The new rates for 2010 go into effect January 4, 2010. The largest increases come from surcharges and accessorials (a fancy word for add-on charges).
The single largest increase is for address correction charges. The charge for ground packages increases from $8.00 to $10.00, a 25% increase! Air goes from $10.00 to $11.00. You could pay $5 to ship the package and get charged $15 because of an incorrect address! Here are a few suggestions:
- Before you ship your package, validate your addresses. UPS provides a service, called “Detailed Address Validation” which is available if you are using www.ups.com or UPS CampusShip and shipping to a US address. This feature allows you to validate the street number range and the apartment number or suite number of your address. If it does not match, you will be offered some suggestions to choose from. It is not a 100% guarantee but it is a step in the right direction. This option is on the “create a shipment” page and requires the user to check the checkbox. You can also set a preference on the “shipping preferences” page so that it always performs the address validation. By the way, FedEx offers a similar tool.
- UPS also offers an online tool for Address Validation for free. This is an XML tool that will require some help from your IT department to help you but can be used on your website for customers when they place their orders.
- If you are not using the www.ups.com or CampusShip, you can use third-party software for validating addresses. I Googled “address validation” and received 131,000 English pages. I would suggest software with CASS certification, which stands for “Coding Accuracy Support System”. This is a US Post Office certification that the address conforms to USPS standards. In fact, here is the list of CASS certified software vendors.
- Some shipping software providers also have options for address validation available, so you can also check with your supplier.
- Finally, check every invoice you get from UPS for address correction charges. Research the address and do one of two things, correct the address if it is wrong in your database or call UPS and fight the charges. Either way, you should prevent this charge from occurring again.