Dogwood Ceramic Supply Logo showing The Showroom

Motor Freight Information

For the big stuff commonly sold by Dogwood Ceramic Supply...

often with shipments weighing hundreds or thousands...

Pallets waiting on Dogwood Loading Dock

...or even tens of thousands of pounds...

Pallets on loading dock

... the only practical means to deliver the order is palletize the order and ship by a trucking company....


Basic Motor Freight Information

     Unlike UPS charges, freight charges are extremely complicated as the freight rates are based upon the weight of the shipment, density of the goods, ease of handling, damage rate versus cost of the goods, distance traveled and the volume of freight handled between origin and destination for the freight company as well as services required at the origin and destination.  In other words there is no "one size fits all" for freight pricing.

     Even with all the variables involved Dogwood Ceramic Supply is preparing an Estimated Motor Freight Rate Table for each major product type and typical quantities being shipped for shipping locations within 500 miles of Dogwood Ceramic Supply (the most common purchases).   The published rates include the current fuel surcharge and Dogwood Ceramic Supply's Freight Service Fee.

    The Estimated Motor Freight Rates do not include any accessorial charges, such as residential fees or liftgate fees for locations without dedicated off loading capabilities.  To avoid residential surcharges just request delivery to the closest freight terminal for pickup during normal business hours OR find a local business with a loading dock willing to accept your freight for you. 

    While freight rates may be complicated, one key advantage to freight shipments is the simple fact that unlike UPS package shipping, doubling the weight shipped does not double the shipping rate.  In fact, for most customers within a few hundred miles of Dogwood Ceramic Supply, doubling the weight will increase the freight rates only a marginal amount.

Motor Freight Accessorial Charges


    Basic/Normal Motor Freight Rates are computed for service from commercial loading dock to commercial lock dock.  Any additional service above and beyond the service normally associated with delivery to a commercial loading dock will result in what are commonly termed Accessorial Charges.  The Accessorial Charges also include additional fees for unusual or infrequent delivery locations, such as a delivery to a remote island via a ferry.


    For customer convenience, Dogwood Ceramic Supply has consolidated the most common Motor Freight Accessorial charges into a single condensed section of information. 

Liftgate Service Fee:

    Customers lacking a loading dock or forklift service can request Liftgate service.  Liftgate is a hydraulic tailgate on the delivery vehicle used to lower the heavy kiln from the bed of the trailer to the ground.  Liftgate service fees are based upon service rather than the the weight of the shipped goods.  Minimum charge $45, subject to higher rates in select zip codes.

    Please note: Freight Companies do not automatically equip all of their trailers with a liftgate as the liftgate can add several feet to the length of the trailer thus reducing the drivability of the rig and may even limit access to some customer locations.  Because the trailer operating in your zip code area may or may not be equipped with a liftgate, requesting liftgate service may substantially delay the delivery of the goods from the delivery terminal to your location.  Do not request liftgate service unless necessary.4

    Warning:  Liftgate Service Requested is Liftgate Service Paid.  The requisition of the liftgate trailer invokes the service fee for providing the equipment and as such the fee is NOT conditional upon whether the liftgate is actually utilized in the delivery process but rather that the specialized equipment was requested and provided.  If the liftgate is deemed inadequate for the task to the weight, shape or size of the shipment or the customer chooses an alternative method for removing the equipment from the trailer the liftgate fee still applies.

Residential Deliveries:

    Freight companies routinely charge an additional fee, named Residential Delivery Surcharge, for the more time consuming residential deliveries.  Residential Delivery Surcharge applies to any actual residence as well as apartments, dormitories, estates, farms, home based businesses, ranches, rectories, parsonages or other locations where a dwelling for living is located and the facility is not open to the walk-in public during normal business hours.  Residential Delivery Fees are based upon the weight of the shipped goods.  Minimum charge $120 for the first 1000 lbs, subject to higher rates for select zip codes.




