriers generally publish a “Rules Tariff 100” document, which provides a list of current accessorial services and fees. PartnerShip representatives are well-versed in these documents and are happy to help with any questions booksellers may have.

About PartnerShip

These tips are brought to you by PartnerShip®, the company that manages the ABA Shipping Program. For more information and to enroll in the free ABA Shipping Program, visit PartnerShip online or call (800) 599-2902.