Although tools such as SalesWarp can help retailers deal with many of the complexities of shipping products, such as easy identification of the least expensive shipping options or automating shipping with integration to shipping software like Shipworks, it’s crucial that merchants pay close attention to ever-changing rates on these services. With fuel prices on the rise, many shippers and transportation services are re-evaluating their parcel rates to recoup some of their loses.
As of the start of 2013, the UPS and FedEx both implemented new parcel rates. UPS announced a 6.5 percent air increase, which was somewhat offset by a 2 percent fuel surcharge reduction. On the ground, the average price rose by 5.9 percent and was offset by a 1 percent fuel surcharge reduction.
FedEx is expected to follow in the footsteps of UPS and has already announced an average rate increase of 5.9 percent for express and international services. Changes for FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery or FedEx SmartPost, are also expected to see change similar to the ones made by UPS.
“For most shippers the impact is much higher than the ‘average’ increases announced by the carriers, however, especially for shipments weighing up to 30 pounds,” Retail Online Integration suggests. “Many accessorial charges are as much as 10 percent higher in 2013. Address correction fees, delivery area surcharges, residential surcharges, on-call pickup fees, delivery intercept, declared value and many other fees are well above the ‘average’ increases announced.”
For retailers that revolve around eCommerce operations, even the smallest of shipping rates increases can lead to mammoth overhead costs in the long term. Merchants should utilize eCommerce software that integrates shipping to not only ensure they are choosing the right shipping options and getting the lowest cost, but also streamlines the process to reduce operating costs related to shipping management.