Understanding Postal Surcharges in Shippo

Understanding surcharges can be confusing – especially when you're not sure where the surcharge is coming from. In this article, we'll cover some of those common surcharges and help you better understand them.

To start, insufficient postage surcharges such as underpaid or short paid postage refers to when a carrier determines that you have not paid enough to cover the postage on your package.

The most common mistakes that can result in surcharges include entering incorrect package weight, package dimensions, or destination address.

How to avoid postage surcharges:

  1. Weight - Make sure that you report correct weights while purchasing labels. If your package weighs 7.2 lbs, enter it as 7.2 lbs and not 7 lbs.
    1. When in doubt, we suggest rounding up.
  2. Dimensions - Report accurate dimensions when purchasing labels. Dimensional weight (volumetric weight) may apply to your packages and providing correct dimensions will help you avoid underpaid postage.  
  3. Correct Address - Make sure that you enter the correct address and correct zip code for both the origin and destination addresses. Any discrepancies in this may result in extra charges.

Different carriers pass on surcharges in different ways. Please read below based on the carrier selected.

USPS

Upon finding any issues with a package, USPS will charge the difference between the cost of the original label and what the cost should have been to the sender. The cost difference charged by the USPS will be based off the discount tier of your original shipment

For more information on how to avoid USPS surcharges you can visit this USPS guide from their website.

How Shippo will pass along surcharges:

The USPS bills Shippo for surcharges on the 10th of each month and we pass any applicable surcharge on to our customers on the 11th. Any surcharges applied to your account may be viewed within your invoices and invoice item report on the Billing tab.

What to do if you wish to dispute any postage surcharges:

If you believe that you were incorrectly charged for an insufficient postage surcharge from the USPS, you must contact us and provide details about the disputed shipment (tracking number, dimensions, weight, delivery information, and proof of which label was used). We will then contact the USPS on your behalf. 

Please note: We can only submit disputes for shipments that have a shipment date within the last 60 days. Attempting to dispute any shipment past that window will be automatically rejected by USPS, as the date is outside of their regulations for disputes. 

Also, it can take up to several months for USPS to process any dispute and associated refund and this is completely outside of Shippo's control.

DHL Express

 DHL documents the different surcharges they assess here.

Fuel Surcharges:

DHL Express includes a fuel surcharge in each shipping rate. This surcharge is variable and changes as fuel prices change. DHL applies the surcharge as a percentage of the shipping rate, and the rates you see displayed in Shippo are inclusive of the fuel surcharge. For example, if the base shipping rate is $50 and the fuel surcharge for the month is 8%, the surcharge is $4. The rate you will see displayed in Shippo would be $54. You can learn more here.

 

How Shippo will pass along surcharges:

Shippo processes DHL Express surcharges on a weekly basis and any surcharges applied to your account may be viewed within your invoices and invoice item report on the Billing tab.

What to do if you wish to dispute any postage surcharges:

If you believe that DHL Express incorrectly applied a surcharge, you must contact us and provide details about the disputed shipment (tracking number, proof of dimensions, proof of weight, delivery information, and proof of which label was used). We will then contact DHL on your behalf. Please note: it can take some time for DHL to process any dispute and associated refund and this is completely outside of Shippo's control.

Emergency Situation Surcharge (in response to COVID-19):

Beginning April 1, 2020 DHL will start applying this surcharge to all TDI (Time Definite International) shipments so they can continue to meet their customer's delivery expectations. A time-definite shipment is a shipment that needs to be delivered by a certain time. You can find the DHL time-definite shipments here.

You can also find more information about this charge, and how the charges will be levied here.

Canada Post

Canada Post bills Shippo for surcharges weekly. We will pass any applicable surcharge on to our customers on Sunday of each week and surcharges may be incurred up to three weeks after mailing a package with Canada Post.

Any surcharges applied to your account may be viewed within your invoices and invoice item report on the Billing tab.

What to do if you wish to dispute any postage surcharges:

Canada Post surcharges can be disputed through Shippo Support (support@goshippo.com) at this time, for labels purchased through Shippo's Master Canada Post account. 

 

UPS:

There may be additional charges based on the services you use. 

Shippo will receive any applicable surcharges from UPS weekly and will pass those on to you. The most common types of surcharges that are applied to UPS labels are:

  1. Delivery access charges
  2. Additional handling fees
  3. Billable weight

You can find more information about each of those surcharges, and how to avoid them, on the UPS website.

 

Please contact us if you have any concerns.

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