What Really Is the Best Location to Ship Your Freight From?

March 11, 2016 by FreightCenter Team
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When it comes to freight, no pick up or drop off location is created equal. While some locations are optimal for getting a freight truck in and out of, other’s pose more of a challenge, and some are outright impossible.

Here are some of the most common locations for picking up and dropping off freight—and what you should keep in mind with each.

Residential & At-Home Business

Although to you they may be different, in the eyes of the freight industry, residences and at-home businesses are one and the same. Running a business out of your home or renting space in a residential location still qualifies as residential shipping. The way the trucker sees it: no matter how you slice it, they still have to drive their massive truck into a residential style neighborhood. Which means a more meticulous process for them, thus the higher rates that accompany residential shipping.

Locations that are considered residential are subject to higher freight rates than commercial locations. When possible, conduct a pick up/drop off at a non-residential location.

A liftgate is almost always required at a residential location. If you do not add a liftgate when booking and it is determined at the time of pick up/drop off that a liftgate is necessary to complete the transaction—one will be added for you and you will be charged. Additionally, this will generate a billing adjustment. This can be avoided by initially asking your FreightCenter Agent if a liftgate will be necessary at the time of booking.

Things to Keep in Mind with Residential Shipping:

  • A residential location is categorized as any place you sleep.
  • Unless your freight is under 75 pounds and can be manually lifted on and off the truck by the customer—a lift gate must be used.
  • It is a curb-to-curb service. This means the driver is solely responsible for driving the truck and will not assist with moving the frieght into or out of the truck.
  • No one is allowed on the truck except the driver. You will not be allowed to jump on the truck to unstack or build pallets.

Common Examples of Residential Locations:

  • Home-based business
  • Business in residential neighborhood
  • Home (apartment, condominium, single-family home, etc.)


Business locations can be categorized as any commercial or warehouse location.

Common Examples of Commercial Locations

Though business locations are typically easier to orchestrate shipments in and out of, certain business locations may still be considered limited access. By using Google Maps, your FreightCenter Agent is able to determine if your location will fall under limited access or not.

Things to Keep In Mind With Business Shipping

  • A liftgate is necessary when no dock or forklift is available and your freight is more than 75 pounds.
  • If there is any sort of gate, barricade, or hindrance that would stop the truck driver from pulling all the way up to the business to conduct a pick up/drop off, it will be considered limited access.
Public Parking Lots

Although parking lots provide ample space to conduct a freight pick up or drop off, it’s sometimes difficult for truckers to identify who their customer is and where exactly they’re located. Therefore, this location is typically reserved as a last resort effort. A FreightCenter motorcycle carrier, HaulBikes, frequently uses public parking lots to pick up and drop off bikes—for no additional fee.

Whether you’re shipping to or from a residential or business location—it’s best to lay all our cards on the table from the beginning. This helps your FreightCenter Agent identify which accessorials you need, and allows your FreightCenter Agent ample time to add them to your Bill of Lading. By doing so, you’re preventing yourself from receiving a billing adjustment down the road.

To begin booking your shipment, start by getting a freight quote with our instant quote tool.

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