What are Lumper Service and Freight Unloading Services?

Why should you use a lumper service? Whether it is truck, container, and railcar unloading and re-configuration of palletized freight, businesses are looking for an efficient and cost-effective 3rd party freight unloading service. It is not easy to unload a container, and the speed you unload the container matters a lot.

What a Lumper Service Does

If a company has a container or trucks to unload, often they will use a freight unloading service. The reason lies behind the cost of unloading trucks, the difficulty of the work, and the speed by which a container can be unloaded and palletized.

Companies engage a lumper service to take boxes that are stacked inside a 40-foot shipping container and then sort them in front of the container, and then put them on a pallet. Depending on the number of the SKUs being unloaded, and the complexity of the work, the price goes up or down.

lumping service for a 40 foot shipping container
lumping service for a 40 foot shipping container

How Much Does It Cost To Use a Lumping Service to Unload a Container?

For example, to unload a single 40-foot container, with two SKUs it would cost roughly $130 per floor-loaded container at the time this article was written. But if you increase the number of SKUs to over 70 SKUs, which is far more time-consuming and complex work, the price would increase by $150 per container to $280/ container.

Therefore, you can see that by adding complexity to the work of unloading a truck, the price of lumping services goes up. The other items that affect freight unloading costs include the weight of the load and the availability of powered material handling equipment like forklifts.

It Costs More to Unload a Truck of Heavy Cases

Lumper service - unloading a shipping container
Cases being unloaded from a shipping container – offloading trucks

Because unloading a container is hard physical work, it can be very time-consuming. If cases weigh more than 29 lbs, then there is a minimum charge to unload these heavy items of at least $200. Unloading heavy items means that the work is slower and sometimes it is required for the lumpers (freight unloaders) to work in teams to carry the cases and place them on a pallet.

Using powered industrial equipment, like an electric pallet jack, is also a must. If the lumpers (freight unloading associates) are required to move pallets using a hand pallet truck, then an additional surcharge of at least $30 per container is added.

Unloading a Container with Thousands of Small Cases

If you are bringing in trucks or floor loaded containers with many thousands of pieces, then the complexity of unloading the truck and then palletizing the load is much more complex. For a 1000 cases in a 40-foot container, the price as mentioned above is $130 at the time of this publication, but if you have over 8000 cases in the same shipping container, the cost triples.

Who Uses Freight Unloading Services?

Our current customers include the largest grocery companies, 3PLs, and distribution companies in the United States. Call us for a list of references for our lumper service.

warehouse worker moving a pallet stacked with groceries
grocery stores use lumping services and labor companies like Lean Inc.

Lumper Service near you – Location matters

Because truck loading and unloading relies on available manual labor, where your warehouse is located matters. If you are close by to other operations we have in the area, it is easy for us to send a crew over to unload any number of containers, but if you a located far from metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, then a certain regular and reliable volume is expected for the prices we offer. You can expect prices to increase as volume goes down, or the travel distance for our workers increases.

Lumper Service in Los Angeles

Our headquarters are in Los Angeles with the majority of our current operations in the Inland Empire or in downtown Los Angeles. That means we have capacity to take on new customers and service them by integrating new work volume into our current operations. If you are looking for freight unloading or warehouse labor outside of the Los Angeles area, we can assist depending on the size of the labor requirement and the proximity to our other operations in the mid-west and area east of the Los Angeles basin.

Prices for Lumper Service

Subject to change without notice, our prices for lumping services and freight unloading on the day this was published are as follows. INSTRUCTIONS: select the number of different types of products (SKUs) in the orange drop-down menu. Base on the number of items in the container, pricing is listed in descending order.

Freight unloading service pricing for the Los Angeles and Inland Empire area as of December 22, 2020. Subject to availability. Nationwide lumping services available upon request.

Interested in Lean Inc. providing loading and unloading of trucks and containers for your warehouse? Use the contact us form on the right-hand side and we will contact you shortly.