A Primer on Limited Access Fees

limited access fee, outbound shipment fee

When making an outbound delivery, a carrier may impose an additional surcharge that will appear on an invoice as a limited access fee. Many people question this charge, but it’s actually quite commonplace for certain types of machine transports.

The Limited Access Fee Explained

Carriers may impose a limited access fee due to any additional difficulties involved in the travel route.

What constitutes a more difficult route? The standards differ between carriers. However, destinations like construction sites and military bases may involve a more complicated than usual route. With military bases, for example, the driver may have to make a stop at a checkpoint. This includes a subsequent inspection of the cargo. This can add to the travel time, which is why a limited access fee may apply.

Are Limited Access Fees Valid?

Customers have questioned the legitimacy of limited access fees. Admittedly, some carriers and LTL shippers do not consistently impose the charge. Some shippers may also revise their policy on limited access fees. As such, clients may begin seeing the charge even though it never appeared on prior shipments to the same destination. 

Common Limited Access Sites

We already mentioned construction sites and military bases as examples of limited access sites. However, other destinations may also accrue the fee. Other common areas include:

  • Mines/quarries
  • Correctional facilities
  • Federal and state government buildings
  • Oil and gas fields
  • Power plants
  • State and national parks

Areas may also include non-commercial sites, such as private residences, apartments, farms, and self-storage units. These areas may only be accessible during limited hours, hence the surcharges.

We Pair You with a Compatible Carrier

As brokers, Machine Transport has no control over a carrier’s limited access fee policy. Most truckload line haul services will review their shipping policy with you beforehand. Limited access fees are only one of many factors that contribute to your total invoice fee.

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