Is it “Accessorial” or “Assessorial”?

Like William Shakespeare wrote, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.   In the field of transportation logistics, we encounter a similar linguistic dilemma.  Is it an “accessorial charge” or an “assessorial charge”?  Whether written in transportation industry magazines and journals, or spoken aloud by transportation and logistics professionals and analysts, both spellings and pronunciations are commonly encountered.  So, which is correct?

First, it is worth noting that both spellings appear in any number of dictionaries and thesauruses.  And each definition seems appropriate to the meaning.   The venerable Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers:

Definition of accessorial

1 :  of or relating to an accessory accessorial liability

2 :  of, relating to, or constituting an accession :  supplementary accessorial services


Clearly, the notion of supplementary services – like lumper fees, pallet jack rentals and others – comports with what we refer to as accessorials being payment for access to additional services.  Or perhaps it is payment for some accessories that is the meaning?  Both would make sound sense.  Yet, the online site defines the assessorial spelling of the word like this:

Definition of assessorial

(logistics, of a fee) Pertaining to services other than basic delivery, such as fuel and equipment.

Noun (plural assessorials)

An assessorial charge.


This definition even references the usage in the context of logistics and aligns nicely with the notion that the fees are assessed for services rendered.

So the conclusive research seems to indicate that either or both of these similar terms are correct in describing these added fees that are assessed when services are accessed.



Either way you spell it, UltraShipTMS offers a freight pay solution that goes beyond simply automating invoice management.  The Ultra Freight Pay module delivers features and functionality that support an exception-only management process saving significant time and money for the transportation department.



For example, the Ultra Freight Payment and Audit module allows users to set tolerances and allowances so that modest overages versus planned rates (like those incurred by assessorial charges) do not trigger an exception. Instead they’re allowed to pass through for processing.  See more about this unique and efficiency-boosting solution in this video.

Ultra’s Freight Payment and Audit solution also captures and catalogs all late codes and comments to support robust audit and reporting using an attractive visualizer. This enables finance to share with planners patterns of carrier performance – both the leaders and the laggards.  This kind of information helps a logistics program continuously focus on reducing unnecessary spend.

No matter how you spell it, to cop a quote from Shakespeare, “Freight savings by any other name are still just as sweet”, and UltraShipTMS is here to help you get it right.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *