LTL Residential and Limited Access Deliveries
COVID and the explosive growth of E-Commerce have shifted the delivery dynamic in significant fashion. The majority of parcel deliveries has shifted from business to residential. Think about all the workers who previously had personal goods shipped to their office for price, speed, and security reasons. Many are working remote now.
That dynamic has played out with LTL as well. And as you know, LTL carriers apply an accessorial charge for shipments delivered to private residences. And in many cases, a Liftgate charge and even an Appointment charge may also be assessed.
Related to this for LTL are Limited Access deliveries. These are deliveries performed at a site without an unloading dock, and without readily available personnel for unloading. Think schools, military sites, and construction sites.
Fee assessments have increased not just due to growth in these deliveries, but also the carriers’ increasing ability to correctly assess the charges. Carriers are using technology to increase compliance of the assessment of charges. They have several tools at their disposal, including:
- Google Maps
- Address databases that identify Residential and Limited Access addresses
- On-line address subscription services such as Shiplify
- Key words such as “school” or “construction” in the customer name
- Driver compliance programs
While these tools have improved application and accuracy, carriers are not always correct. Some points to consider:
- When in doubt, check Google Maps to verify if the location meets the conditions noted above. Check the carrier rules tariff for specifics.
- Some carriers scan customer names to look for keywords such as “Airport” or “Construction”. They may apply a charge in error. After all, Pepperidge Farms is not farm, and thus not a limited access location.
- Residential address databases may incorrectly flag businesses in residential areas.
- Keep in mind that a home-based business operating on residential property IS a residential location.
- Airport locations are only considered limited access if they are behind the TSA security layer. A warehouse that borders an airport but is not behind the TSA security layer is NOT a limited access.
- Indian reservation and mixed-use locations (commercial stores with apartments above) in urban areas are frequently assessed incorrectly. Be watchful for these.
To reduce surprises and rebills, you should educate your customers about residential and limited access pickups/deliveries. These locations should be identified when a shipment is booked to ensure the carrier invoice is as expected. Carriers will catch these locations and issue rebills after the fact, so it is best to get the BOL and the quote filled out properly on the front end so there are no surprises.