All About WebstaurantStore Common Carrier Shipping

Whether you're shipping heavy equipment or a bulk order of restaurant supplies, WebstaurantStore common carrier shipping ensures that your items arrive safely and on time. Common carrier deliveries are shrink-wrapped and shipped on wooden pallets on large 18-wheeler trucks, which also allows them to handle larger orders that are too big for standard parcel carriers. We'll cover the process of placing an order for a common carrier shipment, what's expected of you (the customer) to successfully receive a common carrier shipment, and some frequently asked questions about the shipping process.

The Flow of a Common Carrier Shipment

Here is how a common carrier shipment generally goes, from the order being placed on the site to it being delivered to your establishment:

1. Place Your Order with WebstaurantStore

While you're shopping, you'll see a shipping calculator on the cart page that will inform you if your orders will be delivered via common carrier shipment. During the checkout process, you will have the option to add liftgate service and request a call before delivery to your order. Additionally, you'll find a comment box on the checkout page where you can add any comments about your order or any shipping requirements you may have.

Once the order has been placed, you will get a confirmation email from us with all of the relevant information about your order and shipping.

2. Bill of Lading Is Created

worker using a pallet jack to move pallet of boxes

A bill of lading is a legal document that is created in the warehouse and then provided to the carrier. The BOL specifies the terms of delivery that you set during the checkout process, such as any special instructions or liftgate services. The bill of lading also contains information about the freight and pallet stacking. Here is additional information the carrier can find on a bill of lading:

  • The number of pallets in the order
  • The total weight
  • A description of the contents
  • Your order number
  • Any special instructions for drop off, such as call before delivery or liftgate service

3. Carrier Picks up Order

After the order is picked and shrink-wrapped, the carrier will come to one of our warehouses to pick up your order and load it onto their truck. At that time, they will sign the bill of lading to signify that they received the shipment.

4. A Proof of Delivery Is Created

The proof of delivery (POD) is a delivery receipt that you must sign upon delivery of the shipment. The carrier will provide you with this POD upon delivery of the shipment for you to sign.

5. Your Shipment Is Delivered

Unloading common carrier shipments from a truck with a forklift

The carrier will arrive with your order. At that time, you can use a forklift or loading dock to unload your order. The driver of the truck is not expected to help unload unless a liftgate service was selected during the checkout process of your order. If you did purchase the liftgate service, the driver will get the order down off the truck but is not required to help move the shipment inside.

Once you have taken your order off the truck, thoroughly inspect the package for any potential signs of damage or missing pieces. You will be allotted 15 minutes to do so. After confirming that all of the items are accounted for and everything is in the correct condition, sign the proof of delivery and return it to the driver.

Customer Responsibilities for Receiving a Common Carrier Shipment

While much of the process of common carrier shipping happens in the warehouse and with the carrier, the following points are what you will be responsible for as a customer to successfully receive a common carrier shipment:

1. Be Present at the Allotted Time to Accept Your Shipment

The carrier will arrive during standard business hours, which is between 8 am and 5 pm. If you choose a call before delivery, the driver will contact you approximately 1 business day prior to arrange a 4-hour time window for the delivery. It's important to note that selecting a call before delivery will typically add an additional business day to the shipping time for the carrier company to contact you for confirmation.

Customers who aren't present during delivery may be subject to a redelivery fee owed to the carrier. Additional fees may also apply if you need a specific time window shorter than 4 hours.

2. Unload the Truck to Receive Your Order

Once the carrier arrives at your business, it's your responsibility to unload the truck with a forklift or a loading dock. If you added liftgate service to your order, the driver will help you get the order down, but it's your responsibility to bring your order inside. If your order consists of small parcels and can be broken down quickly and efficiently, you may be permitted to get into the truck to remove it.

3. Inspect Your Order and Sign the Proof of Delivery

Typically, most carriers will give you a 15-minute window to unload your order, inspect it for any damage, and ensure that all of the pieces are accounted for. It's important to note that if you take longer than 15 minutes to perform this task, you could potentially be billed a detention fee from the carrier. During your inspection, if you notice anything that is missing, make sure to note it on the proof of delivery. If you're missing items but do not list them on the POD, we cannot guarantee compensation.

If you notice that the packaging has been damaged, you can open it to inspect the contents and check if they have been damaged as well. If your items have been damaged, be sure to note it on the proof of delivery and take pictures of the damaged items and the packaging. Please contact our Customer Solutions team within 24 hours of receiving the order if your order is damaged or missing items.

What Is a Liftgate?

Selecting common carrier with liftgate at checkout

A liftgate is a motorized platform on the back of the truck that will lower your freight from the truck down onto the ground. This is an optional service that we offer that makes it easier to receive your common carrier shipments.

This service is ideal for customers who don't have a forklift or loading dock they can use to unload the truck, as well as for orders going to residential addresses.

Here are some important things you need to know about liftgate service:

  • Adding liftgate service to your delivery costs $55.00 if you add it during checkout.
  • Liftgate is automatically added to all common carrier deliveries to residential addresses.
  • The driver may help you get your freight down using the liftgate, but they will not assist in getting the order inside.

Call Before Delivery

Choosing call before delivery during WebstaurantStore checkout

Call before delivery is an additional service that you can add to your common carrier shipment to make delivery more convenient. This requires that the carrier calls you one business day before delivery to arrange a delivery time frame, which is typically a 4-hour window. The convenience of a call before delivery allows you to set up a time that works for you and lets you know when to expect your shipment.

Here are some other things you should know about call before delivery:

  • It is free to add a call before delivery to your order.
  • This service is optional for commercial customers, but it is required for common carrier shipments going to residential addresses.
  • Call before delivery may add an additional business day to your shipping time.
  • If the carrier misses the appointment, a new appointment will be made with no additional charge.
  • If you miss the appointment, there is a $65.00 re-delivery fee.

WebstaurantStore Common Carrier FAQs

If you have additional questions about receiving a common carrier shipment, check out the answers to common questions below:

Why Is My Order Common Carrier Instead of Parcel Shipping?

There are several reasons that your order ships via common carrier rather than parcel shipping. Here are a few common reasons:

  • Your order exceeds weight capacity or size requirements.
  • The order includes potentially hazardous materials, such as some types of cleaning chemicals or chafer fuel.
  • The warehouse shipping supervisor deems common carrier the safest method for delivery.

How Much Is the Re-Delivery Fee?

If you miss the shipping appointment, you will be charged $65.00.

What Is a Detention Fee?

If you take longer than 15 minutes to inspect your common carrier shipment, you could be charged a detention fee from the carrier.

When Will I Get the Call before Delivery?

The carrier will call you approximately one business day before your delivery.

How Do I Receive a Shipment at a Residential Address?

If you're having a common carrier shipment delivered to a home business, liftgate and call before delivery services are required.

My Order Shows Delivered, but I Haven’t Received It Yet

In this case, your order may have been delivered to an interline carrier. Interline carriers are often used in large cities or rural areas to complete deliveries. To check if your order is with an interline carrier, please contact our Customer Solutions team to check the proof of delivery.

WebstaurantStore's common carrier shipping is a convenient and reliable option for businesses in need of shipping large and heavy items. Now that you are familiar with the process, you are ready to outfit your restaurant with all of your kitchen equipment needs.

Posted in: Company Information|By Janine Jones
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.
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