From the size of your shipment to the distance it has to travel – there are a number of different factors that affect the shipping price. By understanding these as well as additional charges that might apply, you'll get a clearer picture as to how your shipment costs are calculated.
When it comes to defining shipping costs, there are several factors at play. Here are a few of the most common ones and the way they can affect the price you pay.
Each carrier has its own specific categories and terms to describe weight and size limitations – but these will usually include envelopes for standard A4 documents, packs for larger documents and compact items, boxes and pallets. Oversized or odd-sized packages may be accepted with a surcharge. If you’re not sure which size category your shipment falls under, it’s a good idea to consult your preferred carrier.
Dimensional (DIM) weight is another factor that may affect the shipping price. It refers to the package density, which is the amount of space it occupies in relation to its actual weight. The DIM weight of your package becomes the billable weight when it exceeds the actual weight.
Whether you’re shipping domestically or internationally may also affect your shipping costs. Carriers often apply dynamic geographic zones to measure the distance your shipment has to travel. The greater the distance, the higher the cost.
Depending on the country of origin and destination, carriers will usually offer a range of standard and express service times. The service names may vary per carrier, but the time frames usually fit into these three categories.
Surcharges are extra costs added to a base rate. It’s important to be aware of them and understand which ones apply to your shipment. Extra charges and ancillary fees (for import shipments) may be applied if the shipment requires more paperwork, effort or time. Anything that falls outside standard shipping and handling will affect the shipping price.
Here are some of the most common types of surcharges:
It’s important to keep in mind that international shipments may also be subject to taxes and duties that need to be paid separately. To find out which charges apply to your shipment, consult with your carrier or the customs authorities of the country you’re shipping to.