Small Business Owners: Are You Paying for the Right Shipping Service?

April 22, 2019 by Meyer Baron
Share on:

Did you know that freight shipping costs more for residential service than for commercial service? The difference between the two isn’t as clear as you may think. Let’s take a look at the differences, starting with some basic processes in the shipping world.

Most freight shipping isn’t done by one truck. In fact, almost all freight shipping is done LTL (Less than TruckLoad), which is used when a shipment is smaller and just a part of the truck is used. In other words, multiple shippers share space on the same truck.  It typically involves:

Pick up from business

Deliver to freight terminal

Pick up from freight terminal

Deliver to the destination freight terminal

Pick up from destination freight terminal

Lastly, deliver to the final destination

With LTL freight shipping, residential and commercial apply to the accessibility of the originating and destination facilities, not who is doing the shipping. Essentially, carriers don’t care whether you live in the building or run your business from it. It’s about how easy it is for them to access your shipment.

Take, for example, a home-based small business. You’d think this is considered a commercial shipper, but since the home-based business is located in a residential neighborhood with narrow streets and doesn’t have a loading dock, then it’s considered residential and charged as such.

It’s all about the zone.

If the zoning is residential, so is the facility. Period. No loading dock means a liftgate is required as well.

If the zone isn’t clear, carriers and brokers often check online satellite services to see if a standard freight shipping truck will have a problem with:

  • Getting to and from the facility;
  • Turning around; and,
  • Low-hanging trees over the street.

The same idea applies to the final destination, as well. Mislabeling the shipment may result in delays and extra costs. Therefore, it’s important to know BEFORE you ship whether the location you are shipping to and from is considered residential or commercial by the carrier.

Let us help.

Our team of experts are here to help you make the determination of the appropriate service so that you aren’t surprised with additional costs. Your shipping success is our highest priority. Call us today at 800.716.7608.

Share on:

Let's Get Started

Compare Shipping Rates in an Instant

Get My Freight Quotes