Dimensional Weight - A New Spin on Shipping Charges
Corporate greed or just a sign of the times? We are working to ship as affordably as possible
UPS rates are now based not only on the weight of a box but also the size. This concept is often called "dimensional weight". Essentially it means that a large, light-weight box will be charged at a weight much greater than the physical weight of the package. Using their new method, my most common box size (24" x 14" x 14") will be charged at the 28lb UPS rate.
We stock almost 5,000 products in our shop and there are hundreds of millions combinations of products that could be ordered on our site. As you can probably imagine, I ship a lot of large, light-weight boxes (veneer!) and this new policy kept me awake for countless nights. I worked with UPS for several months to figure out how we could manage this greedy, profit-driven UPS policy.
There are no perfect solutions to this new UPS/Fedex dimensional weight issue but I've done my best. I have gone through an extensive amount of theorizing, testing, and evaluating to find a way of making shipping as affordable as possible for our customers. As you may already know, we are a no-profit-on-shipping company. We don't want to make a single penny from the shipping part of your order.
Here is What I've Done
- We were able to get get UPS to increase the dimensional weight divisor so that we don't get hit with a 28 lb shipping rate for our larger boxes. They lowered it by about 10 lbs. I'd say this was a start in the right direction.
- After countless hours of haggling with UPS, I was able to negotiate a decent discount on UPS Ground shipments and I've coded our website to pass every bit of the discount on to our customers. I do not profit from shipping.
- The next change I made was to our website and how it calculates the shipping weight on an order. For all raw wood veneers that are sold by the sheet or lot, we will set the weight of the item using the dimensional weight of the box we expect to use when we ship this veneer.
- We refund any significant difference between the website-calculated shipping charge and our actual cost to package and ship your order. These refunds are typically submitted for processing within 3 business days of the shipment completion of your order.
If you ordered veneer #18247, we would ship it in a box that is 24" x 12" x 12". The physical weight of the box would be 5 lbs but UPS will charge the 13 lb rate because of the box size.
I've updated our website shipping charge so that the first of any single sheet or lot that you order is always calculated using the dimensional weight. But, each additional veneer sheet or lot (of the same item code) does not add more weight or cost to your order.
Sample Order #1
1x Veneer# 18247 = 13lbs* UPS shipping weight
Sample Order #2
9x Veneer# 18247 = 13lbs* UPS shipping weight
* The shipping weight is the same for both orders!
Orders containing multiple veneer lots or sheets could still be a problem.
If you place an order like this...
1x Veneer# 18247 (13 lbs)
1x Veneer# 17255 (13 lbs)
1x Veneer# 16884 (10 lbs)
Your total shipping weight would be 36 lbs. That would be the dimensional weight if I had to use multiple boxes to ship the order. However, in most instances I can ship the veneers together in one box.
When that happens, you will have paid too much for shipping and so I will refund back the difference. I've actually been doing this for 14 years but it think we will be doing it a lot more frequently with the new dimensional weight policies by the shippers.