What is a Lumper and How can it Benefit my Business?


Have you ever asked yourself “What is a Lumper?” Lumpers are typically third-party companies who are frequently hired by warehouses, distribution centers or shipping companies to provide loading and unloading services that are necessary to move and sort containers. This service is used most within the grocery, food service, or retail industry. Loading and unloading perishable or frozen cargo requires specialized handling that lumpers are specifically trained to accomplish quickly and accurately.  Lumper service companies employ industry professionals who understand the nuances of loading and unloading trucks and trailers.


A lumper’s main responsibility is loading and unloading cargo quickly and efficiently.  Lumping services also handle goods in a cautious manner, therefore, carriers are not responsible for potential driver unloading injuries, should they be accountable for unloading the trailers themselves.

When a truck arrives at a warehouse, the lumper begins to unload the cargo. At times, this requires the use of equipment such as pallet jacks, hand trucks (dollies), and even forklifts. Lumpers ensure productivity and efficiency with freight handling operations within distribution centers, which significantly reduces delays for the organization and trucking companies.

Dedicated workers taking over the unloading process can save a driver time and money, as freight unloading can be time-consuming.  Drivers get more time to rest, and using lumpers can also reduce a driver’s risk of injury during the loading and unloading process.  Lumper services also provide faster unloading times which enable drivers to leave the facility promptly. For the shipper or receiver, it helps reduce loading and unloading service times during periods of normal shipping demand and improves customer relations. Additionally, they help to keep the warehouses organized and follow procedures that are dictated by a shipper or even carriers, which can result in significant cost savings.  Ideally, lumper services can benefit all parties involved in the supply-chain.


Lumper fees are the amount of money a lumper charges to provide their services.  These fees are either charged by the shipper or the carrier. Typically, the carrier informs the driver of the presence of a lumper service, upon arrival at a dock, so they may hand over the truck or trailer upon arrival.  Truck drivers pay for the lumper fee but are reimbursed by the carrier or shipper.  Lumper fees can vary depending upon the load type that’s involved.  Floor loaded trailers require elevated labor, therefore, higher fees.


Merit Logistics offers many labor solution advantages (order selection; sanitation; order fulfillment; and security services), but our unloading/lumper service has long been the backbone of our company, since our inception in 2012.  Merit has always gone above and beyond to make sure our clients’ containers are unloaded quickly and efficiently, and our expert teams consistently improve productivity and save our clients money.  To find out how we can help your company achieve your supply chain objectives, please contact Bill Appolloni (Vice President of Sales) via phone at 614-557-3797, or email (bappolloni@meritlogistics.com).