One of the more commonly overlooked services in the shipping industry is called a liftgate service. It is required for many companies, especially those in residential-style buildings. A liftgate service is required in some instances, but it does come with an extra fee. Since shipping companies often must explain why it is required and why there is an extra fee, here are some common questions and answers.
What does a liftgate look like?
A liftgate is a metal platform that mounts to the back of a freight truck. Using hydraulics, it makes loading freight easier. It can extend all the way to the ground to load cargo and then lifts to the truck level, where it is then moved into the truck. This is the best way to load and unload heavy or fragile items when there isn’t a loading dock attached to the store or warehouse for easier access to the truck.
How does using a liftgate change a shipping service?
There is very little on your end that must change if a shipping company uses a liftgate to load your freight, but it does take more time. There can be extra charges for the liftgate because it requires more time in the schedule to accommodate loading and unloading. You can help save time by having all the freight packaged correctly and ready to load, but it will still take time to maneuver freight up and down on the liftgate. It is important to let the shipping company know you require this service since not every truck is outfitted with a liftgate.
Can’t I just lift the freight in and out by myself?
No, not all shipments can be loaded by manpower. Not only can a heavy shipment hurt those trying to load it or unload it themselves, but it might be impossible due to the weight. Some packaged shipments are top-heavy or have an uneven distribution of weight. This can be a dangerous situation for anyone not using the proper equipment. Since you are already paying a shipping cost for transportation, let the professionals do the loading and unloading. They are properly trained and bear the burden of liability. Please let them do their jobs.
Should I get a loading dock?
While this is an ideal set up for sending and receiving shipments, it is not always feasible for a business to have a loading dock. There are different zoning laws, space restrictions, and even lease agreements that don’t allow companies to build a loading dock. If it is possible to add a loading dock, it depends on how often your business would use the area. If you send and receive a lot of shipments, it might be worth your time and money to add in a loading dock to make the process easier.
A liftgate service is an important part of the shipping industry. When an extra charge is put on your quoted shipping price, it isn’t just to make more money. Providing this valuable service helps ensure your freight is shipped safely and securely. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to explain what is right for your circumstance and how we can help.