    Residential customers can avoid the Residential Delivery Fee by requesting delivery to the nearest YRC Freight Terminal.  The commercial rates will apply to the shipment and the YRC terminal will have forklift access for loading the customers vehicle.


    Some commercial locations may accept delivery of your shipment with prior arrangement.  Often customers will arrange delivery to a local lumberyard, nursery or other private business equipped with forklift vehicles for offloading and handling heavy goods.  Being a bit frugal ourselves, we strongly support these efforts to avoid the expensive residential delivery fees.


    Difficult Deliveries, as discussed further below on this page, should be accomplished by a LOCAL service provider specializing in small moves. 

Limited Access Deliveries:

    Freight companies routinely charge an additional fee, named Limited Access Surcharge, for the more time consuming delivery locations.  The list of Limited (Restricted) Access Deliveries includes schools, colleges, universities, prisons and other controlled or limited access facilities including psychiatric hospitals and construction sites as well as well as single deliveries to controlled access military facilities. The Limited Access Surcharge is $55 per delivery, except for the Borough of Manhattan which is $175.  Active Construction Sites may be higher and are subject to detention of equipment penalties for delays of more than 1 hour.  The Limited Access Delivery Surcharge does not include any other accessorial services required by the customer, such as liftgate service.  The Limited Access Delivery Surcharge does not apply to accumulated (consolidated) shipments for delivery to military facilities or military ports of embarkation as well as deliveries to the central receiving loading docks of colleges or universities.


Traffic Congestion Surcharge:

    Applicable to customers located in specific major metropolitan areas:

1) Metro New York City.
2) Southeast Florida (Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties).
3) Washington DC.
4) San Francisco Bay area (San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose metro areas)
5) Specific Zip Codes, generally the Downtown areas, of Annapolis, Atlanta,  Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Tampa as well as some parts of the Virginia Tidewater area.


   The Traffic Congestion Surcharge for the listed major cities (A, B, C, H, LA, M, NO, P & T) is only applicable to a limited number of specific zip codes overlapping with the heavily congested Downtown business districts (select Zip Codes inside the 610 beltway in Houston for example). The Traffic Congestion Surcharge rate for those specific Zip Codes is 20% above the rate for standard rate for rate outside of the downtown business district.

Geographic Limitations:

    Customers on islands only accessible via ferry or weight restricted bridges, islands a significant distance the mainland (Key West) as well as some narrow points of land (Dorr County, Delmarva peninsula etc) are geographically limited delivery locations.  Daily scheduled direct service may or may not apply to these locations.  The freight rates list for the State may or may not apply to your special location.  Basically all bets are off.  Freight Rates for these Geographically Limited locations will need to be hand calculated.  Non-Direct service may also apply.


Non-Direct Service:

    Do your neighbors consist mostly of cows and corn?  Do you drive 60 miles just to see a stop sign?  Is the closest fast food joint out by the highway in the next county over?  Welcome to the land of Non-Direct Service.  Non-Direct Service generally applies to rural locations with very limited populations.  Non-Direct Service can also apply to some islands and narrow points of land.  In many instances, Non-Direct Service will require the freight being transferred from the major national freight carrier to a "local" delivery service.

    YRC (Yellow-Roadway) is the exclusive freight company for Dogwood Ceramic Supply.  YRC provides service to more than 99% of all US cities with a population more than 30,000.  Yes, even Starkville Mississippi has daily YRC direct delivery service.  When it is not practical to handle bulk freight to Very Small Town America, YRC Freight will transfer the freight to a connecting service or marketing partner.  In some cases the marketing partner will honor Dogwood Ceramic Supply's YRC freight rates, other times the rates will not be honored.

   The connecting service may be a reasonably large freight company specializing in rural deliveries over a broad area (such as The Dakotas and Eastern Montana) or may be nothing more than a guy with a really big pickup truck who handles everything on your side of the mountain valley.  Delivery times can range from an extra day or two to an extra week (or three) if you are 100 miles or more from the nearest McDonalds.

