Accessorial Charges - Why is there a debate?

MikeJr

Moderator
Staff member
#1
So....

I read over and over again on here situations where people short pay, don't pay or argue additional charges. 90% of the time (greater than that if you choose to work with good, honest, hard working carriers) what is being requested is fair, it's not a cash grab.

Mind-boggling situation (happened last week):
Carrier arrives (flat bed) for an early morning load on time for the pickup apt.
Shipper waits an hour and a half due to rain to load so that they don't get too wet.
Time on site totals 3.5 hours.

Actual conversation:
Me - there's waiting time on this, it's more than the usual $35-$50 because it's special equipment (not a dry van).
Sales - The customer is saying they don't want to pay because it was raining and they were waiting for it to slow down, it was a safety concern.
Me - Did the shipper get wages for the time it rained? Will you take a pay cut because it rained? Why should the driver/carrier not get paid?
Sales - Oh, um, I'll explain that to the customer.

Don't get me wrong, occasionally I get requests for charges long after delivery for waiting time, border delay, etc but no one ever contacted us to help them speed things along. I also get claims for damages days after delivery with a free and clear BOL. Both of these usually get the same response "We are both wasting time here, lets move on".

Happy Friday!!
Mike
 

chica123

Site Supporter
#2
This could turn out to be a great thread Michael. One that I will never understand is when you tell a customer that your truck has been there for several hours and not being loaded, that your driver is running out of available hours and will have to spend the night in the truck due to their lack of organization. They don't seem to care. Like would they choose to have their employees sleep in cots in the warehouse because someone didn't hustle a bit better during the day? Do they think their employees would just willingly put up with that kind of baloney? Why should truckers?
 
#3
We pay the appropriate accessorials to all our carriers, if we have a customer who does not want to pay, we tell the customer we can no longer do business with them if they don't want to play fair. It's funny that anytime we have told a customer we cannot do business with them any longer due to our business acumen does not align, they all of a sudden change their tune!
 

martinetav

Well-Known Member
#4
I believe that the biggest part of the problem is that the customer has no real concept of what we are talking about. The sales person doesn't either. I personally, am of the opinion that ALL SALES PERSONNEL should be OBLIGED to do a tour in the truck. Not just a day... Say a GTA to TX or OR and if they do reefer stuff they should have to do a load down that way and see what the circumstances of the loading to get out of there are.
I really do believe that ignorance is the biggest problem we face when trying to make shippers understand the HOS and other regulations we have to live with. Just trying to get people to understand that 80,000 lbs takes A LOT more time to stop and that the space that the truck leaves between himself and the vehicle in front of him is not an invitation to get in front of him. Very difficult to get CIVILIANS to understand the concept... How can we make people understand working conditions that they would NEVER ACCEPT for themselves
 
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jackhole

Active Member
#5
What happens when the truck get's loaded or unloaded in 30 minutes , does the Customer get a discount then ? How much business are you doing with these Customers if you are nickle and diming for every 30 minute delay , when they get behind for some reason. How easy is it to piss off the Customer and lose the business all together ? Every Customer and situation is different and that is what you have to deal with.
 

MikeJr

Moderator
Staff member
#6
jackhole - I agree with you, nickel and diming will cost you customers as well as is can cost you carriers, also the time can be better spent getting more business or better servicing your customers. I also agree with you asking a good, long term customer for 15 minutes of waiting time is the wrong decision.

The example I used below was to try and demonstrate an example where there is clear and cut additional time, not just 15 minutes and to bring up the problem of people responding without taking the time to think. A quick response with a bunch of random excuses not to pay for something seems to be increasing since I started in the industry. I'm not sure why that is, I'm not sure how to correct it beyond educating people or as TransAction suggested - inform parties to play by the rules or play with someone else.

Keep well,
Mike
 

chica123

Site Supporter
#7
I think shippers should always strive to load or unload within an hour. I think as an industry we are overly generous by giving 2 hours, but we do it to accomodate various situations. Also, by shippers and receivers offloading or loading promptly they are more likely to retain good carriers. One of my top criteria in accepting a load is whether I believe the truck will be loaded and offloaded efficiently. It ranks right up there with rate per mile, ease of working with broker, payment terms etc. Wasted time is just too expensive for drivers that have a limited amount of hours each day to perform their tasks. Just my Friday opinion. Have a great weekend all!
 

