What Are Lumper Fees at Walmart?
What Are Lumper Fees?
Lumper fees are the charges sent for unloading the cargo from a truck. Since lumpers are often third-party entities, it isn't the warehouse or distribution company's responsibility to ensure that a warehouse lumper is paid.
In most cases outside of Walmart, lumper fees are paid by truck drivers on-site when they drop their freight off at any given location. Depending on the situation and/or prior agreements, the drivers are usually reimbursed by the trucking company, broker, carrier, shipper, or other involved party.
In the retail industry, lumper fees are most common with grocery warehouses, there is considerably quick turnaround time. Lumpers will be hired out by warehouses or retailers to deal with large numbers of shipments when their warehouse employees get overwhelmed.
How Are Lumper Fees Paid?
When drivers are dropping off shipments at a warehouse and lumpers are unloading the truck, the drivers will call their higher-ups (3PL/logistics company) to receive permission to pass along the funds. After payment is completed, drivers will receive a lumper receipt, which confirms that the payment has been made.
From there, 3PLs will often pass the fine along to their employer, oftentimes, in the retail industry, a prepaid supplier. This same process happens at Walmart as well when suppliers are using 3PLs to ship to a Walmart DC.
How Do Lumper Fees Work at Walmart?
However, some Collect suppliers have been receiving lumper fees in the form of AR deductions directly from Walmart. In this case, Walmart is picking up shipments from the supplier and delivering them to one of their DCs. At the DC, when a lumper has to be paid to unload a truck, the Walmart driver will foot the bill, but the payment will be sublimated out across the suppliers who shipped in that truckload.
In the case of grocery shipments to Walmart DCs, the high turnover rate of product yields both a large number of LTL shipments. Perhaps Walmart is dealing with this by hiring out lumpers to help unload.
At Walmart specifically, lumper fees consist of a flat fee of $50/PO for most loads, and they are sometimes billed in bulk. These sometimes come as a surprise to suppliers because they are only agreed to in the fine print of their supplier agreements, and the lumper fees come and go sometimes sporadically.
The freight terms in the supplier agreement show whether Walmart is authorized to use a lumper to load/unload freight for a given supplier. Again, this method is more common for suppliers shipping grocery and produce, products with a high turnover rate.
Can You Dispute Lumper Fees?
No. As is the case with most fees at Walmart (i.e., Collect Pickup Program fees), these are largely not disputable. However, there have been some fringe cases in which lumper fees have been given out invalidly and suppliers have had success disputing these fees in HighRadius.
Some suppliers have had luck disputing duplicates when a PO has had more than one lumper fee attached to it. Because Walmart sticks rigidly to their flat fee of $50 per PO, if a single PO had multiple fees attached, they are likely to accept a dispute for that particular HighRadius ticket.
If possible, getting a supplier agreement amended so that Walmart is not allowed to pass along a lumper fee to the supplier in those cases would be ideal, but that depends on many external variables.
Supply Chain Insight with SupplyPike
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SupplyPike for Walmart helps suppliers save time by automatically harvesting shipping documents. Our shipping document integration then automatically performs validity checks on deductions and chargebacks, enabling suppliers to dispute invalid deductions automatically.
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Written by Richie Gay
About Richie Gay
Before SupplyPike, Richie spent 20 years in retail, including 5 years at the Walmart and Sam's home offices in Merchandising and eCommerce roles.Read More