Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

Accessorial Service

A service in addition to usual liner service, normally with an added cost. Such kind of services include packing, loading, storage, etc.

Accessorial Services: Enhancing Efficiency and Customization in Logistics

In the ever-evolving landscape of logistics and freight transportation, the term "accessorial service" frequently emerges as a cornerstone of flexibility and customization. These services go beyond the standard procedures of picking up and delivering cargo, offering tailored solutions to specific logistical challenges. This article delves into the essence of accessorial services, their varied forms, the impact they hold on the logistics industry, and the benefits they offer to both service providers and clients.

The Essence of Accessorial Services

Accessorial services refer to additional, non-standard services provided by carriers or logistics companies that go above and beyond the basic transport of goods from point A to point B. These services are typically not included in the standard freight rate and are charged separately, based on the specific needs and requests of the client. They are designed to address unique requirements, operational challenges, and specialized handling or delivery needs that standard shipping services cannot accommodate.

Types of Accessorial Services

The range of accessorial services is broad, reflecting the diverse needs of shippers and the complexities of modern supply chains. Common examples include, but are not limited to:

Inside Pickup/Delivery: Moving freight to or from a specific location within a premises, rather than just to the loading dock.

Liftgate Service: Providing a hydraulic lift to load and unload goods when a dock is not available.

Appointment Delivery: Scheduling deliveries at specific times to accommodate the receiver's operations.

Packaging and Crating: Offering specialized packaging or crating to protect sensitive or high-value items during transit.

Assembly and Installation: Performing light assembly or installation of goods upon delivery, often used in consumer appliances and furniture logistics.

Temperature Control: Providing temperature-controlled transport for perishable goods.

Hazardous Material Handling: Offering specialized handling and transportation for hazardous materials, complying with strict regulatory requirements.

Impact on the Logistics Industry

Accessorial services have significantly impacted how the logistics industry operates by introducing a higher degree of customization and customer service into freight transportation. These services allow logistics providers to cater to a wider range of client needs, from small businesses requiring special handling for delicate products to large corporations needing complex logistics solutions for their global supply chains. By offering these tailored services, logistics companies can differentiate themselves in a competitive market, build stronger relationships with their clients, and generate additional revenue streams.

Benefits of Accessorial Services

For clients, the benefits of accessorial services are manifold:

Customized Logistics Solutions: Clients receive services that match their specific logistics needs, enhancing efficiency and safety.

Cost Management: While accessorial services are charged additionally, they can ultimately lead to cost savings by reducing the risk of damage, delays, or failed deliveries.

Enhanced Convenience: Accessorial services like appointment delivery or inside delivery can significantly improve convenience for the receiver, making the logistics process smoother and more streamlined.

Compliance and Safety: For goods that require special handling, such as hazardous materials or temperature-sensitive products, accessorial services ensure compliance with regulations and mitigate the risk of accidents or spoilage.


In conclusion, accessorial services represent a vital feature of modern logistics, providing the flexibility and customization necessary to meet the varied demands of today's shippers. By understanding and effectively utilizing these services, both logistics providers and their clients can achieve greater efficiency, customization, and satisfaction in their transportation solutions. As the logistics industry continues to evolve, the role of accessorial services will undoubtedly expand, further enhancing the capabilities and reach of global supply chains.