Salma

Active Member
#8
Unfortunately, we have entered the "pass the buck" era. No one takes ownership for anything anymore. I agree that weather can be a safety issue in SOME very specific circumstances but this sounds more like a "we didn't want to get wet so use safety as an excuse" situation. Does this mean that we now have to add the term "rain or shine" to our terms for accessorial charges?
What's next - the planets weren't aligned just so, so I decided to stay home because my horoscope told me to?
Ridiculous.......
 

lowmiler88

Site Supporter
#9
2 things, we have switched to ELD's and have now been going for 3 months, most drivers are happy and still making the same money (we did give a raise for ELD's) customers/brokers have all responded very well and understand as soon as we say can't make it because of hours of service running out that accommodations will be needed. . Also very responsive when stuck at docks and the clock is ticking. The second thing is we started only giving 1 hour on our local fleet for local delivery/pickups and it has not been a problem with anyone.
 

martinetav

Well-Known Member
#10
What happens when the truck get's loaded or unloaded in 30 minutes , does the Customer get a discount then ? How much business are you doing with these Customers if you are nickle and diming for every 30 minute delay , when they get behind for some reason. How easy is it to piss off the Customer and lose the business all together ? Every Customer and situation is different and that is what you have to deal with.
maybe you need to ask the customer if he/she would do it for free...
 

lowmiler88

Site Supporter
#11
I never went for the Nickel and Dime comment because they have already got the 2 hours free for delivery and it has been pushed onto the driver..........never liked it and will be the next thing we tackle as a company to make sure the driver get's paid. I never understood how asking for something you deserve is a bad thing?
 

whatiship

Well-Known Member
#12
The free time rule must be enforced. It is especially critical on shorter haul. When the time it takes to load and unload is twice the time it took to travel between the 2 points any chance of profit is out the window. I agree, most shippers especially 3PL"s hate to hear about waiting time. If it is a regular move and it always takes 3 hours just build it into your rate and allow them extra time. If they wont go for it then don't do it anymore.
 

Freight Broker

Well-Known Member
#13
Where there are problems there's opportunity. Way back when I got started in this business I caught my first big break with a shipper who took four to six hours to load trucks. Everyone complained about it, but only one person (yours truly) looked at his situation and figured out how he could switch things around to shorten his load times. I offered to take control of all his outbound scheduling free of charge, and he happily obliged. So now I was in the unique position of not only scheduling trucks that I had; I was scheduling every other broker's and carrier's trucks. Long story short... if you see a problem there's probably a way to make money by solving it. Simple equation: lots of problems = lots of money to be made. And the corollary to that, no problems = no money to be made.
 

jackhole

Active Member
#14
Lowiler - are you saying that if the Carrier does not get paid detention the Driver does not get paid ? Our Drivers get paid by the hour as should all Drivers when loading and unloading , regardless if detention is paid or not.
 

snafu

Active Member
#15
Lowiler - are you saying that if the Carrier does not get paid detention the Driver does not get paid ? Our Drivers get paid by the hour as should all Drivers when loading and unloading , regardless if detention is paid or not.
Ours do too. From the moment you arrive at the customer until the moment you leave the property.
 

lowmiler88

Site Supporter
#16
No that's not what i'm saying I'm saying that they don't get paid for the first 2 hours which is "industry standard" and that sucks when we give new quotes we are building that time in and paying the driver. The reality of the situation is with ELD's I can see going to an hourly wage for highway, sounds crazy but I bet it will happen in 5 years and they get paid for every minute of what they work for the 14 hours available.
 

chica123

Site Supporter
#17
It does sound crazy. But it will be the only way the whole industry learns to maximize the amount a driver can get done within the 14 hours.
 

lowmiler88

Site Supporter
#19
We are trying to come up with a formula of drive time vs all other time because obviously you want the driver driving so how much an hour for driving and how much for the rest?
 

bull958

Site Supporter
#20
Hourly pay is hourly pay. Ideally you want your drivers driving as much as possible in that 14 hour period. But who in their right mind would want a job where your paycheque is dependant on something outside of your control. Imagine doing a load where the shipper takes two hours to load(Sorry driver, you weren't driving so we cant pay you your full rate for that), then you get to the bridge and get hauled into x-ray then de-vanned. That's at least another four hours were you can't be paid your full rate, because you weren't "driving". Now it's time to deliver and your load is going to Loblaws in Cambridge. You have a 6am appointment, get there on time and they take 8 hours to unload. Sorry again driver.
 

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