Some receivers, especially grocery warehouses, hire a third-party company to unload incoming trucks. They believe that this will increase their efficiency, making it easier and faster to process the trucks that come in with their goods.
The company that unloads the truck is called a lumper service, and they charge a lumper fee for unloading the truck.
Why Does a Lumper Fee Matter?
Why should you care about lumper services or fees as an independent truck dispatcher?
Let’s review a couple of scenarios. One will be a positive scenario, and one will be negative.
A Positive Lumper Fee Scenario
Let’s say you are booking a load, and the freight broker says something like, “Hey, at the receiver, there will be a lumper, so I need your driver to give me a call when he’s there. I will issue a T-check or a Comcheck (remote payment method) to pay for the lumper so he can get unloaded.”
Now as the driver arrives at the receiver, he calls the freight broker and tells the broker what the amount for the lumper fee is. Then, the broker issues payment, and the driver passes on the payment to the lumper service.
How Does This End?
The truck gets unloaded and goes on its way. All the driver has to do is scan the copy of the lumper receipt and send it to the broker. Nothing else needs to happen; the load has been delivered, and this scenario is over.
A Negative Lumper Fee Scenario
Now let’s examine an alternative, more negative scenario.
You call a broker to book a load, and the broker tells you nothing. Your driver arrives at the receiver, and there is a lumper service saying they want $300 to unload the truck. So the driver calls the broker and tells him about the lumper, but the broker says, “Just go ahead and pay it, and I will reimburse you.”
First of all, the driver may be carrying $300 to pay for the lumper fee. And even if he does, he probably shouldn’t pay, so let’s discuss why that is. This is a theoretical example.
Suppose your driver pays $300 to unload the truck. It is being unloaded, and some damage is discovered, so the broker decides not to pay for the load. This means that besides not receiving payment for the load, your client has also invested $300 of his own money into something he didn’t get paid for.
There could be different variations of this scenario. For example, maybe the driver sends a receipt to the broker, and the broker doesn’t receive it. Then a couple of months later, your client gets underpaid by $300 because there wasn’t an original receipt, or it wasn’t readable, or whatever the case may be. Basically, the idea is your client should not be investing any money into the broker’s load, which he hasn’t been paid for.
There’s another reason you shouldn’t do this. When factored, $300 will require your client to pay the factoring company about $9 in interest fees. It’s not much, but why should your client lose any money because somebody did not notify you in advance or prepare for this situation?