Definition of government/surplus sites and limitations
Liquidations and auctions are a common practice across the country, where consumers bid for medical equipment,
farming machinery, military material, and much more. These auctions often take place over the Internet. These LTL
pickups are notorious for delays and complications, but they don’t have to be. All it takes is a little bit of planning. In this Freight Paper we’re going to discuss the process of picking up LTL freight from government liquidation/surplus auction sites. We’ll provide the questions that you need answered before scheduling a liquidation/surplus pickup, and some tips to think about along the way.
Is the freight packaged and ready for release?
Once you make the purchase, it may take the local warehouse some time to prep the freight, and have it pulled and ready for the carrier to pickup. It’s important to confirm before scheduling the pickup that the freight will be released upon the carrier’s arrival, otherwise you might have to deal with a dry run fee or other penalties. This includes knowing whether the location has a loading dock, as well as the hours of operation/the time window the freight will be available.
What is the release deadline?
At the time of purchase you will be given a release deadline. This is the date by which you must get the product off-site, otherwise you may have to forfeit the purchase. Make sure that you let your broker know your release deadline, that way they can begin the pickup process before this date.
How should I package the freight?
Packaging for these sites will be consistent with all LTL packaging. The particular packaging will depend on the item
being shipped, but they must be palletized, crated, or boxed.
Where is the location for pickup?
It’s important to note the exact warehouse or lot location that the pickup will take place. There are thousands of locations across the country, and not all carriers will service all locations. For instance, there is a location under the government liquidation umbrella that is out of Lockburn, OH that none of our carriers will service. Therefore, we cannot service the Lockburn, OH location.
Is the pickup location on a military base?
It’s important to alert your freight broker if the pickup location is on a military base. Not surprisingly, they don’t let just anyone walk on to a military base, so the driver must have sufficient clearance/documents to make sure there are no holdups on the pickup.
Is this an accessorial or additional service?
No, but you still need to alert your broker or the carrier that the pickup is at a government liquidation center. Some carriers will charge limited access for certain pickup locations, but that’s carrier dependent and will vary by location. Overall, these pickups are usually more expensive than your standard LTL shipment.
What documentation do I need to schedule this pickup?
You will need to provide your broker with the release document that will be given to you at the time of purchase. This is a two-page document that is like a bill of sale. It has a location to write in what carrier will be making the pickup. They’ll also need to provide the invoice number, the sale number, and the lot number. The liquidation site will also provide these at the time of purchase.
How much time before pickup should I schedule with the carrier?
Your broker/carrier will need advance notice to make any pickup at a liquidation or surplus location. They’ll need at the very least 24 hours to confirm the carrier, make pickup appointments, etc. Typically it’s smart to schedule the pickup a few days before you expect the freight to be put into transit. For more information on LTL and truckload shipping, visit www.FreightPros.com or call us at