Common Fees that Affect UPS Shipping Costs

Avoid unexpected UPS charges by learning common shipping fees.
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Managing your small package shipping means planning for variables that you know will affect cost, such as weight, zone and service level. But did you know that your shipments are also subject to additional charges for services not included in standard shipping prices?

Understanding the most common fees can help you estimate your UPS® shipping cost more accurately and avoid billing surprises down the road. Below are some of the most common small package fees that affect businesses like yours.

Residential surcharge

Just because your recipient is a business doesn’t mean that business resides in a commercial area. Before you ship, be sure to determine if your shipping address is commercial or residential. If you end up shipping to a residential business address, including any location that is a home or private residence, always check the “Residential” box on your shipping quote so your estimate accurately reflects the associated UPS shipping fees. If you do not designate that your recipient’s address is residential, the carrier can make this determination upon delivery and apply the charge to your final invoice.

Pickup fee

Convenience often comes at a cost. If you schedule a pickup service for your small package shipments, your invoice is subject to a pickup fee. Most carriers have multiple pickup options to choose from, so you can select the one that works best for your company’s shipping frequency and volume. To avoid pickup fees, consider taking your packages to the nearest dropbox or drop-off location. As an authorized UPS reseller, your local Unishippers office can request to have a UPS dropbox installed nearby! Contact your Unishippers office for more information.

Delivery area surcharge

Your UPS shipping costs increase when you send packages to remote or rural areas. A delivery area surcharge or extended area surcharge is applied to packages shipped to less-accessible ZIP codes within the contiguous United States or to remote, less-populated international locations. If not indicated in your initial shipping quote, the driver will apply an area surcharge upon delivery. To know when these fees apply to your business shipments, check your recipient’s ZIP code on the UPS website.

Address correction fee

An incorrect address can delay delivery and increase UPS shipping costs. If your package lists an incorrect or incomplete address, UPS will attempt to correct it and an address correction fee will be applied to your final invoice. You can easily avoid these expenses by verifying that the address is correct on all of your shipments.

Additional handling fee

An additional handling fee is applied to irregular or heavy packages which require special handling. Make sure to check the carrier’s specific guidelines on what constitutes additional handling, such as packages with measurements exceeding 48inches on the longest side, when the average weight per package is greater than 50 pounds, or if it’s encased in non-standard packaging. This can also include anything that might cause an issue with a carrier’s conveyor belts, slides, sorting machines and so forth. UPS lists their complete guidelines on their website.

Dimensional Weight

While not a common small package fee, dimensional weight can contribute to unexpected costs on your final shipping invoice. Dimensional weight refers to your package’s density — the amount of space it occupies in relation to its actual weight. When calculating your shipment’s billable weight, a carrier will use the greater of its dimensional or actual weight. By using smaller packaging and avoiding over-boxing, you can help lower your shipment’s dimensional weight. Provide accurate dimensions, not just estimates, so that when your package is audited, the carrier doesn’t adjust your billable rate higher than the price you were quoted. Learn more about calculating the dimensional weight of your shipments on the UPS website.

By understanding what situations necessitate additional fees, you can anticipate your UPS shipping costs more accurately and avoid unnecessary billing surprises. Being aware is the first step!

We’ve covered the most common fees, but there are other charges that could impact your UPS shipping costs. Contact Unishippers today for a complete list.

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Common Small Package Fees that Affect UPS Shipping Costs
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