   Regardless of the level of service, the rate for customers without Direct Service must be hand computed.  You can visit to determine whether your Zip Code has direct service.  Dogwood Ceramic Supply will confirm whether your Zip Code has direct service as part of our ordering process when you place your order with our staff.

Difficult Deliveries:

    Does "over the river and through the woods to the kiln shed we go" sound familiar?  Does your private driveway wind through narrow tree lined paths only wide enough for your Mini-Cooper?  Are tire chains needed to climb your steep frozen driveway in the middle of Summer?  Have both of the bridges on the road leading to your studio been condemned for heavy vehicles?   Welcome to Difficult Deliveries.  If there is a risk of the Freight Truck not being able to have direct access to your delivery location please inform Dogwood Ceramic Supply at the time of your order.  In some locations the Freight Company may have a box truck (smaller 10 wheeled truck) that can make deliveries at little or no extra cost.  Sometimes.  In some locations the use of the box truck will increase the shipping costs.  In many markets, "Two Dudes with a Big Truck" or similar small moving service is available.  These firms will take possession of the shipment at their commercial loading dock (avoiding the expensive residential and/or liftgate fees charged by our freight carrier) and arrange delivery to the customers location.  Often these firms handle refrigerators and other large household appliances so they should be quite adept at moving a kiln into your basement or stacking 5000 lbs of clay in your shed.

The Fine Print

    Freight charges are based upon published rates, the distance the goods will travel, the weight and density of the merchandise and packing material, and any additional service fees.  All motor freight companies have a minimum charge, as of April 2016 the minimum charge is $120 per shipment depending upon the destination not any accessorial charges.  If you need several small shipments, you might consider consolidating two or more orders in order to obtain the most goods for the minimum charge.  Dogwood Ceramic Supply receives a contractual freight rate from YRC.  These heavily discounted rates earned by Dogwood Ceramic Supply are in turn passed on to our customers.



Calculating the Basic Freight Charges


    To determine the charges for a motor freight shipment, the density of the goods must be known, the most dense items (such as clay) have a freight class of 50, the least dense items (such as ping pong balls) have a freight class of 500. The following chart is the NMFC freight classification for the most common items shipped by Dogwood Ceramic Supply:

Moist Clay 50
Kiln shelves and refractories 50
Slip, any kind 55
Premixed Glazes (Liquid) 60
Plaster Molds 60
Bisque, Machined (solid) 70
Packaging Materials (cardboard) 77.5
Kilns 85
Slab Rollers 85
Pottery Wheels 85
Casting Equipment 85
Bisque, Cast (hollow) 92.5
Pottery Stools 100
Tables/Stands for Kilns, not KD 125

    The freight class of a shipment has a tremendous impact on the total charges. Goods shipped at freight class 50 would cost 50% less than goods shipped at freight class 100 and freight class 200 is double the cost of freight class 100.

    The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) is a trade organization comprised of all the freight carriers operating in the United States.  The NMFTA generates the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) rating system in conjunction with the members as well as related industry advisors.  The NMFC rating system evaluates the primary transportation characteristics (density, difficulty handling, potential for damages etc) and simplifies the results into a simple numeric system for the members (freight companies) to determine actual freight charges to the customer.  As a result of the NMFC rating system member carriers are able to quickly process shipments and provide price quotations to the end consumers.

     The actual NMFC identifier numbers are proprietary to the NMFTA and its participating members and as such may not be published in any public media.  The Freight Class ratings and general product descriptions listed above by Dogwood Ceramic Supply are based upon actual shipments between Dogwood Ceramic Supply via our respective freight carrier and as such may or may not apply to any specific shipment between other shippers and freight companies.

     Dogwood Ceramic Supply can not provide NMFC numbers to the public.  If you need a NMFC number to complete a specific shipment please contact the freight carrier.

