Tips on How to Manage Courier Accessorial Fees

TIPS ON HOW TO MANAGE COURIER ACCESSORIAL FEES DURING THE HOLIDAY MONTHS

Some courier providers increase accessorial fees during the busy holiday months of November and December. These include, but aren’t limited to, over-length, over-weight, fragile, residential, signature, address change, multi-piece, dangerous goods levels, etc.   These simple tips can help keep your accessorial fees under control during the holidays:

KNOW YOUR SIZE

  Package size isn’t a one-size fit all, or rather one-size fits one price when shipping items. When preparing your shipment for pick-up you need to be mindful not only of the size of the parcel but also the weight of the contents. If a single piece is too heavy or too large, the courier will charge a surcharge, so splitting it into more than one box may actually save you money.

LTL MAY BE THE WAY TO GO

  If your shipment consists of more than 4 pieces, or the total shipment weight exceeds 200 lbs, you may be surprised to find that consigning the shipment to an LTL carrier may cost you less. Many LTL carriers have competitive minimum charges and can offer expedited road or economy rail service covering points across North America.

BE MINDFUL OF HANDLING FEES

  Special handling fees may be applied in many scenarios when your shipment cannot be easily processed on the courier’s conveyor belt. Examples include:

  • Odd-shaped package
  • Single pieces that are over-weight or over-length
  • Shipping liquids or fragile items
  • Items not properly packaged. i.e. shrink-wrapped and not boxed

These fees can quickly add up to more than the actual shipping costs.

AVOID MANUAL WAYBILLS

Couriers have invested millions into their track and trace systems and as a result, you get great shipment visibility and real-time notifications as your shipment status changes. A manual, or hand-written, waybill increases the risk of data capture error, meaning you may not be able to track your shipment accurately. As a result, they charge a fee for manual waybills to encourage you to create the shipment in their online system, minimizing the risk of error.