Accessorial Charges

There are many parts to freight bills of lading that shippers need to know before shipping their cargo. Usually companies will look at the base ocean rate when looking for shipping freight rates, but the accessorial charges are just as important. These are the additional charges on top of the base rates unless it is listed an all inclusive rate. All inclusive just means that these assessorial charges are included in the quoted rates. Knowing the difference can be very important when you are shipping cargo internationally.   

There are many different types of charges that can be added on to your ocean rates on your freight bill. Some accessorial charges are a part of most shipments, like a Terminal Handling Charge or “THC”. This covers expenses at the port of loading and can add a few hundred dollars to your freight costs. Others are just for certain ports like a Destination Terminal Handling Charge or “DTHC” that you may find because the steamship line has to pay extra fees for that destination. Other add-ons may include fuel surcharges and congestion fees which can increase the total freight costs for your shipment.

Before shipping any cargo, be sure to ask your freight forwarder or steamship line if there are any accessorial charges that will be added to your shipment. Usually they will tell you when quoting your freight rates but it is important that you find out since these types of add-ons can add a significant amount to your freight costs.