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Understanding Shipping surcharges Commercial VS Home delivery Liftgate fee Signatures

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  • Understanding Shipping surcharges Commercial VS Home delivery Liftgate fee Signatures

    I would like to try to clarify some shipping rules:
    To begin with UPS and FedEx only like to ship boxes up to 75 lbs to a home address. If you run your business out of your home it is still a home. UPS and Fedex can ship item up to 150 lbs to a commercial business district. Home delivery automatically cost about $5 more than commercial shipping. Both UPS and FedEx have size limitations too on how large a box can be as well as charge dimensional weight. Dimensional weight is means that if the length or the combination of the length, width, and depth of the box reach a certain size, they automatically bill for a heavy package. Example if I have a box that is 24" x 24" x 24" they might charge a minimum weight fee of 35 lbs even it the item is only 10 lbs. Special handling can also be charged for items that UPS and FedEx will not place on a conveyor belt. Example 5 gallon buckets of chemicals, tires, etc all have special handling fees that cost $10+...
    Insurance cost between 1 and 2% if the value of the item. So a super small lightweight box with a $5,000 value might still cost an extra $50 to $100 on top of the shipping fees.
    We have lots of factories that do not want to double box light weight item. Take for example the Ermator 1300 pre-separator only weighs 31 lbs but instead of double boxing and adding foam and bubble wrap that might cost the factory an extra $20 in packaging, they require that this item be shipped on a skid / pallet and ship truckline. This is going to automatically drive the shipping cost to almost $200+. This is a very common problem with most factories. They figure why should they spend the extra $20 in packaging instead so the item will ship for $50, instead they would rather save the $20 and let the customer get hit with a $200 shipping bill. We see this with dehumidifiers, carpet cleaning machine, wet/dry vacs / hepa units and many other items that can easily have the packaging designed so they can ship ground but the factory just refused to design the correct box.

    Shipping on a truck using a pallet or skid is much safer as the trucking companies move the pallets by forklifts instead of by hand or conveyor belt. They do expect to they should not have to call, and you have the ability to unload the skid when they open the door. All trucking companies charge extra for limited access fees. This means is it a home, does someone sleep on site? It does not matter that you run your business out of your home, it is still a home and will have a delivery surcharge for limited access and driver risk.

    Here is a list of other types of deliveries that will have a limited access or residential fee:
    Any location that someone could sleep at including apartment complexes as well as:
    Schools, colleges, and universities without a loading dock.
    Medical and urgent care sites without a dock.
    Camps, carnivals, fairs and amusements parts. Example I once had to make a delivery to Seaworld and they took up over an extra hour of my day just to get through the security gate.
    Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and convents. Again usually someone lives on site and usually waste the time of the delivery driver locating the correct person to give the delivery to and no loading dock so surcharges apply.
    Hotels, motels, and retirement homes. The freight companies use the someone is sleeping on site rule to apply surcharges.
    Mines, quarries and oil fields.
    Parks, farms, ranches and indian reservations.
    Construction sites, Convents, Country Clubs, Estates, Golf Courses, Farms, Marinas, Military Bases, Mini-storage warehouses, nursing homes, prisons, rectory or schools, yacht clubs.
    Military bases and installations. Again I once was making a delivery on Ft Sam Houston Army base and it took them over an hour to let me on base to make the delivery. Surcharges are to apply.
    Golf courses and country clubs.
    All the above examples of limited access fee can be an extra $40 to $80 more on top of the shipping charges.

    It is your responsibility to unload the truck. If you do not have a forklift on site, surcharges apply as the trucking companies does not want you to unload the truck and get hurt and then sue them for getting hurt. They have to take a special truck to make the delivery that already has a liftgate on the back. Many companies charge $85 surcharge for using a liftgate truck.
    Please note the trucking company is going to just show up sometime between M-F between 8 and 5. If you are not ready to receive the goods, to come back later is usually a $125 fine. Much cheaper to pay a $40 pre phone call fee to set up a day and time with the delivery company. Delivery is street delivery. In other words if you ask the driver to place the item in the garage, this is inside delivery and usually cost about $100 more and most trucking companies will not offer inside delivery at homes. It is super important that you set up the correct delivery environment the first time to avoid the fees and surcharges.

    Density based truck shipping: In the trucking world of moving pallets the lighter and less dense an item is the more per pound they charge. For example a fresh water tank cost way more to ship per pound than a vacuum pump for a truckmount. I figure these formulas have to do with the amount of space the pallets take up in the truck. The trucks to be profitable must use every cubic inch of space and bill for each cubic inch. So I have a hose reel, or empty water tank that is 200 lbs and is 60" L X 40" W X 50" H cost way more to ship than a truckmount vacuum pump that is 300 lbs that ships on a pallet that is 24 X 24 X 24"

    The total weight not the net weight. This means that the weight is calculated on the items in the boxes, on the pallet. The pallet can weigh 50 lbs.
    Size of the pallet, not the size of the boxes on the pallet. If I ship a truckmount vacuum pump on a pallet that is full size, the trucking company is going to calculate the size at the widest, tallest, and longest points. No from the size of the box. This too drives the prices up.

    Signature issues: Please note when you receive your goods you will have to sign for them. Please note you are not signing that you received the items, rather that you inspected the items and have opened them, and are confirming that they are in perfect condition. Any and all freight damages must be noted on with the signature! You cannot make a shipping claim after the fact. This means you detain the driver and do not let him leave until you have noted all shipping damages. If you let him leave without notating damages and shortages, no shipping claim will be allowed. Please also note that both Fedex and UPS have phone apps that allow you to take control of your packages. This includes signing for them and even redirecting them to another location. If you opt for no signature on delivery, you will not be allowed to make a shipping claim for damages. Usually you will have to email or fax a note with your state issued ID to the shipper stating that you agree to waive your rights to make a shipping claim including any losses or damages. All high value items over $250 will require a signature. This too is not a free service and adds about $5 to the shipping cost.

    Surcharge fees are non refundable. In other words if you pay for liftgate fee the trucking company does not use it, this is non refundable. If you miss an appointment and pick up the item at the dock, all the surcharge fees are non refundable.

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    Last edited by Donald; January 29, 2020, 04:54 PM.