Shipping Millwork to Limited Access Locations

Brandon Draga

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping is crucial for operating many in the cabinet manufacturing industry. After the long, detailed manufacturing process, the last thing anyone wants is a delayed or canceled shipment leading to rebooking installers and upset customers. Worse still, if you also get hit with unforeseen fines. The shipping process can be challenging enough when delivering to residential locations, but the market for woodwork extends far beyond homes, particularly when it comes to millwork. Courthouses, malls, and hospitals are frequent purchasers of large, intricate pieces. The other thing they have in common? Most carriers designate them as limited access locations.

Limited access locations are non-residential locations that don’t fit into a standard business description. What does this mean, exactly? Well, it can mean many things. The clearest example is locations where freight trucks are physically challenging to navigate. For instance, churches and health offices are considered limited access due to their high levels of pedestrian traffic, and their receiving areas may have reduced maneuverability for trucks. 

But navigability isn’t the only factor at play here. Airports and military bases, for example, are deemed limited access due to increased security presence or that they are generally inaccessible to the public during business hours. If you’ve ever cursed the hours spent waiting in lines before your flight, know that freight carriers are in no way immune to similar scrutiny. 

These kinds of locations make for customers with big contracts, and that isn’t something you want to screw up during the last step of the process. Think multiple projects for intricate millwork and commercial kitchens across hotel chains, university campuses, and seniors’ homes. An efficient, reliable product delivery provides a solid foundation for the relationship, hopefully leading to future big projects.

But it’s not just about making your customer happy; you’ve also got to keep an eye on your bottom line. Limited access shipping locations factor into your overall shipping rates. If one freight carrier considers a shopping mall limited access and another doesn’t, it pays dividends to know who is who. Even more importantly, providing incorrect or incomplete information to the freight carrier can have hefty consequences. If you pick the wrong carrier, it can cause delays if the shipment can’t get where it needs to go.

Knowing what to classify as a limited access location when getting a quote could be the difference between the smooth, seamless movement of your goods and the driver’s refusal – because of insufficient paperwork, the inability to clear security, or the wrong size truck.

What happens then? Fees, of course! Missed pickup or delivery fees are expected in these instances, but that’s not all. Often the carrier will even charge a limited access fee after the fact, despite whether or not the pickup or delivery was even completed! Now you have a larger-than-expected invoice, the carrier has wasted their time, and the customer has to wait longer than expected. That is a lot of unhappy people on account of one avoidable oversight.

Brandon Draga is a full-time content writer at Freightcom, the leading shipping solution for businesses in Canada. When Brandon is not writing content to help businesses with their shipping needs, he can be found at local skate parks or writing fantasy novels.

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