    Fuel Surcharge: All Motor Freight companies assess a value based fuel surcharge to each shipment.  The Fuel Surcharge fluctuates weekly, depending upon the national average of diesel fuel.  As of September 2016 the Current National Average Fuel Surcharge is 20.2% for LTL shipments.  LTL Shipments are palletized shipments that weigh less than the maximum amount allowed on the truck (Less than Truck Load or LTL).  Per Dogwood Ceramic Supply's contract with YRC, the Fuel Surcharge is included within our standard freight rates with some limitations.

    Insurance: Insured value of the goods is determined by the freight classification and the release value for that particular class of goods. As an example, the release value (insured value) of goods at Class 50 is $1.00 per pound, while goods shipped at Class 85 have a maximum release value of $25.00 per pound.  The release value will determine the maximum liability of the freight company in the event of loss or damage.  Additional (supplemental) insurance is not an option, so the proper rate class must be stated.

Additional Charges:

    The cost structure of freight shipments, properly classified as LTL (Less than Truck Load) or palletized shipments are based upon Zip Code to Zip Code combinations (shipper to consignee) for commercial loading dock to commercial loading dock service. For customers that require additional services, the cost structure will be adjusted using Accessorial Fees. Accessorial Fees may be based upon a percentage of the total freight charges, the weight of the shipment or a single flat rate fee. Accessorial Fees are determined by the Tariff (discount schedule) in effect at the time of the shipment, are subject to change and may not apply to all customers or locations. Each carrier determines the Accessorial Fees to be assessed by that carrier and the amount to be charged for each fee. Not all Accessorial Fees apply to each carrier. The list of Accessorial Fees provided by Dogwood Ceramic Supply are not complete as to Accessorial Fees that may be charged.

Accessorial Fees:

Commercial Delivery w/o loading dock
Pickup at Terminal
Limited Access Delivery
Schools & Universities with Loading Dock
Schools w/o Loading Dock
Construction Sites
Military Facilities
Gated Facilities (prisons & jails)
Roadside off-loading required
Remote Access Delivery
Residential Delivery
Liftgate Delivery
Inside Delivery
Arrival Notification
Appointment Required
Guaranteed Delivery Day
Guaranteed Delivery Time
Customer Service Fees
Traffic Congestion Surcharge


    For additional information please refer to motor freight accessorials on this page. 

Off Loading Obligations

    You should anticipate delivery and provide appropriate unloading facilities.

    Normal delivery is to your loading dock or the tail of the delivery truck where no loading dock may exist.  The delivery driver is not responsible for off loading the truck.  Please make arrangements to have staff available for off loading the delivery vehicle if your location does not have a loading dock or if you did not request liftgate service.

    If you require special services, such as lift gate service, residential delivery, inside delivery, or delivery notification, please let us know at the time you place your order so that those services can be billed at the lowest possible rate.

Packaging / Protection

    All purchases will leave our warehouse packed in the manner sufficient for normal domestic freight shipments.  If you require additional, or special packaging (such as export packaging) please notify us at the time of the order.  There may be an additional charge for special packaging including ISPM-15 compliance fees.


    Report any damage or breakage to the carrier immediately upon receipt of your merchandise.  You must retain all packing material for at least 30 days for the carrier's inspection.  The carrier has signed that your shipment was in good condition from our warehouse, therefore you must file a damage claim with the carrier (the specific trucking firm) regarding damaged or missing items.  We can not file the damage claim for you as the goods are not in our possession.  As the customer will be settling the claim directly with the carrier, the customer will be responsible for the cost of any replacement items which are sold by Dogwood Ceramic Supply.  Replacement freight charges can be added to your damage claim.

