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November 05, 2019

A Comparison of LTL Freight Additional Service Fees

LTL Freight Service Fee Comparison Guide

If you use LTL freight carriers to ship your goods, you’re probably concerned about costs. LTL freight charges can feel expensive, even when it’s the most economical option. If you want to lower your shipping costs, spend some time comparing the cost of additional services. The fees for additional services can be ¾ of the cost of shipping. You may find terrific opportunities to lower your costs simply by picking the right carrier for the fees you routinely encounter.

A Comparison of Additional Service Fees for LTL Freight

In this guide, I’ll describe the 10 most common additional service fees that e-commerce merchants encounter. And I’ll provide you with what 10 of the most popular LTL shipping companies charge for each fee. The services and fees presented in this guide are for LTL freight shipments moving within the United States only.

Not an e-commerce merchant? Don’t worry, these are still the 10 additional services you’re most likely to be concerned about.

Additional Service Fees Covered In This Guide

Collect On Delivery (COD)

Excessive Length / Over Length

Hazardous Material

Hold At Terminal

Inside Pickup or Delivery

Liftgate Pickup or Delivery

Limited Access Delivery

Notify Before Delivery

Residential Pickup or Delivery

Trade Show Pickup or Delivery

LTL Freight Carriers Presented In This Guide

Below is the list of carriers included in this guide. You can click on each carrier’s name to access its Rules Tariff. A Rules Tariff describes how the carrier conducts its business, including the prices it charges. The additional service fees identified in this guide were retrieved from these rules tariffs.

ABF Freight February 4, 2019 / Last update September 5, 2019

Estes Express February 18, 2019

FedEx Freight January 7, 2019

Old Dominion Freight Lines (ODFL) June 4, 2018 / Last update October 1, 2019

R+L Carriers November 1, 2019

SAIA October 25, 2019

Southeastern Freight Lines (SEFL) April 24, 2007 / Last update July 22, 2019

UPS Freight April 29, 2019

XPO Logistics October 21, 2019

YRC January 2, 2019 / Last update May 1, 2019

Unfortunately, LTL freight carriers don’t update their rules tariffs at the same time each year. And often they update them several times a year. You’ll need to repeat your research a few times each year if you want to maintain an accurate view of the additional service fees.

How To Use This Guide

Don’t rely exclusively on this guide for your research. While the guide may help you zero in on a carrier you might be interested in doing business with, don’t use it as a substitute for the carrier’s Rules Tariff. This guide summarizes information in the rules tariffs, and there may be additional details that are important for you to consider.

How to choose an LTL freight carrier should take many things into consideration, not just the cost of additional services. Use this guide as one of several resources you use to evaluate your best options.

In the remainder of this guide, each of the 10 additional services will be presented. Following a brief description of the service, a table will summarize the fees for the service as charged by each of the 10 carriers included in the comparison.

The amounts shown in the tables are the carriers’ list prices. You should be able to negotiate discounts for the services you use most often. Ultimately you’re interested in the lowest price after the discount is applied to the base rate.

To help me maintain this article as a valuable resource for all, please let me know if you see a fee or comment that needs to be updated. The frequency of changes to the rules tariffs make it a challenge to keep the information in this comparison up-to-date. You can notify me by sending an email to info@eniture.com.

Collect On Delivery (COD)

Collect On Delivery (COD) is a service that will allow you to ship an order prior to collecting payment for it. All of the carriers in our round up charge a percentage of the COD amount, and the fee is subject to a minimum charge. Southeastern Freight Lines (SEFL) is the lowest cost provider of the COD fee.

