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How Exactly are Lumper Fees Calculated?

Love or hate them, lumper fees are charged by third-party logistics companies to load or unload your freight at the warehouse dock. While feelings toward lumpers may be mixed, the service can be a great benefit to drivers, often saving time at the dock and strain on your back. The key is to understand how lumper fees are calculated, as well as if and how you’ll be reimbursed.

What is the math behind lumper fees?

A lumper service is typically used at high-turnover food warehouses where goods are unloaded in large volumes. Each lumper handles the unloading of truckloads in different ways, depending on various policies and shipment types. To calculate lumper charges, each 3PL uses different measurements.

The following is a breakdown of the different methods used to calculate lumper fees:

Weight-Based Lumper Fee

Some warehouses charge a lumper fee based on the weight of each truck’s particular shipment. This fee is calculated per pound or ton, and once the unloading is complete, the driver is charged accordingly.

Per Load Fee

Certain warehouses charge a lumper fee per load, regardless of the weight of the shipment. Depending on the weight of each truckload, this fee can range from a few dollars to several hundred.

Hourly Fee

Some lumpers charge by the hour. This can include unloading, sorting, and even repacking goods, depending on the expertise and equipment required to unload. The hourly rate can vary depending on the location of the warehouse and the time of the day each driver needs their load handled.

Combination of Fees

A combination fee can include weight-based, hourly, or preload fees. The total lumper fee is then calculated based on which measurements were used to calculate the handling of the shipment for the driver.

Getting back on the road faster

Regardless of how they’re calculated, lumper fees typically were paid by the driver at the dock using cash or checks. This inefficient payment process led to long delays, lost receipts and late-night phone calls to verify check authorizations. That’s why Relay launched a streamlined lumper payment process that allows drivers to make fast, digital payments from their phone, and get off the dock faster.

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