FedEx charges a liftgate fee for the use of a special mechanical platform, called a liftgate, to ensure proper loading and unloading of cargo. These charges appear on the invoice under “FedEx Liftgate Fee” or “FedEx Liftgate Service”.

Most carriers charge a liftgate fee for this service, as it requires labor to operate the mechanism and also requires more time to load and unload cargo. It’s important to note that not all cargo requires the use of a liftgate.

They are typically used for palletized goods, where a pallet jack is used, or when moving heavy cargo that cannot be unloaded otherwise.

What Is a Liftgate?

A liftgate, also known as a tailgate, is a mechanical device installed at the rear of trucks. Its primary function is to assist FedEx drivers and freight handlers in the loading and unloading of heavy or bulky cargo.

Each liftgate has a platform that lowers or raises hydraulically after cargo is loaded onto it. When the liftgate is in the lowered position, it provides a surface for workers to place cargo onto or remove it from the vehicle.

The use of liftgates ensures proper and safe handling of the cargo. Moreover, depending on the type of truck, liftgates come in various sizes and different weight capacities to accommodate different types of cargo. 

Most FedEx box trucks are equipped with a liftgate to facilitate easier cargo loading and unloading. On the other hand, FedEx vans do not have liftgates installed.

How Much Is the FedEx Liftgate Fee?

Based on FedEx’s latest tariffs, liftgate fees are charged at $11 per hundredweight with a minimum charge of $163 and a maximum of $536. A hundredweight is equal to 100 pounds. This means that if 2,000 lbs of cargo were unloaded using the tailgate, a fee of $220 would be imposed by FedEx.

Why Does FedEx Charge It?

It’s important to note that not all shipments require the use of a liftgate. This means that offering it as an optional service allows them to allocate their resources more efficiently. In other words, charging a fee for this service ensures that only customers who need it would pay for it.

There are also other reasons such as offsetting the cost of the equipment, additional labor costs, and accounting for loss of productivity due to longer loading and unloading times. Let’s explore these reasons in more detail.

  • Equipment Costs – Procuring, installing, and maintaining this equipment on FedEx delivery trucks typically involves high upfront costs. To offset this initial investment and any ongoing maintenance cost, FedEx charges a liftgate service fee.
  • Labor Costs – Liftgate services often require additional labor, as the driver or a freight handler may need to operate the liftgate to load and unload cargo. Part of these liftgate fees are designed to cover the wages of the personnel involved.
  • Loss of Productivity – Using a liftgate may also increase the time it takes to load and unload cargo. Therefore, FedEx’s liftgate fee compensates for lost productivity.

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Gerrit Poel

Co-Founder & Writer
at freightcourse

About the Author

Gerrit is a certified international supply chain management professional with 16 years of industry experience, having worked for one of the largest global freight forwarders.

As the co-founder of freightcourse, he’s committed to his passion for serving as a source of education and information on various supply chain topics.