LTL carriers must work within tight regulations to ensure the safety and security of the trucks themselves, the roads, and the industry at large. Read along to learn more about the regulations surrounding LTL carriers and how it might impact your business.
LTL Carrier Rules and Tariffs Breakdown
Less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier rules and tariffs can be complex, but in summary, they outline the terms and conditions under which an LTL carrier will transport goods for a shipper. These rules and tariffs cover a wide range of issues that are aimed at protecting all parties during the shipment of goods on an LTL carrier.
There are five crucial aspects to LTL carrier rules and tariffs:
In addition to the distance of a transportation, it is typical for LTL carriers to calculate pricing based on the weight and dimensions of the shipment. Other factors may impact the total pricing of an LTL shipment such as the contents of a shipment and the level of care necessary to safely ship the included items. A breakdown of total costs is expected in every shipment to ensure transparency for both client and customer.
- Accessorial Charges:
Accessorial charges are services provided to a customer during a shipment that are not covered under the standard shipment service/fees and therefore necessitates an additional, or accessorial, charge. Sometimes, these fees are included in the final billing but are not explained ahead of a deal being finalized, leaving customers upset at the discrepancy between what they thought they would be paying and what they are billed. It is critical to ask your 3PL partner if there will be any accessorial charges before signing on the dotted line so you can know what to expect when the invoice comes.
Some additional services that often necessitate an accessorial charge include liftgate delivery, residential delivery, inside pickup or delivery, or storage. These charges are typically outlined in detail on the carrier’s tariff.
- Liability and Claims:
A carrier’s tariff will spell out the liability for loss, damage, or delay of the shipment that is assumed by the carrier. If anything is unclear, be sure to speak up and ask your carrier for clarification. The tariff may also outline the claims process for filing a claim if something goes wrong during transit so you can get an idea of what the process will look like if something goes wrong with your transportation. Be sure to thoroughly read through your carrier’s tariff before finalizing your contract and ensure you agree to their conditions.
- Payment Terms:
Your carrier’s tariff will specify the payment terms you will agree upon, which may include payment in advance, cash on delivery (COD), or credit terms. Each carrier is different so be sure the carrier you choose has payment expectations that you are aligned with.
The tariff should also outline any fees or penalties for late payment so if that is a potential risk for you, be sure to read through those details as well.
- Misc. Provisions:
LTL carrier tariffs may include other provisions related to the shipment, such as restrictions on the type of goods that can be transported, minimum and maximum shipment sizes, and transit times. This is especially important for those who are either shipping internationally and/or those shipping delicate items that can be seen as potentially dangerous.
If you have any questions about how LTL carrier rules and tariffs work, we’d be happy to help! Contact our team today and ask away!