2017 Carrier Updates
Posted by Doug Sherman on 22 Jan 17 06:23 PM
With USPS changing its rates on Sunday, Jan 22, all four of our supported carriers now have completed their round of rate and other updates for 2017. Here is a short summary of the "high points" of their changes for this year.

  • Dimensional Weight:  UPS and FedEx made the most substantial -- and mostly hidden -- change to their rates not by simply increasing their base rate per pound (although they have done that as well) but by changing the formula they use to calculate weight based on volume, or "dimensional weight". Previously, for domestic shipments they divided your package's total volume by 166; now they divide by 139, the factor they previously used only for international deliveries. Decreasing this number results in a higher weight calculation, and if your dimensional weight is more than your physical weight, then "dim weight" is used to determine the price. Right now, UPS only uses this new factor for packages greater than 1,727 cubic inches, while FedEx implemented it for all packages. This change makes it important than ever that you stock a sufficient variety of box sizes so you can pack each order into the smallest possible box to minimize your shipping costs.

  • Base Rates: USPS rates are increasing between 2.7% - 4.9%, UPS rates increased an average of 4.9%, and FedEx rates increased an average of 4.4%. DHL also increased rates an average of 4.9%

  • Surcharges: For UPS and FedEx, the base rate is just the starting point of your final charge. All their many required and optional accessorial fees also have increased, including residential fees, rural surcharges, on-call pickup fees, weekly pickup fees, additional handling charges, etc.  UPS is also decreasing the size of packages that get hit with their Additional Handling charge, from 60 inches longest side to 48 (FedEx made this same change last June).

  • Fuel Surcharges: Starting in February, both UPS and FedEx will be adjusting their fuel surcharge percentage on a weekly basis, rather than monthly. 

  • Retail Rates: for their "retail" or "counter" rates, both FedEx and UPS have "folded in" some of their fees into the base rate, rather than calculating them separately. These include residential, extended area, and fuel surcharges.

  • International rates: Most USPS international rates are staying the same with no changes to Priority Mail International, Priority Mail Express International, or First-Class Mail International Package Service.

USPS First Class remains the best option for shipments under 1 pound, and in most cases, USPS Priority Mail the best option up to 70 lbs. This is especially true if you are able to fit your order into one of the USPS flat rate or Regional boxes.  The USPS "cubic" rates are also remain an excellent deal if you qualify for Commercial Plus rates.

While these annual rate increases are never pleasant, as always AuctionInc will help you minimize your costs and generate more orders by quoting highly accurate comparative rates to your customers.

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