In the world of freight, one area that causes ongoing confusion for our clients is the additional charge for limited access, non-commercial locations or construction sites. This fee can apply to either the pick-up or delivery location and is applied when the carrier is obstructed from entry to a location or expected to perform extra services to pick up or deliver a shipment.
We hear questions about these fees almost daily. Let’s start with defining each.
This one is pretty straight forward. Any location under construction including mines, quarries and oil fields. Typically, there is no dock for pickup or delivery which means the driver may have difficulty getting a truck in to or out of the area and in some cases assist with loading or unloading.
As the name implies, these are locations that have restricted access or high security. The driver may be subject to inspection, required to follow specific delivery guidelines or need prior clearance to enter the location. There may or may not be a dock and equipment for unloading. Some examples of limited access locations can include but are not limited to:
- Military Bases
- Correctional Facilities
- Government Buildings
- Schools & Universities
- Power & Nuclear Plants
This term causing the most confusion. It typically refers to a location that is not open to the public during normal business hours, but can also include businesses that are not in commercial areas or do not have direct access available to the driver. Generally there is no dock or unloading equipment and may require a lift gate. Non-commercial locations can include:
- Private residence
- Hospitals / Nursing Homes
- Farms / Ranches
- Country Clubs / Golf Courses
- Self-Storage Facilities
- Fairgrounds / Amusement Parks
Keep in mind that Non Commercial and Limited Access are often interchangeable among the carrier community. You may find both are commonly used, but the customer is only charged one fee. When receiving freight, it is your responsibility to confirm whether or not the noted accessorial charges are valid prior to signing for the freight free and clear. Unless otherwise noted on the delivery receipt, the carrier will charge their fee.
Do not be surprised if you are charged a non-commercial or limited access fee for a location that you have shipped to for years. If it falls within the definition, be thankful you did not have to pay the fee on previous shipments. Knowing your shipping location and directions in advance will save you from unexpected fees.