Understanding added freight bill charges: Limited access locations

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Understanding Added Freight Bill Charges: Limited Access Locations

If you ship LTL freight often, you are probably familiar with rebills. rebills occur when there are inconsistencies between the information provided by the shipper and what the carrier reports during the actual transportation of the goods. Because LTL shipping is complex and requires precise organization and scheduling to avoid wasting time and money, rebills are a fairly common occurrence in the LTL industry. However, with the freight shipping market as congested as it is and rates as high as they are, shippers are already spending extra time and effort to develop shipping strategies to maximize efficiency, and any additional charges can make a big difference to a shipping budget.

One of the most common rebills in LTL freight is the charge for limited access locations. Today, we will be looking at limited access locations to better understand what they are, what sites are subject to limited access rebills, and how limited access location charges can be avoided on future shipments.

What are Limited Access Charges?

Limited access charges were created to compensate LTL carriers for additional time spent at a pickup or delivery location or additional equipment or procedures required to make a pickup or delivery due to its location. A location may be defined as limited access if it meets any of the following conditions:

  • A location is not open to the public during regular business hours – These locations may require a driver to meet a specific delivery window or wait to be given access to a pickup or delivery site, resulting in scheduling constrictions or delays.
  • A location does not have personnel available to assist with the loading or unloading of a shipment – These locations may require a driver to load or unload a shipment by themselves, resulting in extra time spent at the site, which can delay other pickups and deliveries.
  • A location does not provide access to a loading dock or similar platform – These locations may require additional equipment such as a liftgate or forklift to perform the pickup or delivery.
  • A location where security protocols may delay the pickup or delivery of a shipment – These locations may require drivers to go through time-consuming security procedures or provide specific documentation in order to access them, delaying operations.
  • A location is remote or takes the driver far off their normal route – These locations may be rural or located far away from commercial centers where the majority of businesses are clustered, forcing drivers to go out of their way to make a pickup or delivery and resulting in delays for the other shipments on the trailer.
  • A location is too small to accommodate a full-sized truck – These locations may be too small for a full-sized 53-foot trailer to maneuver, increasing the risk of an accident or forcing the carrier to send a smaller truck and reducing the number of pickups or deliveries the driver can make on one haul.
  • A location is congested and takes longer to service – These locations may be difficult to access due to congestion in or around the business, forcing drivers to wait in order to perform a pickup or delivery.


What Locations are Considered Limited Access?

While any location that fits the descriptions above can potentially qualify, what constitutes a limited access location and what charges are associated with it will vary based on the specific carrier. However, here is a list of common commercial and non-commercial locations that may be considered limited access: 

  • Schools, colleges, and universities (without a loading dock)
  • Churches, synagogues, temples, convents, and mosques
  • Storage units
  • Campgrounds, carnivals, amusement parks, and fairs
  • Golf courses and country clubs
  • Hotels, motels, and restaurants
  • Parks, farms, ranches, and other rural locations
  • Military bases, power plants, courthouses, and prisons


How Can You Avoid Limited Access Rebills?

Unfortunately, most of the time, limited access rebills are unavoidable. LTL carriers are not likely to waive these charges because they are meant to cover tangible costs incurred by the carrier during the course of a pickup or delivery. Instead of disputing rebill charges after the invoice has been adjusted and billed to you, the best way to avoid unnecessary rebills or unexpected surcharges is to communicate the details regarding a pickup or delivery location to the carrier up front before receiving a quote. Sometimes carriers that frequent certain locations that may typically be considered limited access have negotiated a deal to waive the rebill fee because they go there so often. If you are a shipper that will be shipping to or from a limited access location repeatedly with the same carrier, you may be able to negotiate this kind of discount upfront.

The best way to prevent an unexpected rebill or work out a deal with a carrier to avoid a limited access location charge is to work with a knowledgeable 3PL like Koho. The shipping experts at Koho can leverage the relationships they have cultivated with their network of trusted LTL carriers to help you get the best deal for your shipping situation.

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