How an Accessorial Works

When you are using moving services, delivery services, or commercial truck services of any kind, you may accrue additional charges to your initial quoted amount. The moving company may not include these charges in the quoted amount because there is usually no way for them to tell if the job would require them. This final invoice, which is also called a freight bill, may come as a surprise to you once you receive it. But anytime you use a carrier service, you should be prepared to pay accessorial fees. Some of these fees include:

  • Liftgate Equipment: a hydraulic platform that makes it easy for workers to lift and unload packages.
  • Layover: Time is money. When drivers cannot unload or load a truck, you may incur another fee for this lost time.
  • Redelivery: If drivers cannot deliver your package on the scheduled date or time, they will have to redeliver it. This is another day’s worth of work and, therefore, another day and service the company can charge for.
  • Actual Weight: The company will charge you extra if your package weighs more than what was initially anticipated.
  • Extra Work: If a driver needs to put in any extra work to the delivery—go through security inspections, notify the recipient of the package, or unloading the truck themselves—the company will charge an accessorial fee.

There are plenty of other accessorial fees that can increase the amount on an invoice. You should expect to see at least one on the final bill.

Accessorial Example

A carrier driver needs to make a bulk delivery to a new medical facility office. His truckload includes office equipment, medical files, and non-biohazard medical supplies. Because there are sensitive files involved, he needs to find someone to accept the package. He will also be responsible for unloading the truck and bringing it to the new office.

Sadly for this driver, the first medical building he arrives at is not the correct one. He finds this out after waiting 20 minutes for someone to figure out what to do with the delivery. After contacting the client and getting the true address, he gets back into the truck and drives to the correct location. He finds the person who needs to sign for the delivery and gets to work. At this point, it’s 6pm—after company hours. It takes him until 7:30pm to complete the job.

The next day, the company sends a final invoice over to the client. The accessorial fees include advanced notification, diversion miles, and two and a half hours’ worth of after-hours delivery charges.

Accessorial vs. Accessory

Accessorial and accessory may have a lot of the same letters, but the two terms belong in entirely different categories. Accessorial deals with a la carte carrier fees. An accessory in legal terms is someone who helps commit a crime. An accessory to a crime can be charged with fees of a different sort—seriously hefty legal fines—but they don’t handle any moving or invoicing.