Value-Added Services vs. Extra Charges
What is the Difference Between VAS and Extra Charges and Why Ones Are Fair Game and the Others Aren’t
Working with as many freight shipments as we do means that we often get calls or emails from clients complaining about extra charges applied by carriers. Sometimes the client has a point, and other times not so much.
So what’s the difference?
Value-Added Services (or VAS)
A VAS is any service added to your order that falls outside the scope of what’s considered the industry standard in freight shipping. For example, a liftgate is a value-added service despite the fact that they’re a fairly common request.
That’s because the industry standard is B2B, dock-to-dock shipping. Both sides are businesses, both sides have docks or forklifts for loading and unloading.
In short, VAS are services of value (necessary for the successful completion of pickup, care during transit, or delivery) added to your shipment, similar to ordering extra fries to go with your meal.
Here are some examples of value-added services:
- Limited Access
- Inside Pickup/Delivery
- Jigger/Pallet Jack (Although most carriers will have one with them, it’s not bad to check beforehand)
- Small Truck (If your location cannot accommodate a 53’ truck)
- Trade Show Pickup/Delivery
- Delivery by Appointment
- Amazon Delivery
Extra charges are perhaps, along with unforeseen delays or damage, the most common grievance a freight shipper may have. The number of people who are subject to extra charges may be significantly reduced if we don’t include valid VAS added to an invoice.
Let’s break it down.
Extra charges are a big no-no at Freightera. We strive to make sure all of our rates are all-inclusive and final as long as you quote for what you need.
For example, if you have a dock or forklift on your location and the carrier adds a tailgate charge to the invoice, that’s unfair and it’s something our team will work hard on disputing and removing from your invoice. Keep in mind that if the proof of delivery (POD) is signed as having a tailgate used, there is very little our team can do. If you do not require a service and do not want it used, make sure to scan the POD and sign only if you’re happy with what you see.
Some other common extra charges that we get to see daily are reweighs and reclassifications. In our experience, these are generally valid. So what can you do to avoid them?
Make sure that the weight you enter during quoting is the exact weight of your shipment including the weight of the pallet.
For the USA and cross-border shipments, class is a big one. Considering that most classes are calculated based on the weight and dimensions of your cargo, you’ll want to be 100% sure of both of these measurements before you get a quote.
However, if your location does not have the means to load or unload your heavy cargo and the carrier adds a tailgate service charge to the invoice, that’s fair game since it was necessary in order to complete your order. That would be a value-added service, not an extra charge.
So how can you tell?
Here’s a great article we wrote a while back on how to avoid extra charges in freight shipping. But for a quick hack and wrap-up we recommend knowing exactly what you need.
Make sure to be in touch with your shipping partner on the other end (either pickup or delivery location) and make sure to ask them if they need any additional services listed above. If they do, make sure to select them during the quoting process and you’ll know exactly what the price is and if you like it right away.
If you happen to have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us via email at [email protected], by phone at 1(800) 880 4870 Ext 1, or by Online Chat. We’ll be more than happy to help! 🙂