Freight Service Fee

    Dogwood Ceramic Supply's Freight Service Fee is a service charge for all shipments originating from Dogwood Ceramic Supply or any of our manufacturers.  The Freight Service Fee covers the cost of preparing all shipping documents, labels and the proper/legal completion of the Bill of Lading, the administrative cost of prepaying the shipment as required by the terms of our LTL tariff (shipping contract), the cost of domestic (untreated pine) shipping pallets used for the shipment, basic packaging charges not otherwise built into the product prices, minor freight rate variations within the customer's Zip Code, fluctuations in the fuel surcharge from the time of the quote to the time of the actual shipment as well as any changes in the estimated shipping weight, such as utilizing multiple pallets for complex shipments.  The Freight Service Fee is $20.00 or 5% of the base freight charges when the base freight charge exceeds $400.  The Freight Service Fee is included in all Dogwood Ceramic Supply published freight rates as well as any rate verbally quoted by Dogwood Ceramic Supply.  When itemized freight charges are required the Freight Service Fee will be itemized separately.




Bill of Lading

    The Bill of Lading (BOL) is a legal document that must be prepared and signed by the party responsible for the freight charges or their agent.  The BOL states that the signor declares "the contents of this consignment are fully and accurately described by the proper shipping name and are classified, packaged, marked and labeled and are in all respects in proper condition for transport according to applicable international and national governmental regulations".


    No goods shall leave the Dogwood Ceramic Supply shipping dock nor that of our manufacturers with a faulty or incomplete Bill of Lading.


    All Bill of Ladings must be physically signed, electronic signatures are not acceptable.


    Dogwood Ceramic Supply completes the Bill of Lading as part of our normal responsibility for shipments using the carrier of our choosing (YRC Freight).  For all other carriers, the completion of the Bill of Lading is the responsibility of the consignee or their agent. 


Pallet Fees

    Wooden or plastic pallets are required for stacking goods for shipment.  For domestic customer convenience Dogwood Ceramic Supply has included the cost of the shipping pallets either as part of our standard Freight Service Fee.  Domestic pallets have a practical weight limit of 1500 lbs per pallet for mixed goods and 3000 lbs per pallet for a single product.  Dogwood Ceramic Supply's ISPM 15 Certified Hardwood Export Pallets meet International ISPM15 requirements and have a weight limit of 3000 lbs per pallet regardless of goods stacked on the pallet.  All Export customers, as well as domestic customers requiring ISPM15 certified pallets will be assessed $22.50 per IPSM Certified Pallet used for the shipment.  Export pallets are required for all shipments outside the Continental United States.  All pallets become property of the customer.

Palletizing Fees

     Depending upon the mix of products, the time required to palletize (stack and pack) products for shipment can be substantial.  Whenever possible, Dogwood Ceramic Supply has included the time to palletize a simple mix of products into the cost of the product or as part of our standard Freight Service Fee.  More complex combinations of products will be handled on a case by case basis.

Accessorial Fees, Back Charged

   If accessorial services, such as lift-gate or limited access delivery, are required, please request those services to be added to your prepaid freight charges.  Any accessorial fee that is back charged to Dogwood Ceramic Supply’s account by the freight carrier is subject to an administrative charge of $65 plus the cost of the service provided.

Freight Charges Billed to Consignee's Shipping Account

    For the vast majority of customers, requesting Dogwood Ceramic Supply to prepay and add the freight charges will be the normal procedure for freight shipments.  In rare instances the customer may request the charges be billed directly to the customer (freight collect).  We will be happy to do so, but please be advised that Dogwood Ceramic Supply's Freight Service Fee shall still applicable.


    The Freight Service Fee will remain $20 or 5% of the base freight charges above $400 for shipments via YRC billed freight collect to the consignee's YRC account.


    Additional administrative and dock operation disruption fees for 3rd Party Billing (3PL or Freight Brokers) and any Freight Carrier without a physical nexus in the 228 Area Code shall apply.  Substantial fees shall apply for any carrier unable to perform their assigned task during our normal business hours.

ISPM-15 Standards


AKA The Story of Bug Free Pallets


    The issue of Bug Free Shipping Pallets would come to a head in October 2001 when the European Union issued an emergency measure requiring the treatment and marking of all new and used coniferous non-manufactured wood packaging material originating in the US and Canada. The European Union's emergency measure would lead to the development and implementation of ISPM 15 Standards for nearly every developed country through the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) of the United Nations.


