What Is a Lumper Charge?

A lumper charge is a fee paid for the services of a lumper, which is a person who helps a trucking company load and unload freight. Lumpers are often used by food warehousing companies and grocery distributors.

One reason for lumper fees is that the warehouse gets a percentage of the fee, but it gets nothing if the truck driver unloads the cargo. The lumper sometimes works for a middleman rather than for the warehouse. In one survey of drivers, 60 percent reported that they’d used lumpers, but 36 percent said that they would have preferred unloading their cargo instead of being forced to let lumpers do the work.