“The key is understanding what you ship and where your products fall within the percentage increases,” he says.
Also changing for UPS: Its dimensional weight divisor on packages measuring less than 1 cubic foot will be decreasing from 166 to 139, resulting in higher shipping costs, Outman says.
“The majority of shippers are unaware of the true financial impact from the announced 2018 general rate increases,” says Outman.
FedEx senior vice president Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement: “This change will align FedEx SmartPost dimensional weight pricing with FedEx Express and FedEx Ground dimensional weight pricing. Dimensional weight pricing is a common industry practice that sets the transportation price based on package volume.”
UPS in a general statement said: “Our rates reflect many changing business conditions, including costs, but also demand for our services, the competitive landscape and investments in new innovations and technology that will help our customers run their businesses better.”
The USPS didn’t institute any dimensional weight changes, which can give it a competitive edge, say experts.
But Christine Laureano, founder of Hampton Bays-based Ba6 Botanicals, a maker of handmade aromatherapy body care products, says the USPS increases will likely force her to moderately raise some product costs, particularly since some of her suppliers also have increased their shipping costs.
Laureano, who ships via priority mail and offers free shipping on orders of $75 or more, says while she’s grown accustomed to annual shipping increases, “it’s very trying.”
Some sellers may have to raise their free-shipping thresholds, says Nuzio, noting it’s important for companies to have continuous discussions with carriers to negotiate pricing.
Shippers may also consider having a package/box size analysis done to see if they’re using the right-sized boxes and look to reduce padding material where possible, says Michals.