Carrier Charge Comments
ABF Freight >= $140 6% of COD amount, including appointment (at no additional charge); minimum charge of 140.00.
Estes Express >= $100 6% of COD amount; minimum charge of $100.00 per shipment.
FedEx Freight >= $133 6.0% of COD amount; minimum charge of $133.00 per shipment.
Old Dominion (ODFL) >= $125 8.0% of COD amount; minimum charge of $125.00 per shipment.
R+L Carriers >= $148 6.0% of COD amount; minimum charge of $148.00 per shipment.
SAIA >= $132.50 6.0% of COD amount; minimum charge of $132.50 per shipment.
Southeastern (SEFL) >= $85 6% of COD amount; minimum charge of $85.00 per shipment.
UPS Freight $121 - $5400 6% of COD amount; subject to a minimum charge of $121.00 and a maximum charge of $5400 per shipment.
XPO Logistics >= $121 6% of COD amount; minimum charge of $121.00 per shipment.
YRC >= $134 6% of COD amount; minimum charge of $134.00 per shipment.

Excessive Length / Over Length Fee

Carriers charge a fee when an item or handling unit exceeds a given length. The name for the the fee varies, but Excessive Length, Extreme Length, and Over Length are the most common. The amount of the fee will increase the longer the length is.

For the carriers covered in this comparison, you’ll begin incurring the fee when the length of your item or handling unit is 8 feet or more. Different thresholds exist that govern when each carrier increases their fee. There are also differences in the maximum length that each carrier will accept into their network.

Which carrier will appeal to you the most will depend on the length of the items you typically ship.

Carrier Charge Comments
ABF Freight $90 - $350

$90.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 8’ but < 11’ in length.

$130.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that => 11' but <14’ in length.

$180.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 14’ but < 20’ in length.

$350.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 20’ but <= 27’ in length.

Estes Express $85 - $350

$85.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 8’ but < 12’ in length.

$150.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that => 12' but < 20’ in length.

$250.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 20’ but < 28’ in length.

$350.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that > 28’ in length.

FedEx Freight $95 - $175

$95.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 8’ but < 12’ in length.

$175 per shipment with a dimension > 12’ in length.

Old Dominion (ODFL) $85 - $195

$85.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 8’ but < 12’ in length.

$125.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that => 12' but < 20’ in length.

$195.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that > 20’ in length

R+L Carriers $85 - $770

$85.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 8’ but < 12’ in length.

$150.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that => 12' but < 16’ in length.

$250.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 16’ but < 20’ in length.

$385.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 20’ but < 24’ in length.

$770.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that > 24’ in length.

SAIA $90 - $265

$90.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 8’ but < 12’ in length.

$132.50 per shipment containing one or more articles that => 12' but < 16’ in length.

$185.50 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 16’ but < 20’ in length.

$265.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that > 20’ in length.

Southeastern (SEFL) $85 - $350

$85.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 8’ but < 12’ in length.

$150.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that => 12' but < 20’ in length.

$250.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 20’ but < 28’ in length.

$350.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that > 28’ in length.

UPS Freight $90 - $195

$90.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 8’ but < 12’ in length.

$125.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that => 12' but < 20’ in length.

$195.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that > 20’ in length

XPO Logistics $95.25 - $448.50

$95.25 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 8’ but < 11’ in length.

$106.50 per shipment containing one or more articles that => 11' but <16’ in length.

$196.25 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 16’ but < 20’ in length.

$448.50 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 20’ in length.

YRC $120 - $3,000

$120.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 8’ but < 11’ in length.

$300.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that => 11' but < 16’ in length.

$600.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 16’ but < 20’ in length.

$1200.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that = > 20’ but < 27’ in length.

$3000.00 per shipment containing one or more articles that > 27’ in length.

Hazardous Materials

Goods that can harm people or the environment if not handled properly are hazardous materials or HAZMAT. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates highway transportation of HAZMAT freight. HAZMAT freight needs special handling, which the carrier will charge you for.

The fees in the table represent the per shipment fee charged by the carriers. Additional fees can apply if the carrier is required to obtain special permits from the states within which the shipment will be traveling. Be sure to read each carrier’s Rules Tariff if you are shipping freight that will required additional permitting.

