What is TONU and why is it important in trucking business?


TONU means Truck Ordered Not Used. Have you ever faced a last minute load cancellation? Have you ever arrived at the pick up destination and found that the goods are not yet ready? Logistics and freight movement in the trucking industry comes with a level of uncertainty. After you find a suitable truck load, you prepare the truck, and arranged your delivery or pickup route. In some cases the load suddenly gets cancelled due to reasons like:

  • Last minute of the shipment.
  • Customer and/or goods aren’t available when the driver arrives for the pickup
  • The wrong equipment or truck is ordered.

If the customer/broker books a truck and then cancels too close to the agreed date, you have lost the opportunity for that truck to earn what it usually does on a regular basis. But you do not want to lose a whole day of productivity and money. And that’s when TONU (Truck Ordered Not Used) comes into the picture. 

TONU is basically a fee that is charged by the trucking company when the customer is liable for the cancellation of an already agreed delivery or pickup arrangement, or for not being available upon the arrival of the truck.  These fees are meant to help you to cover some of your losses from the cancelled load. They are mostly charged within four hours of the intended pick-up time or when the order is cancelled.

What Is a TONU Charge?

Paying a TONU charge might seem needless, but these charges exist for a reason. When you cancel the agreed delivery, you’re causing the company to lose out on money that they could have earned by picking up another shipment. This can also make them late for the rest of the pick-ups on their route. You’re also paying for the gas wasted along the way, which needs to be recovered.

The amount of a TONU charge varies by company, so it’s necessary to check the contract that is agreed upon and be aware of this amount ahead of time. But on average, you can expect to pay around $150 for a dry van or a box truck, and $300 for a reefer or other specialized equipment. If the shipment gets cancelled or missed at the last minute, you can usually expect to receive a TONU charge very quickly — within a matter of hours. You need to be prepared to pay your TONU charge within the allotted time frame to avoid additional fees.

With our expert truck dispatch services, we ensure you don’t have to wait for the TONU payment, and get you paid within 2 days without any hassle.


How is TONU different from a layover or detention?

Truck detention and layover are often confused with TONU; Truck detention is charged for idling time that goes beyond the time previously set out in the contract, on the other hand, layover happens when a shipper or receiver delays you or your driver for one or more days. 

Now, TONU is complete cancellation of the shipment from the customer’s side. 

Even with proper planning, TONU charges can be difficult to receive or take time for the shipping company to pay. At Eagle, we understand how challenging this can be. That’s why we’re here to help minimize the stress of dealing with TONU and help you recover costs fast.

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