Lumpers: Service or Scam?

Lumping services have gotten a bad name in the logistics industry, and it’s no surprise with how many bad actors there are. A lot of people have come to believe that if you can lift a box you can provide a lumping service. But we know that there’s a lot more specialized skill that goes into lumping than brawn.

The good news is that the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 made it illegal to coerce someone into unwanted loading or unloading and require payment. Many of the attitudes surrounding lumping are holdovers from this time, but there are still businesses willing to violate this to meet their bottom line. Know your rights, but also know who to work with.

When you work with AFS, you’ll get superior lumping services. Here are some of the ways we’re working to give your supply chain a leg up:

Faster Turnarounds

This is the number one goal of our clients: make changes fast and keep your supply chain moving. That’s what we’re here to provide. Instead of hiring an individual lumper, you’re hiring a lumping team with AFS. When it comes to load balancing and physical strategy, more heads are better than one. And when it comes to heavy lifting, many hands make for light work. Get help and get back on the road quickly.

Knowledgeable Workers

Many think of lumping as a young man’s short-term job. Something to do part time while still in school. But AFS is building supply chain careers through its lumping services. Balancing axle weight while loading in order of delivery requires specialized training and strategy that only comes with time. You don’t want to leave your supply chain in the hands of amateurs, and we want to provide our employees with better opportunities. That’s why we focus our sights on lumping professionals with experience in the industry.

Transparent Pricing

Here at AFS, we are believers in fairness and honesty in every aspect of doing business, and that extends to how we bill our clients. You can expect an estimate for work based on information provided before service takes place. Once the task is completed, we provide a fully itemized receipt.

While it didn’t used to be the case, 49 U.S. Code Section 14103 has made it illegal for shippers to dodge reimbursement to carriers for unloading fees. But according to Commercial Carrier Journal, there’s still a huge gap in carriers’ ability to request reimbursement due to the traditional cash and check system. 10 percent of paper receipts get lost along the way, which is why we offer digital transactions and receipt delivery so you can track it down in your email later.

Teamwork Mindset

Some truck drivers have spread bad opinions of working with lumping services because they only had one helper, and teaching them how to pack the truck according to their needs takes more time than loading themselves. Our lumping teams work in groups of three with all of our clients to reduce loading times. Their consistent teamwork improves communications and decreases strategizing time because they work together again and again.

Increased Safety

The population of truck driving professionals is aging rapidly. To try and attract younger workers, a new law is being considered by the Department of Transportation to allow 18-year-olds to drive nationwide. But in the meantime, carriers need to take precautions to extend the driving careers of their workforce for as long as they can.

In addition to a quick turnaround, having three lumpers on a job encourages drivers to rest and relax while we do the heavy lifting. This allows them to save their stamina for their next long haul while getting back on the road more quickly, which keeps them and your freight safe on the road.

The circumstances surrounding lumping services are changing for the better by and large, but it’s going to take some time to weed out all the bad actors. In the meantime, working with a quality 3PL partner can give your services a boost in efficiency and safety that reverberates throughout the rest of your supply chain. When you need help, we’re here to lend a hand.

Tags: Lumping