Old Dominion Freight Lines (ODFL) has the lowest HAZMAT fee at $25.00 per shipment.

Carrier Charge Comments
ABF Freight $45 $45.00 per shipment per trailer in addition to all other applicable charges.
Estes Express $30 $30.00 per shipment.
FedEx Freight $33 $33.00 per shipment.
Old Dominion (ODFL) $25 $25.00 per shipment.
R+L Carriers $41.20 $41.20 per shipment.
SAIA $32 $32.00 per shipment.
Southeastern (SEFL) $27.50 $27.50 per shipment.
UPS Freight $30 $30 per shipment.
XPO Logistics $35 $35.00 per shipment.
YRC $42.50 $42.50 per shipment. Not applicable from Mexico, Alaska or US Virgin Islands.

Hold At Terminal

In some cases, holding a shipment for pickup at the delivery terminal can be more convenient and cheaper than having the freight delivered to the consignee’s physical address. For example, later in this article you’ll discover that the fee for residential delivery can be hundreds of dollars. If your customer has access to a vehicle that can be used to retrieve the shipment from the terminal, the residential delivery fee can be avoided.

It may also be desirable to retrieve the freight from the terminal if the materials on the shipment are to be used by a traveling installation team or need to be available on a job site at a particular time.

Be forewarned though, if the carrier has to store the shipment for any length of time, you’ll be charged for Storage. Storage fees are charged daily and are usually subject to a minimum charge. If you use Hold At Terminal service, make sure you’re confident about the receiver’s willingness and ability to retrieve the shipment immediately after it arrives at the delivery terminal. Or that they will be paying for any storage fees.

LTL carriers are not consistent on how they refer to this service. In addition to Hold At Terminal, you’ll hear the service referred to as Dock Pickup, Will Call, Service Center Pickup, and other similar phrases. While most of the carriers don’t charge for this service, they may charge you to notify the receiver that the shipment is ready for pickup.

Carrier Charge Comments
ABF Freight ($20) - ($40) At the option of ABF Freight, the party performing the service may be paid an allowance of $0.50 per one hundred pounds of actual shipment weight, subject to a minimum of $20 and a maximum of $40 per shipment. (Restrictions apply.)
Estes Express Free Contact the delivery terminal to schedule a pickup appointment and inquire about pickup hours.
FedEx Freight $69 When a shipment is consigned to Carrier’s service center with instructions to hold the shipment at the service center for pickup.
Old Dominion (ODFL) $15 ODFL doesn’t charge a fee for “Will Call” service, but it will charge you $15 to notifiy the consignee and schedule a pickup appointment.
R+L Carriers Free “Hold for pickup” must be written in the BOL special instructions as well as the name an phone number of the individual who will pick picking up the shipment.
SAIA Free “Dock pickup” must be written in the Bill Of Lading special instructions as well as the name an phone number of the individual who will pick picking up the shipment.
Southeastern (SEFL) >= $25.00 $1.50 per CWT, subject to a $25.00 minimum.
UPS Freight Free “Hold for pickup” must be written in the BOL special instructions as well as the name an phone number of the individual who will pick picking up the shipment.
XPO Logistics Free “Dock pickup” must be written in the Bill Of Lading special instructions as well as the name an phone number of the individual who will pick picking up the shipment.
YRC $16 The customer’s name should appear C/O YRC Freight and use the terminal’s address as the consignee on the Bill Of Lading. Include a valid phone number that the terminal can use to notify the contact when the shipment is available for dock pickup.

Inside Pickup or Delivery

When the carrier is asked to move all or part of shipments from or to positions beyond the point directly accessible or immediately adjacent to the vehicle, the Inside Pickup or Inside Delivery fee applies. Some carriers identify this service in their Rules Tariff as Handling Freight at Positions Not Immediately Adjacent to Vehicle.

Restrictions or additional charges may be incurred if you ask for the shipment to be located to a different floor than that at which the delivery is being made.

