„Express ramp” and unloading at an unusual time for an additional fee. Lidl extends a helping hand to carriers?

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The well-known chain of stores, Lidl, will start testing a new solution to optimize the use of drivers’ working time. In some network distribution centers in Germany, additional services will be offered at unloading. They are not among the cheapest ones.

To solve the age-old problem of unloading, the German chain of stores decided to implement a pilot project. It will offer a special service and charge extra for it – the German portal reports.

Express unloading for 40 euros

As part of the pilot programme, Lidl offers carriers an express ramp and unloading service carried out by their own staff. The cost of this service is 40 euros. The whole is to last no longer than 90 minutes. The service must be booked through a special Mercareon platform by 5 am on the day of delivery.

In addition to the „express ramp”, it is possible to order unloading at unusual hours. As a standard, in Lidl distribution centers, the goods are picked up between 12 pm and 6 pm. However, it happens that drivers do not arrive at the appointed time due to traffic jams. In such event, it is also necessary to book a new time slot through the Mercareon platform. The cost of rescheduling the unloading is 100 euros. As the company emphasizes, this solution means that truckers do not have to wait for the ramp until the next day.

Pilot project in six distribution centers

For now, an additional service is offered at six Lidl distribution centers in the north of Germany: in Grünheide, Großbeeren, Kremmen, Siek, Rostock and in Hamburg. As the company assures, transport companies have the opportunity to optimally use the working time of drivers. Will the carriers agree with this opinion?

Anthony Wandt, the head of the forwarding company, Wandt, in a statement for comments on the pilot as „another scandal”.

Regardless of how we evaluate the fee as such, it seems that Lidl is trying to repeal ADSp (Allgemeine Deutsche Spediteursbedingungen- general forwarding conditions, based on which over 90 percent of companies work – editorial note) – adds Wandt.

Point 4.8.2 of the ADSp provides that the order forwarded to the forwarding agent does not include loading or unloading unless otherwise specified. Thus, the service offered by Lidl should not be paid but should be a rule.

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