Limited Access Deliveries: Everything You and Your Customers Should Know (Part 2)
So what questions should I ask my customer and what should I tell them?
Make sure to get a customer’s cell phone or a number where a customer can be reached. Shipments are often delayed because the carrier cannot schedule a delivery appt.
When shipping to a limited access point you should ask if they have a dock or way to unload the freight or ask them if they need a liftgate for delivery. If they advise they don’t need a liftgate let them know that if the driver offers a liftgate if it used or it is signed for there will be an additional fee that will be charged to them.
Most residences do not have a forklift handy but sometimes can hand unload a shipment if it is light enough. Farms often times do have the necessary equipment to unload but are still considered limited access for most carriers.
You should also ask what your customers normal receiving hours and if there are any days they cannot accept delivery. Advise your customer up front deliveries are made M-F during normal business hours and the carrier will schedule a delivery. If your customer will be away for an extended period of time like a vacation and cannot receive it is best to hold off on shipping until they return. The LTL carriers will normally only freight a few days before charging storage.
My customer said they cannot unload the shipment, now what?
Advise the customer they will need a liftgate for delivery and there is an additional fee for the service. Unless arranged in advance the driver will do a curbside delivery. The driver will not bring the shipment inside for them without charging a fee. This is very important to communicate to your customer who might be more accustomed to how appliance deliveries work versus a freight shipment and think it’s the driver’s responsibility.
So what else should my customers expect?
It’s a good idea to tell your customer before the item ships what to expect and when they can reasonably expect delivery. Note that scheduling an appt, or setting up a liftgate delivery normally adds a day. Work out up front any additional services that are needed like liftgate, delivery appt, or inside delivery etc.
They should also be made aware it will be a pretty big window for delivery usually at least 2 hours, make sure someone is on site as the driver legally needs someone to sign and take ownership of the freight.
Advise your customer to inspect the packaging and product and make any notations on the delivery receipt. Advise them to not sign for any additional supplemental like lift gate or inside delivery unless they were requested or if they are willing to pay those fees themselves. They should treat the delivery receipt like a legal document and scrutinize what they write and what the driver writes.
Ok sounds good what should I do if the product is damaged?
If your customer notifies you that an item is damaged make sure they mark it on the BOL and have them set the product aside for possible inspection. Contact PNGLC and we will handle the claim and paperwork and advise specifically what is needed.
If a carrier attempts to deliver and no one is available at the appointed time, there will normally be redelivery charges. If the customer wants to change the address it is shipping too after it has been picked up there also we a charge for that as well.
Sounds like a lot of extra work and charges any way around it?
Your customer can always have the shipment shipped to business with a dock or pick up the freight themselves at the local terminal.
For questions on limited access deliveries, contact us at 717-626-1107×3 or email email@example.com