    The European Union's emergency measure followed an outbreak of Pinewood Nematode in Portugal and additional sightings of the Pinewood Nematode in some of the Scandinavian countries. The European Union (EU) determined the Pinewood Nematode infestation in Portugal could be traced directly to the non-manufactured wood packaging material (NMWP) commonly used as packaging material, such as pallets and dunnage, for shipments to various EU ports of entry.


    The pinewood nematode is a microscopic eelworm, native to pine forests in North America, whose spread in North America is controlled by the North American Woodpecker (aka the North American Woodpecker Full Employment Act) appetite for the bark beetles and wood borers which function as the vector for the nematode. Outside of North America the Pinewood Nematode lacks a primary predator for the vector and has caused significant coniferous (pine, fir, spruce etc) and other soft wood mortality in Japan and other countries.


    Because the Pinewood Nematode had expanded to beyond Japan and the fact that pallets are commonly recycled by shippers, the EU emergency measure also applied to Japan, China and other Pacific Rim countries which may or may not have infestations of the pinewood nematode at that time.


    The EU emergency measure allowed the continued importation of hardwoods (oak, maple etc) for use as NMWP without restriction because the Pinewood Nematode will not invade the hardwood species. The soft coniferous woods would require one of 3 treatment programs and approved markings applied to the NMWP. Processed woods such as plywood or particle board would be exempt from the required treatment and markings because wood is cut thin and heat processed during the manufacturing.


    Within days of the original EU declaration, what was to eventually become technically known as ISPM-15 regulations or ISPM-15 standards, was derisively known at the Bug Free Pallet requirement. The requirements are not funny, but the bug free pallet moniker has hung around never less.


ISPM 15 Standards Today


    In 2003 the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures Publication 15 (aka ISPM-15 or ISPM 15 Standards) was developed directly from the 2001 EU emergency measure. The main purpose of the ISPM 15 is to prevent the international transportation and spread of disease, insects and pests which could negatively affect plants or an entire ecosystem.


    The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) thru the US Customs and Border Protection Service is responsible for implementation and enforcement of ISPM-15 for goods to be imported into the United States effective September 2004 per US 7 CFR 317.40. APHIS has further recognized several families of timber pests (insects) which may be found alive on imported wood products even following proper treatment. When these families of pest are found on imported wood products the entire shipment will be immediately re-exported at the expense of the shipper.


    Currently US Law exempts shipments between the US and Canada from the ISPM-15 requirements because the porosity of the US-Canadian border applies to both people and bugs.



(Ok, the law isn't exactly written that way...
but if you think about it, it is a little hard to keep our/their little bugs from flying or walking over the border



    That said, USDA/APHIS as well as their Canadian counterparts will be conducting hearings starting in January 2011 regarding the application of the ISPM-15 regulations for any shipment that crosses the Canadian-US border. In spite of the porosity of the US-Canadian border for insect travels it is anticipated that ISPM-15 regulations will eventually apply those shipments effective during 2012 if for no other reason than to standardize the tasks of US and Canadian Customs at every border crossing.


    For further information concerning the proper marking of ISPM-15 compliant NMWP please refer to ASTM D6253 Treatment and/or Marking of Wood Packing Materials as well as appropriate governmental agencies.

Additional Information


    Dogwood Ceramic Supply has developed special shipping information pages to address specific products, such as Paragon Pottery Kilns.  Because kilns are commonly sold as standalone products and the weight of the kiln is well established, Dogwood Ceramic Supply developed a simplified shipping rate system for these products.






Dogwood Ceramic Supply

12590 Dedeaux Road
Gulfport Mississippi, 39503
Telephone (228) 831-4848        Fax (228) 831-3111

Showroom Business Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday 10AM to 5PM
Thursday 1PM to 6PM

Closed Wednesday and Sunday

Website last updated: August 2018