What Are Transportation Accessorial Fees?

Accessorial Fees Cover When You Do Other Services Than Driving

Carriers are often called upon to perform services other than just driving. Drivers may have to load or unload trailers, wrap pallets, or make additional stops. Such services are not added into the per-mile rate charged. It would be impossible to charge the fees as part of the per-mile rate and remain fair to all customers, because all services cost different amounts of time to perform and are worth different amounts of money. The only fair way to charge a customer would be a la carte, or per service.

Shrink Wrap

Workers loading truck
Monty Rakusen/ GettyImages

Chargeable fee when the shipper requires the driver to shrink wrap pallets.

Pallet Jack

Chargeable when the driver is required to load and/or unload a trailer with a pallet jack.


May be charged to the shipper if they are the cause of the layover. If the layover is at the carrier's requires, then the carrier pays out-of-pocket.

Truck Ordered Not Used (TONU)

Having a load fall through is inevitable. Most contracts will have a clause allowing for a TONU. There is only a charge if the truck is canceled after a pre-established cut-off time.

Detention Charges

Charged when the shipper fails to load or release the driver and/or trailer in a timely fashion. Some detention time will be built ​into the contract.


When shippers are charged the empty miles for preferred use of a carrier's equipment.


Carriers may charge shippers for tolls incurred during loaded miles.

Circuitous Miles

Miles accrued due to shipper required out-of-route stops.

Fuel Surcharge

The fuel peg is the price on which contract pricing is based. Carriers may obtain fuel cost information from the Department of Energy's website. A surcharge is charged according to the current price of fuel. For instance, on the carrier's pricing table, the surcharge might be $0.05 if the current rate of fuel is between $3.509 and $3.559. This prevents the carrier from having to forecast fuel prices to stay in profit.

After Hour Deliveries

A carrier may charge a shipper for after hour deliveries if the carrier typically only delivers during business hours. This would not be a common accessorial fee for truckload carriers.

Border Crossing

Similar to tolls, carriers may charge shippers any border crossing fees.

Cash-On-Delivery (COD) Fees

Some carriers may be willing to receive COD payments at the time of delivery. In doing so, they might charge an additional fee to handle the money.

Non-Dock Deliveries

This is not a common fee for truckload carriers, but it is a possible fee. If a driver has to deliver product other than to a dock, the carrier may charge additional fees to cover the labor.

Diversion Miles

If upon arrival at a shipper or the end receiver, the carrier is told to drive to a different location, then divergent miles may be charged. There will typically be a ceiling mileage of which the carrier is willing to drive at no additional charge.

Additional Stops

Should a shipper require the carrier to stop at more than one location to pick-up or deliver the load, than the carrier may charge an additional fee per stop.


If a carrier must store a shipper's delivery, then the carrier may charge a storage fee, either by the hour or by the day.