What Is Drop and Hook Trucking?

It has been noticed that a majority of America’s Fortune 500 are made using preloaded drop trailers. It underlines that drop-and-hook is a hit with all shippers and carriers. Now the question is, what is drop-and-hook? Drop-and-hook is a delivery option picked by truckers for FCL of a high volume. A drop involves the driver dropping off the load at the warehouse and leaving without it being unloaded. Thereafter the driver return back in order to pick up another empty container once the unloading of the goods is done, that usually after 48 hours.

Drop and Hook Meaning Explained

In short, Drop and Hook means the driver will first drop the trailer and then hook to another loaded/empty trailer. This way the transportation speed can be improved. A drop-and-pick helps in saving costs as it’s less expensive compared to a drop, i.e. a live unload. This system can work only at busy warehouses where containers arrive regularly.

Drops and the Fee for Dropping

The system of the drop has a driver dropping off the container at the warehouse without waiting for it to be unloaded. The driver returns to pick up the empty container after he is informed that the container’s unloading has been done. The time taken is usually 48 hours.

As it requires an extra trip, the driver charges an extra fee for the drop. This fee finds entry into your invoice as the dropping fee. A charge is also to be paid for the additional use of the chassis for each day which is mentioned in the invoice as the chassis fee.

The system of a drop is recommended when unloading the cargo needs time and cannot be done quickly or as soon as the driver arrives at the warehouse. The driver is usually not in a position to wait for hours for the unloading to be done. Besides, waiting time can raise expenses very fast due to the high waiting rates. The system of a drop is suitable when,

  • The cargo has floor-loaded cartons that are loose needing more time to be unloaded
  • The warehouse doesn’t have enough staff and/or is filled up with cargo

Drop-and-Hook for High Volume FCL

Another handy option might be to drop off the full container and pick up an empty one when the driver leaves, one that has just been unloaded or that has arrived only the previous day. This works well when containers arrive regularly. This system of carrying a load is referred to as the drop-and-pick or the drop-and-hook method.

Also, learn what is Full Container Load (FCL).

This option works only if the concerned warehouse handles a sufficient volume of cargo. It helps in saving costs as no waiting fee needs to be paid to the driver as the driver doesn’t need to wait at all or make two trips.

The Advantages of Drop-and-Hook Trucking

The advantages that come with drop-and-hook trucking do indeed make it an attractive option for shippers.

  • No Contact with Anything: Drop-and-hook trucking allows the trucker to deliver a load without having to touch anything. While there are some who call drop-and-hook trucking no-touch trucking, there are others who feel that the term is more closely related to living to unload. Live unloading too doesn’t require the driver to touch anything on the truck, but he nevertheless has to wait till the unloading of the trailer is done by the warehouse staff.
  • Makes Deliveries Faster: It’s a much quicker delivery process with drop-and-hook trucking! With drop-and-hook trucking, a trucker may deliver loads and leave locations quicker giving him the opportunity to earn more by adding more mileage coverage. Live unload involves the driver having to wait till the unloading time which translates into longer wait times between each delivery and a slower turnaround. With no waiting involved in drop-and-hook, the turnaround is much faster translating into more trips and a fatter paycheck.
  • No Need to Rely on Others: While there are some companies that don’t need the driver to unload the cargo he’s delivering, he may still have to wait onsite till the unloading is done by the warehouse staff. It means you have to rely on others to ensure that a single delivery doesn’t eat up too much time. When you leave a certain warehouse and head for the next one depends on the people unloading the trailer. That may cause delivery delays that hamper the driver’s productivity. That lowers his earnings too. Drop-and-hook involves no waiting. That’s why you’re the master of your time.
  • Helps Shippers Cut Costs: The charges for a driver having to wait till the unloading of cargo is done are pretty steep. The rates are very high indeed. In such a scenario, drop-and-hook trucking is the way to go as the shipper can save on the costs involved in the trucker having to wait till the unloading is done. Drop-and-hook simply involves the driver dropping off a load and leaving with an empty container. He doesn’t need to wait till the unloading is done. That’s why a shopper won’t have to pay the waiting charges and make considerable savings.


I have explained the concept of drop-and-hook in the trucking and shipping industry in detail. The method involved in charging for drop-and-hook is discussed too. We have also highlighted the advantages of drop-and-hook trucking. It’s a highly competitive trucking industry that we see today. Saving costs is the most effective way of doing well as a shipper. As such, drop-and-hook trucking is what we suggest. It’s a win-win situation for both the trucker and the shipper raising the earnings of both.

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