When it comes to receiving deliveries from suppliers, not all facilities have the right handling equipment or resources to unload cargo from trucks. This is where a lumper service may prove to be beneficial. 

A lumper fee is a charge imposed by a trucker or carrier for rendering a lumper service to the consignee. A lumper service is an additional service whereby the trucking company or carrier helps to unload the cargo from the truck, in exchange for a fee. 

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at what the lumper service entails, how much the lumper fee is, how it’s charged and what the potential benefits are to consignees. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

How Does a Lumper Service Work?

A lumper service is carried out by a lumper, who is employed by the carrier or trucker that is rendering the delivery or transport service. 

A lumper is a person who is tasked to physically unload cargo from the truck after it has arrived at the final destination. While with standard deliveries the consignee is required to unload the cargo themselves, this is done by the transporter when a lumper service is requested. 

When a standard delivery is requested by the consignee, the trucking company is not obligated to unload the cargo, as it requires additional time, resources and potential liability for possible cargo damage or mishandling. 

lumper unloading cargo

To account for all of that, the trucking company or carrier will charge a lumper fee. The lumper service includes unloading of goods to a designated location. This is done by the truck driver or a dedicated team and depends on the type of cargo.

This work calls for lifting of heavy objects, operating material handling equipment (MHE), and standing for a prolonged period of time. Once the service is completed, the service provider will bill the customer a lumper fee. 

How Much Is the Lumper Fee?

Lumper fees can cost anywhere between $100 – $500 and depends on various factors. The cargo type and quantity, equipment, and location can affect the price of the lumper service. The average lumper fees are about $350 per service.

Who Pays the Lumper Fees?

Lumper fees can be paid by the shipper or the consignee. Take note that rates tend to vary between origins and destinations. Depending on where and when it’s needed, the costs can be passed and billed between the transacting parties. 

How to Pay Lumper Fees

Lumper fees are paid directly to the carrier or trucking company, depending on who renders this service to you. Lumper fees are generally included in the transport invoice but appear as a separate line item.

Settlement is usually made either in cash or through a wire transfer, subject to the agreed payment terms. Here is an example of how it is presented: 

Company Name:Continental Trucking Services LLC.
Delivery Location:The Forum, 3970 West Manchester Boulevard Inglewood, California
Trucking Services:$320.00
Lumper Fee:$230.00
Total Fees:$550.00

How To Request a Lumper Service?

The easiest way to request a lumper service is to get in touch with your nominated carrier or trucking company for further inquiry. It’s also best to ensure that costs are finalized and agreed upon before requesting the service. 

If you are working with a carrier that does not offer any lumper services, you may request them to recommend any of their vendors or partners who offer it. Conversely, you can also check online for potential service providers.

Benefits of Lumper Services

There are various benefits when it comes to having cargo unloaded for you. Of course, in exchange for these benefits, you’ll be requested to pay a lumper fee. Here are the main benefits:

  • Cargo is unloaded for you
  • Requires less receiving personnel 
  • Reduce cargo mishandling when unloading
  • May not require you to have MHE

Lumper Fees vs Sort and Segregate Fees

As outlined in this article, a lumper fee is charged for having cargo unloaded on the consignee’s behalf when it arrives at the final destination. After the cargo is fully unloaded and delivered to a designated location in the warehouse or facility, the lumper service is concluded. 

However, there is an additional service on top of that, in which the team helps to sort the cargo and segregate it according to the consignee’s request. This type of additional service is charged with a Sort and Segregate fee. 

This activity is typically rendered when the consignee wishes to have the final delivery quantity verified in case it was short-shipped

This task is known to be time-consuming because there could be very specific sorting activities such as arranging cartons per product, packaging, or build-up of pallets, barcoding, and recording in the warehouse management system. 

Useful Tips When Requesting Lumper Services

If you’re interested in requesting a lumper service from a trucking company or carrier, there are certain things you should do to avoid any potential issues. Here are some useful tips that you should consider. 

  • Ensure that you have all cargo details
  • Get a firm quote from your service provider beforehand
  • Share the location details and unloading area
  • Highlight any potential unloading constraints 
  • Ensure that you have a designated area for unloading
  • Make sure that you or the provider has suitable MHEs
  • Provide cargo handling instructions if required

It’s generally advised to address all of the above-mentioned items before the service is rendered by the provider. Giving the trucker or carrier detailed information beforehand helps them to quote more accurately, instead of having to deal with potential discrepancies afterward.

It’s also helpful to provide images of your unloading location, available MHE, and other important information that they can make use of. This helps them prepare the necessary equipment and send in the right team to unload the cargo from the truck.

Another important item to mention to your provider is the cargo handling process. Lumpers will assume that all cargo is general cargo unless otherwise indicated. Ensure that they know what to do and what not to do. Clearly mention what type of cargo they are moving, especially if it’s sensitive or fragile.

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Andrew Lin

Co-Founder & Writer
at freightcourse

About the Author

Andrew is a multi-business owner with over 12 years of experience in the fields of logistics, trucking, manufacturing, operations, training, and education.

Being the co-founder of freightcourse has given him the ability to pursue his desire to educate others on manufacturing and supply chain topics.