In most cases, you’ll also pay a premium for Inside Pickup or Delivery to areas of New York City.

Old Dominion has the most affordable Inside Pickup or Inside Delivery fee, unless you challenge the maximum fees from SAIA or Southeastern Freight Lines (SEFL).

Carrier Charge Comments
ABF Freight $130 - $1450

$13.00 per CWT. $130.00 minimum and $1300.00 maximum per occurrence.

For the borough of Manhattan (Zips 10001-10299):
$30.00 per CWT. $150.00 minimum and $1450.00 maximum per occurrence.

Estes Express $100 - $1100

$10.25 per CWT. $110.00 minimum and $1100.00 maximum per occurrence.

For NY ZIPs 100-102, $14.50 per CWT. $110.00 minimum per occurrence.

FedEx Freight $140 - $1404 $13.29 per CWT. $140.00 minimum and $1404.00 maximum per occurrence.
Old Dominion (ODFL) $75 - $660

$6.50 per CWT. $75.00 minimum and $500.00 maximum per occurrence.

For NY ZIPs 100-102, $14.50 per CWT. $99.00 minimum and $660.00 maximum per occurrence.

R+L Carriers $148.40 - $1481.00 $14.90 per CWT. $148.40 minimum and $1481.00 maximum per vehicle.
SAIA $108 - $560 $11.20 per CWT. $108.00 minimum and $560.00 maximum per vehicle.
Southeastern (SEFL) $78 - $500 $6.80 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $78.00, and a maximum charge of $500.00.
UPS Freight $90 - $1240

Postal Codes other than NYC Metro Area:
$10.80 per CWT. $90.00 minimum and $1150.00 maximum per occurrence.

Postal Codes defined as the NYC Metro Area:
$26.75 per CWT. $135.00 minimum and $1240.00 maximum per occurrence.

XPO Logistics $112.25 - $950.00 $10.75 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $112.25, and a maximum charge of $950.00.
YRC $127 - $1550 $12.50 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $127.00, and a maximum charge of $1400.00 OR for specific ZIP Codes $30.50 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $157.00, and a maximum charge of $1550.00

Liftgate Pickup or Delivery

If your pickup or delivery site doesn’t have a freight dock or a forklift available, you’ll need liftgate service. A liftgate is a hydraulic platform used to raise or lower freight from or to street level.

The fee for liftgate service is determined by a rate per hundred pounds (CWT) and is subject to a minimum and maximum fee. Estes Express and Old Dominion lead the pack as cost effective options. Which one is right for you will depend on your typical shipment and whether it is routinely subject to each carriers minimum and maximum fees.

Carrier Charge Comments
ABF Freight $180 - $425 $9 per CWT. Minimum $180. Maximum: $425.
Estes Express $85 - $350 $4.95 per CWT. Minimum $85. Maximum: $425.
FedEx Freight $137 - $451 $9.26 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $137.00 and a maximum charge of $451.00.
Old Dominion (ODFL) $75 - $250 $3.50 per CW., subject to a minimum charge of $75.00 and a maximum charge of $250.00.
R+L Carriers $153.10 - $503.80 $10.70 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $153.10 and a maximum charge of $503.80.
SAIA $116.50 - $272.00 $8.64 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $116.50 and a maximum charge of $272.00.
Southeastern (SEFL) $89 - $225 $7.25 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $89.00 and a maximum charge of $225.00.
UPS Freight $125 - $350 $7.90 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $125.00 and a maximum charge of $350.00.
XPO Logistics $171 - $418 $9.00 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $171.00 and a maximum charge of $418.00
YRC $170 - $438 $9.00 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $170.00 and a maximum charge of $420.00 OR for specific ZIP Codes $8.30 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $250.00 and a maximum charge of $438.00

Limited Access Delivery

Some delivery locations, by their nature, lead to driver delays. In a commercial-zoned area of a city, a driver can make 3-5 stops in the time it takes to make one stop at a limited-access location. Because such locations impede productivity, the carrier charges extra.

