The shipping industry is an alphabet soup of abbreviations, acronyms and other terms that have no meaning in the real world. The problem is, many of these terms are associated with rather high fees, penalties and other charges that can add a significant amount to the freight charges. Understanding what these fees are and why they occur is a key in helping to avoid them and paying the least amount that you can for those freight charges.
Let’s take a look at what dry run fees are, why they are assessed and how you can avoid getting them.
What Is a Dry Run Fee?
The dry run fee is something that is assessed when a freight carrier shows up to pick up a delivery, but the freight wasn’t ready. There can be several reasons that this happens. The freight isn’t ready for pickup at the time that the carrier arrives. The shipper was not aware that the pickup was going to occur at that date/time. The freight is ready, but not in a state that the freight carrier is able to pick up. This could be due to the freight not being palletized in a way that the carrier can pick up or that it is just not ready to go per the freight agreement.
Quite simply a dry run fee happens when the freight carrier shows up and leaves empty handed. “Dry Run” is a tongue in cheek way of saying they were practicing driving from the carrier to the shipper.
How Can You Avoid Dry Run Fees?
Of course the easiest way to avoid the fee is to make sure that the freight carrier doesn’t show up until the order is ready to go. This can mean several things.
First, the order must be completed, boxed up and palletized. A freight carrier is there to pick up and go, they are not going to assist in packing the order. They are also not going to have time to wait around while the order is completed.
Secondly timing between the shipper, receiver and freight transport company is critical in ensuring that this does not occur. If the receiver is the one who is arranging shipping, then any delays that the shipping company is experiencing must be communicated properly and in a timely manner. This is also true if the shipper is the one arranging the freight. Communication between all parties is critical to ensure that the timing works out properly.
Not All Is Lost
Sometimes freight carriers will not charge a dry run fee. This is simply good will on their part for not wanting to raise freight charges unnecessarily. If you have a freight carrier that chooses to do this, do not abuse them. Try to make it a one-time occurrence.
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