If you are shipping FCL, your cargo may be subject to trucking wait fees or drop fees.
Drayage is the trucking transportation for a full container load. You may have seen these trucks hauling containers on the road.
Once these trucks arrive at their destination warehouse, the drayage cargo will be unloaded in one of a few different ways, and in some cases may be subject to certain fees:
- Live unload, which may incur trucking wait fees
- Drop(s), which may incur a drop fee
- Drop-and-pick or a drop-and-hook
Your Flexport team will work with you and your receiving warehouse to determine the best option based on schedule, cost, and location.
Live Unload & Trucking Wait Fees
If a shipment is being live-unloaded, the truck driver will wait at the warehouse while the container is being unloaded. Then, the driver will return the empty container to the container yard at the port.
With a live unload, most drivers will allow for 1-2 free hours of waiting while the cargo is being unloaded. After the free time expires, they will begin charging for additional time on a prorated hourly rate, which is reflected on your Flexport quote or invoice as a trucking wait fee.
This means that live unload is ideal if your cargo can be unloaded within two hours. If your cargo is palletized, and the warehouse has a forklift to quickly move all of the pallets into the warehouse, live unload will be more cost- and time-efficient. Drivers usually can't wait for very long past their free time, however, so if the cargo can't be unloaded quickly, they may need to do a drop (explained below).
Drops & Drop Fees
With a drop, the driver drops off the container at the warehouse, and then leaves (instead of waiting while it’s unloaded, as in a live unload). Once we're informed that the container has been unloaded, the driver returns to pick up the empty container (generally within 48-72 hours).
The driver will charge extra for a drop, since it requires an extra trip. This is reflected on your Flexport quote or invoice as a Drop fee. You will also be charged for additional chassis use day(s), which appears on your invoice as a chassis fee.
A drop makes more sense when your cargo cannot be unloaded quickly or if it can't be unloaded immediately upon arrival at the warehouse, since the driver is usually unable to wait for several hours (and waiting time gets expensive quickly). For example:
- If the cargo consists of loose, floor-loaded cartons (which take longer to unload)
- If the warehouse is understaffed and/or congested
Drop-and-pick or Drop-and-hook for High-volume FCL
If you will have containers arriving every few days, a third option might be to have the driver drop off your full container, and then pick up a different empty container before leaving (say, your container that arrived the previous day, and has just been unloaded). This is sometimes called a drop-and-pick or a drop-and-hook.
This is less expensive than a drop or a live unload, since it does not require the driver to wait or to make two trips; however, it’s only an option if you have sufficient volume.