What is a Lumper Service?
By Seth Newman
When a carrier arrives to be loaded or unloaded, they may be charged with a lumper service. A lumper service, is when the shipper or receiver hires third-party workers to help load or unload the freight from the trailer and is more common with food warehousing companies.
Lumper services are meant to save truck drivers time and give them the ability to rest while their trailer is unloaded, however lumper services can occasionally receive negative feedback. The biggest complaint when it comes to lumpers is miscommunication. Drivers may be unaware of the lumper service when they arrive and may be surprised by the charge. At Ally Logistics, we take the time to notify our carriers when a lumper service is expected, as well as reimburse the carrier for lumpers.
Another concern from drivers who use lumper services is the turnaround it takes to get loaded/unloaded. All drivers want to have a quick transition from the dock to leaving the warehouse, with lumpers, drivers have complained about slow service times, making them wait longer to leave.
Ideally, lumper services can benefit everyone involved in the supply-chain. Drivers would be able to rest, avoid the risk of injury in helping load/unload freight, and allow the driver to leave faster. For the shipper and receiver, it should help reduce loading times and improve customer relations.
Garrett Lacy, one of Ally’s top account managers for over five years sheds some insight on his experience with lumper services.
“In my experience, lumper fees are between $50 and $400,” Lacy said. “The charge can change based on single stack or double-stacked pallets and what’s the commodity as well as the length of time it takes to unload the truck.”
As Lacy helps run the top account in the food industry for Ally, he has seen his fair share of both lumper services, and customer operated docks.
“I have had just as many receivers who have their own dock workers that take as long to unload as lumper services would,” Lacy said. “We have a customer that has several facilities and it can take up to eight hours to unload. The time it takes to unload whether they use a lumper service or not is about the same in the end.”
Ally Logistics makes paying lumpers as smooth as possible for both our carriers and customers. Ally sends comchecks (an electric format) to pay for lumper services to our carriers, and requires the receipt as soon as the service is finished to send to the customer.
James Rameriz, a manager for the national lumper service “EZ Lumper Services” explained why it’s beneficial to have a lumper service.
“We’ve had a lot of customers come to us and tell us that their freight gets tipped over during the transit,” Rameriz said. “When you use a lumper service, you use professionals that know how to stack pallets and put the pieces into a puzzle on the trailer. Our professionals are experts when it comes to securing freight, which is why many industries use us, instead of in-home workers.”
Lumper services are meant to increase the efficiency in the supply-chain, but service varies from warehouse to warehouse. Third-party lumpers have been found to be much more effective and efficient, as opposed to in-house lumper services. To ship with an experienced brokerage that is pro-communication, proactive and honest when it comes to lumper services, call 888-466-1024 to speak to a representative of Ally Logistics.