You’ve been good all year, but your shipping surcharges keep piling up no matter what you do. And unlike lumps of coal, these surcharges are more than a disappointment — they’re a drag on your company’s bottom line.
You can fix it, though, and you don’t even need Santa’s magic to do it. We’ve put together a list (and we’ve checked it twice) of a few of the ways you can keep a lid on surcharges for 2020.
- Address Corrections — We’ve said it many times already, but this is one of the simplest ways to cut down on your shipping costs. For 2020, both FedEx and UPS will charge $17 when they have to update the address on a package. That adds up quickly, but with front-end correction as part of your checkout process, it’s easily remedied.
- Delivery Area — Both UPS and FedEx added more ZIP codes to their delivery area surcharge (DAS) and Extended DAS list for 2020, making it pricier to ship to places like Tecumseh, Kansas, or Alpine, California.
You can’t control where your customers live or if they want their packages delivered to their homes, of course. But you can offer them alternative shipping options — like in-store pickup or shipping to an access point — that keep customers happy while reducing delivery area surcharges. You can also look at your own data to determine how these increases will affect your shipping costs and adjust your pricing or policies to cover them.
- Additional Handling — Both major carriers have dropped the minimum weight for additional handling charges from 70 lbs in 2019 to 50 lbs for 2020 — another surcharge that will add up quickly. Your packaging can also trigger additional handling surcharges, so ensure you’ve chosen packaging that can accommodate your items without exceeding the carriers’ maximums wherever possible.
These are just a few of the surcharges that can bust your shipping budget for 2020. When you planned for 2020, you might have based your budget on the published General Rate Increase from your carrier. But many shippers overlook all the fine print that’s published along with that general rate — and those details could mean your packages cost you a lot more next year than you were anticipating.
It’s important to dig into the details to find out how specific changes will affect your business. Our GRI guide is a free resource that will help you determine the impact the 2020 rates will have on your business specifically. Get your copy and start saving — so you won’t be on your boss’s naughty list next year.