A recent benchmark study on trends in accessorial charges within the transportation industry has provided shippers with valuable data that can be used strategically to identify areas of potential savings

trends in accessorial charges

While accessorial charges present certain complexities, identifying industry trends in accessorial charges can assist logistics analysts gain insight into the most common types of charges that are being implemented by the majority of shippers in order to mitigate costs.

Fuel Surcharge Schedules

The study revealed that fuel surcharge (FSC) is the most common accessorial published by shippers (93 % of companies in the study), with the vast majority utilizing a cents-per-mile-based schedule versus a percentage-based fuel method.

One important finding of the study was the variance in fuel surcharges between truckload and intermodal shipping, which can amount to as much as $0.33 and as little as $0.12.

“A minority of shippers are using the same surcharge programs for intermodal as for truckload, when an optimized intermodal FSC is generally half that of the truckload FSC,” states Ben Cubitt, senior vice president, consulting & engineering for Transplace, who conducted the study. “This indicates that they still have not built into their FSC schedules the full economic efficiencies of intermodal vs truckload moves.”

Detention with Power

81 percent of companies are keeping to the industry standard of allowing for 2 hours of free detention, with only 5% of companies allowing less than two hours.

Detention charges have remained stagnant over the last two years, ranging from $25 to $90 per hour, with most shippers allowing $60 per hour.

Stop-off Charges

 For truckload service, the most common stop-off charge is $100 for the first stop, $150 for the second stop, and $250 for every stop thereafter. This reveals shippers are migrating away from flat stop-off charges, which don’t accurately reflect the carrier’s cost per stop.

Truck Order Not Used

 For shippers that don’t use a truck to which they tendered a load, “truck order not used” charges normally apply. The study showed that of the 64 percent of shippers who apply these charges, 43 percent utilize a $250 charge, with $150 being the second most common level at 39 percent.

Not only can insights gleaned from these findings provide an advantage to a strategic partner such as Skyfer Logistic in negotiating front-end fuel costs on behalf of our clients, they can also assist transportation managers in avoiding certain charges altogether, particularly for overseas shipping companies who may have a choice between shipping via truckload or intermodal freight.