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:

  • 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.

    When in doubt, we suggest rounding up.

  • 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.  

  • 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:

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. 

 

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.

When entering dimensions, please note that DHL will always round to the nearest 1, and will not do partial or half numbers, such as .25, so it is best to round up accordingly to avoid a dimensional surcharge.

Dimensional Surcharges:

DHL will apply a dimensional surcharge when the dimensions of the shipment is incorrect or does not match the dimensions that they measure when accepting the package. When entering dimensions, please note that DHL will always round to the nearest inch, and will not do partial or half numbers, such as .25. It is best to round up to avoid a dimensional surcharge.

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.

Remote Area Surcharges - Non-disputable:

A Remote Area is defined as a postcode or, in the absence of a postcode, a suburb /town name that is difficult to serve. Delivery to one of the postcodes and towns on DHL's list would warrant a Remote Area surcharge. You can learn more here about the current locations on DHL's remote area list.

DHL remote areas can change daily depending on the difficulty of getting to that location on a given day. Because of this, the DHL Remote Area surcharge is non-disputable and may not be listed on the above-linked list.

 

Note:

A Remote Area is defined as a postcode or in the absence of postcode, a suburb /town name that is difficult to serve. A delivery to one of the following postcodes and towns would attract a Remote Area surcharge.

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 Handling Surcharges 

An Additional Handling charge will be assessed for any package that requires special handling,
as determined by UPS in its sole discretion, including, but not limited to:

Weight:

  • Domestic: Any package with an actual weight of more than 50 pounds.
  • Each package in a shipment where the average weight per package is greater than 50
    pounds, and the weight for each package is not specified on the source document or the
    UPS automated shipping system used.
  • International: Any package with an actual weight of more than 70 pounds.
  • Each package in a shipment where the average weight per package is greater than 70
    pounds, and the weight for each package is not specified on the source document or the
    UPS automated shipping system used.

Length plus girth:

  • Any package with its length (longest side of the package) plus girth [(2 x width) + (2 x height)] combined exceeds 105 inches.

Length:

  • Any package with the longest side exceeding 48 inches.

Width:

  • Any package with its second-longest side exceeding 30 inches.

Packaging:

  • Any article that is not fully encased in a corrugated cardboard shipping container, including tires.
  • Any package with an outer shipping container not made of corrugated cardboard, including
    but not limited to canvas, leather, metal, wood, hard plastic, soft plastic (e.g., plastic bag) or
    expanded polystyrene foam (e.g., styrofoam).
  • Any article that is encased in a soft-sided pack (e.g., poly bags and bubble mailers) that exceeds
    18 inches along its longest side or 14 inches along its second-longest side or 6 inches in height.
  • Any package with an outer shipping container covered in shrink wrap or stretch wrap.
  • Any package bound with metal, plastic or cloth banding, or that has wheels, casters, handles
    or straps (including packages where the outer surface area is loosely wrapped or where the
    contents protrude outside the container surface).
  • Any cylindrical-like item, including but not limited to barrels, buckets, cans, drums, mailing tubes
    or pails.
  • Any package routed through UPS’s irregular package sortation process, including but not limited
    to packages 1 inch or less in height.
  • Any other package that requires special handling, as determined by UPS at its sole discretion.
  • Applies per package for both domestic and international services.
  • For a package that meets multiple criteria listed above, only one Additional Handling charge will be assessed, in the following order: Weight, Length plus girth, Length, Width, and Packaging.
  • An Additional Handling charge will not be assessed when a Large Package Surcharge is applied.

 

Please contact us if you have any concerns.

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