Do you have a loading dock?

This is a question that we genuinely feel can help save shippers hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every year from not having surprise charges added to their shipments. If you just had a flash cringe memory of a charge that got added to one of your shipments for a limited access delivery, or a residential charge than you know exactly what I mean.

Sometimes these charges can be somewhat significant, which is painful. And they can completely eat up your profit margins. Especially on smaller orders. Let’s dive in to learn more.

The carrier IS GOING to add charges without authorization.

That’s the unfornuate reality with LTL Carriers. Operationally, it would be extremely taxing on LTL Carriers to stop and wait for approval every time something additional is needed to make a delivery. It could also result in the carrier not being able to finish all of their pickups or deliveries. Drivers tend to have several stops they have to make every day and it’s important to maximize their time. The nature of LTL Freight is that you agree to pay additional charges as needed to complete a delivery.

Why you should ask if your customer has a loading dock.

This is a great way to determine if there may be additional accessorials required. If a business has a loading dock, it can be assumed that whoever built the building made sure there was plenty of room for a tractor-trailer to fit and back up to the dock. It would indicate the location is made in part in the activity of loading and unloading trucks. These types of building are almost always located in an industrial area or at a location that is suitable for larger vehicle traffic. If there is a loading dock at delivery, it’s very unlikely to require additional services to complete delivery.

What if your customer says no?

Well, now it’s time to start asking some questions to help determine what will be required for delivery. In a few short moments you can determine exactly what kind of delivery you are making and save yourself from those annoying additional charges.

Let’s have a look at some of the additional charges we see most often on LTL deliveries.

Residential Delivery

Many businesses are ran out of their homes. Receivers will say things like “It’s a business delivery”. Let me help sort this out in as simple of terms as possible. If someone builds a tiny home and puts that thing out in front of a massive Amazon Fulfillment center, it won’t matter if there are 100 docks, that’s a residential delivery.

We’ve seen it all. Receivers that have their driveway expanded, receivers that have a massive parking lot installed on their property, customers that do both and get a mobile dock. It doesn’t matter. If there is a house, than it’s residential pickup/delivery and the customer is going to add the charge on.

Some tips to determine if the delivery is residential:
Ask your customer directly. “Is this a residence?”, “Is this a house?”, etc.
Do a quick google search and see if any links pop up for Zillow or This is a major indicator.

If you determine that you are delivering to a residence, the next important question is whether or not they need a lift gate. Please don’t let your impression of the size and weight of your delivery be the deciding factor. If the consignee asks for a lift gate, they are going to get it and the charges will be sent to the original billing party.