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VeneerSupplies.com Monthly Newsletter

shipping-servicesWhy is Shipping So Expensive?
We are doing our best to fight corporate greed and keep shipping costs affordable.
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pg-boxes.jpgA significant number of "nasty-grams" regarding shipping costs have recently been sent to me by email. It is unfortunate and disheartening because we do our best to keep these costs as reasonable as possible. We have worked extensively with FedEx to get the best possible rates that a small business can earn and we pass these discounts to our customers. We have selected FedEx as our primary shipping carrier because we've found them to be more affordable and just as reliable as UPS. Regardless, it's disgusting to think of the insane profit that the carriers make year after year and I feel like the carriers are now doing their best to put us out of business.

We Do Not Profit from Shipping Charges
In fact, we have taken a loss on total shipping and packaging costs during each of the last few years in an attempt to keep your shipping cost as reasonable as possible. It's frustrating that the carriers continue to find new ways to raise rates and apply numerous surcharges to most shipments. Additionally, all of the major shipping carriers now base their charges on the weight and the size of the box. We ship a lot of large light-weight boxes containing veneer so you could be affected by the "dimensional weight" change that each carrier has forced upon us and all other small businesses.

Even worse, UPS and FedEx typically raise their rates each year in what is referred to as a GRI or general rate increase. We were hit with an increase of more than 7% in 2021 because we already had many so discounts in place with FedEx. Worse is that FedEx is raising our rates again for 2022 by more than 8%. Seems like unbridled corporate greed, doesn't it?

The Damn Surcharges
UPS and FedEx apply surcharges to almost anything imaginable. Here are just some of the carrier surcharges:

  • Fuel surcharge
  • Residential delivery surcharge
  • Delivery area surcharge for rural areas
  • Extended delivery area surcharge for very rural areas
  • Additional handling surcharge for boxes over 48" in length
  • Additional handling surcharge for boxes over a certain weight
  • Peak additional handling surcharge (applied during the holiday season, but now still in place due to the pandemic)
  • Declared value surcharge
  • Daily pick-up surcharge

Boxes Are Expensive
It is also important to know that your shipping cost includes an additional $1.35 that we add to cover the cost of the box and packaging material. This amount is $1 less than the average cost of all boxes we use each month. Small boxes can be pricey but large boxes are painfully expensive for small businesses. Additionally, you will find that we'll pack your order with more packing material and in ways which better protect your shipment than the typical online supplier. This additional material adds just a little to the shipping cost, but it appears to be a worthwhile expense based on customer comments about our packing methods.

Insurance
It seems odd that we have to pay a service provide additional money so they can reimburse us for their mistakes. Shouldn't the insurance be paid by the carrier? It should be but it isn't, so the shipping charge you see on our site also includes insurance for full replacement value.

More Ridiculousness
The shipping carriers always round-up the weight on a box. If package weighs 2.1 lbs, then carriers make us enter it as 3 lbs. The carriers weigh each box and automatically charge our account if we record the package as having weighed less. I would agree with you if you are thinking that the shipping carriers have found every way possible to screw us.

Our Shipping Discounts Reduce Your Shipping Cost
After countless hours spanning multiple weeks of haggling with FedEx, I was able to negotiate a decent discount on ground shipments and I've coded our website to pass every bit of the discount to our customers. In regard to the dimensional weight scheme, we are doing everything possible to reduce your shipping cost and we have implemented a plan to make sure you never pay too much.

Howeverm, our website's ability to calculate your shipping cost is not perfect. So we always issue a store credit if the actual shipping charge is significantly less than the amount calculated by the website software during checkout. Again, we do not and will not ever profit from your shipping cost.

But Amazon Ships for Free Right?
Anyone who compares us to the world's largest and most profitable company should have their head examined. Don't bother to email me a complaint about shipping if you are planning to compare our shipping costs to Amazon.

Some Final Thoughts and Another Way to See It
Many of the unpleasant email messages we get start with "your shipping costs are too high", but it is not our shipping cost. I promise that we are doing our best to keep costs as low as possible and so I highly encourage you to send an email to FedEx or UPS or USPS to complain since ultimately it is their prices that can seem too high.

FedEx surcharges add up to a lot of money. I've seen heavy orders ship to distant states in the US for the same cost as smaller orders shipped to states that are not so distant. I believe this is caused by extended delivery area surcharges. In other words, if you live in a very rural area then the shipping cost could be much more than for those living in a city.

Lastly, I want to point out that shipping prices reflect a tremendous amount of time, talent, and technology. Stop and think about how much effort and resources are used to get a box from one location to another. The local delivery drivers, the long-haul drivers, the hub employees, and the administrative staff for any shipping company must be extensive. A lot goes into getting a box from point A to point B and it is easy to overlook just how much it takes to deliver a box in light of the shipping cost.