Time to read: 5 min. If you’ve ever needed to move products in containers between ocean ports, rail yards, warehouses or any other destination you might already know about accessorials and extra charges that are involved when moving container drayage in USA. These extra charges can create a big hole in your budget and many times are out of your control. I mean, you can’t foresee port congestion or a container exam. That’s why it is so important to know what type of accessorial charges can be issued when moving containers and the tips and tricks that you can leverage to ensure your shipping budget keeps under control. It can be tricky to manage due to the fine print and the standards that the industry uses to bill your freight. The best thing you can do is understand how the process works and prepare yourself in advance for possible extra charges that can affect your budget. Drayage is a trucking service that moves products in containers using special trucks that can easily attach & detach shipping containers to the chassis of the truck. These carriers have a special clearance that allows them to enter ports and pick up or deliver your freight. The special requirements for handling this type of freight allows logistics providers to bill additional charges to move your load. We’ve designed a list of the most common extra charges in container drayage service. Check it out! Now that we’ve spent some time discussing the basics of drayage and accessorials, let’s dive into our handy list of tips and tricks on how to avoid additional charges and save your company money.

  • Avoid additional pick-up charges: Make sure the container is fully released and ready to go before scheduling a pick-up.
  • Provide accurate information when quoting: Make sure your information is correct when quoting to avoid extra charges. This includes total weight, commodity, if your load is a residential pick-up or delivery, if it is hazmat or not or if it requires refrigeration.
  • Loose cartons or palletized pieces?: It’s important to know how your shipment is loaded onto a container if you are using transloading options in order to receive accurate cost estimates.
  • Use the most cost-effective shipping method: Drayage is most efficient in a 200 to 300-mile radius range. For longer distances or out-of-gauge loads it is better to use transloading options. To save even more money when shipping long distances, leverage the broad range of intermodal rail ramps and trucking options.
  • Take advantage of “free time”: Understand how many free hours you have for loading or unloading in the port or warehouse. After that “free time” is gone, you will pay an hourly Detention Fee that varies depending on the carrier.
  • Secure shipping capacity ASAP: Supply and demand are the driving factor in every business vertical – logistics is no different. It’s important to plan ahead and book early. Once you know when the container is ready to be picked up, book your load immediately so you can find a truck faster and possibly better shipping rates.
  • Consider weight when shipping: Review the maximum legal weight table below. Depending on the state, shipments above these weights may be charged with overweight permit fees.
Container Size Maximum Legal Weight
20′ 38.000 Lb
40′ 44.000 Lb
  • Double check any possible additional charges: Read all the fine print to make sure you don’t overlook something that can have big cost consequences. Verify every additional charge that your shipment may incur to avoid headaches when final charges are applied.

These easy tips can help you save a ton of budget if you remember to use them every time you ship container drayage. We’ve also got a really helpful table of drayage accessorials fees at this link. Feel free to print and post!