Each carrier has its own criteria for what makes a limited-access site. Generally they are places with one or more of these characteristics:

  • Aren’t open to walk-in traffic during normal business hours.
  • Don’t have people readily available to receive the freight.
  • Don’t have a dock or platform to unload.
  • Have security checkpoints that cause delays.

Examples of places that are often considered limited access are:

  • Carnivals & fairs.
  • Churches.
  • Construction sites.
  • Farms & ranches.
  • Medical facilities without a dock.
  • Military bases.
  • Mines and quarries.
  • Oil or natural gas fields.
  • Schools without a dock.

Old Dominion Freight Lines is the cheapest option for Limited Access Delivery, until the weight of your shipment is more than 1545 pounds. If your shipments weighs more than 1545 pounds, Southeastern Freight Lines (SEFL) is a more cost effective choice provided the shipment stays within its service area. If not, then your next best option with a national carrier is Estes Express once the shipment weight exceeds 2091 pounds.

Carrier Charge Comments
ABF Freight $150 - $475 $11.00 per CWT; $150.00 minimum and $475.00 maximum per shipment
Estes Express $115 $115 per shipment.
FedEx Freight $144 $144 per shipment.
Old Dominion (ODFL) $75 - $475 $5.50 per CWT; $75.00 minimum and $475.00 maximum per shipment
R+L Carriers $148.40 - $1005.70 $10.20 per CWT; $148.40 minimum and $1,005.70 maximum per shipment.
SAIA $128.50 $128.50 per shipment.
Southeastern (SEFL) $85.00 $85.00 per shipment or vehicle.
UPS Freight $125 $125.00 per shipment.
XPO Logistics $151.50 $151.50 per shipment.
YRC $136 $136.00 per shipment.

Notify Before Delivery

When your consignee needs a heads-up on when the shipment will be delivered, the Notify Before Delivery service is what is needed. The fee for Notify Before Delivery is (thankfully) much more straight forward compared to other fees. In this case, XPO Logistics is the winner.

Carrier Charge Comments
ABF Freight $56 $56.00 per shipment, including appointment (at no additional charge).
Estes Express $48 $48 per shipment.
FedEx Freight $61 $61.00 per shipment.
Old Dominion (ODFL) $15 $15.00 per shipment.
R+L Carriers $66 $66.00 per shipment.
SAIA $47 $47.00 per shipment.
Southeastern (SEFL) $23 $23 per shipment.
UPS Freight $50 $50 per shipment.
XPO Logistics $11 $11 per shipment.
YRC $16 $16 per shipment.

Residential Pickup or Delivery

Whether you’re the shipper or the consignee, all carriers have strict rules on the differences between commercial and residential addresses. Businesses operated out of private homes, apartment complexes or dormitories are always considered residential addresses.

Mixed use facilities are not as clearcut, and carriers tend to rely on the address type identified by the USPS as the official arbiter.

Farms, ranches and other such addresses, when they aren’t classified as residential, are usually subject to the same nominal fee although it will be described as a Limited Access fee or something similar.

Old Dominion Freight Lines (ODFL) is the lowest cost provider, until the calculated cost hits the flat $144 fee charged by FedEx Freight.

Carrier Charge Comments
ABF Freight $150 - $475 $11.00 per CWT; $150.00 minimum and $475.00 maximum per shipment. $185.90 minimum for ZIPs 70001 – 70499
Estes Express $115 - $550 $8.50 per CWT; $115.00 minimum and $550.00 maximum per shipment.
FedEx Freight $144 $144 per shipment.
Old Dominion (ODFL) $75 - $475 $5.50 per CWT; $75.00 minimum and $475.00 maximum per shipment.
R+L Carriers $148.20 - $1,005.70 $10.20 per CWT; $148.40 minimum and $1,005.70 maximum per shipment.
SAIA $123.50 - $518.00 $8.64 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $123.50, and a maximum charge of $518.00 per shipment or $518 per vehicle if more than one vehicle is used to transport the shipment.
Southeastern (SEFL) $89 - $575 $7.25 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $89.00, and a maximum charge of $575.00.
UPS Freight $150 - $550

Postal Codes other than NYC Metro Area:
$9.50 per CWT. $120.00 minimum and $490.00 maximum per occurrence.

