Freight Shipping: The Skinny on Residential Fees

We get it: surprise freight shipping fees are frustrating! Luckily, with thorough planning and communication between the shipper, receiver, and freight carrier, you can anticipate (and sometimes even avoid) residential freight shipping charges before they’re added to your final bill.

Read on to get answers to the most common questions about residential fees and other freight shipping charges!

What is a residential address fee?

It’s important to note that the term “residential” has a specific definition in the world of freight shipping. Even if the pickup or delivery location is technically a business, that doesn’t necessarily mean the business resides in a commercial area. If your freight is picked up or delivered to a location in a residential area, you will likely incur a residential pickup and/or delivery fee. Since pickup and delivery may be handled by different carriers, remember that residential pickup and residential delivery charges are separate and can both be included on your freight bill.

Why is a residential shipping fee necessary?

Residential shipping fees help cover the cost of the additional labor required when a carrier picks up or delivers a freight shipment to a non-commercial area. Unlike small package shipments, freight shipments are typically much larger and require additional planning — you can’t just leave a pallet on someone’s doorstep! Plus, residential streets are normally not designed to accommodate large freight trucks.

How do I anticipate residential shipping fees?

When preparing your shipment, make sure to indicate if the address is in a residential area to get the most accurate freight quote. If you use a transportation management system (TMS) to be sure to check if the sender or receiver is residential. By noting the correct location type when freight shipping to a residential address, you can ensure your freight shipping quote reflects any additional costs before you ship.

Unsure if your location is subject to a residential fee? A third-party logistics provider (3PL) like Unishippers can help you determine if your pickup or delivery location will incur additional charges, and can help you select the right service type for your freight.

How do I avoid other freight shipping fees?

In order to avoid residential fees and other accessorials, make sure to iron out all of the shipping details — including any special instructions or requirements that the driver should know — with the receiver before filling out your bill of lading (BOL). When filling out the BOL, consider questions like:

  • When will the recipient be available to accept the delivery?
  • Does a delivery appointment need to be made?
  • Are there any special requirements for the driver when loading or unloading the shipment?
  • Is there a specific time frame the driver must meet for delivery?
  • Does the recipient have a dock, or is a lift-gate needed? (Hint: Most residences don’t have docks, so it’s likely a lift-gate will mean an additional fee)

Curious what else can impact your freight shipping rates? Download Unishippers’ Guide to Accurate Freight Quotes, which outlines how to get the most accurate freight quote for your business shipping right from the beginning.

By working with an experienced 3PL like Unishippers, you can rest assured that you’re picking the right services for your shipment, guided by a proactive, knowledgeable shipping team. Contact Unishippers today to get the shipping guidance your business deserves.

Guide To Understanding Freight Shipping Fees

Unishipper's Guide To Freight Shipping Fees

Your shipping rate is affected by variables such class and capacity, but did you know that your freight shipping is also subject to accessorial fees?

Learn More