Postal Codes defined as the NYC Metro Area:
$13.65 per CWT. $150.00 minimum and $550.00 maximum per occurrence.

XPO Logistics $122.75 - $606.25 $11.00 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $122.75, and a maximum charge of $606.25.
YRC $144 - $650 $11.65 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $144.00, and a maximum charge of $630.00 OR for specific ZIP Codes $25.50 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $195.00, and a maximum charge of $650.00.

Trade Show Pickup or Delivery

Resign yourself to the fact that shipping to and from trade shows is expensive. In many cases, unionized labor will dictate who you can use for trade show shipments. When unions aren’t dictating your choices, expect to pay for the time your shipment is waiting in the yard for a dock to unload.

The fees below are charged because you are picking up or delivering to a trade show. Other fees can (and probably will) apply.

All carriers will rate your trade show shipments at a freight class of 125, unless the actual freight class is higher. Different minimum charges can be applied and, In addition to the elevated freight class, you may also be charged other fees.

Charges for shipments to and from trade shows are the most complex. If you’re concerned with these types of shipments, spend some time reviewing the Rules Tariff of each carrier you’re considering and ask your carrier sales representative or customer service agent plenty of questions.

Carrier Charge Comments
ABF Freight $72.55 $72.55 per shipment.
Estes Express $35 - $60 $35 per shipment. $60 per shipment when origin or destination ZIP Code is 60601-60699 and 27260.
FedEx Freight $157 $157 per shipment.
Old Dominion (ODFL) >= $250

Subject to a minimum charge based on the otherwise applicable pricing except the applicable class shall be 125, subject to an absolute minimum charge of $250.00.

For shipments containing commodities with an NMFC class higher than 125, the greater class shall apply.

An Additional Charge of $350.00 shall be applied to shipments originating from or destined to Washington, DC, ZIP 20001 and Atlantic City, NJ, ZIP 08401.

An Additional Charge of $150.00 shall be applied to shipments originating from or destined to ZIP code(s) 10001-10499.

R+L Carriers >= $392.90 Subject to NMFC Class 125 Item 154630, or actual class if higher, with no discount and subject to a minimum charge of $392.90.
SAIA $50 - $300 $6.50 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $50 per shipment and a maximum charge of $300 per shipment. Class 125 will apply on exhibition material.
Southeastern (SEFL) $85 $85.00 per shipment or vehicle.
UPS Freight >= $55 $94.00 for Postal Code 60601 - 60699. $55.00 for all other Postal Codes. Class 125 will apply to exhibition materials.
XPO Logistics >= $194,75 $13.25 per CWT, subject to a minimum charge of $194.75 per shipment.
YRC $69.95 - $500.00

$69.95 for shipments not DEG non-guaranteed shipments between all points except Alaska, Chicago IL, Rosemont IL, High Point NC, and Mexico.

$109.00 for shipments not DEG non-guaranteed shipments between all points and Alaska, Chicago IL, Rosemont IL, High Point NC, and Mexico.

$500 for shipments that are DEG non-guaranteed shipments.

About Eniture Technology

Eniture Technology specializes in helping e-Commerce merchants grow by providing useful information, digital marketing services, off-the-shelf apps that solve common problems, and custom programming services. Please contact us if you need help growing your online business or implementing the concepts presented in this blog post.

If you are interested in offering LTL freight as an option on your online store, take advantage of our free guide on LTL freight.

LTL Freight Primer - Free Guide

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