New FedEx and UPS Shipping Rates Mean Changes for Your eCommerce Website
As of January 1, 2015, FedEx and UPS will be changing how they calculate shipping. While every year these shipping giants make small changes to their rates and processes, 2015 marks a more dramatic change – which might mean our eCommerce clients need to edit how products are organized on their websites, and how their websites calculate shipping.
In these updates, the new pricing for ground services will be calculated based on dimensions instead of just weight. FedEx explains the change as:
“Effective January 1, 2015, FedEx Ground will apply dimensional weight pricing to all shipments. Currently, FedEx Ground applies dimensional weight pricing only to packages measuring three cubic feet or greater.”
Why the shipping change?
FedEx and UPS have both said that this change will be a more environmentally friendly solution to the increase in items shipped each year. With rates based on package size instead of weight, businesses will be prompted to use smaller boxes whenever possible, and it will no longer be economical to ship small items in much bigger packages.
There is obviously an economic gain for FedEx and UPS as well, with an overall increase in shipping rates of about 4.9%. But as the change is unavoidable, we want to help educate and prepare you for the upcoming changes.
How will this affect our website?
These shipping changes mean that the weight and dimensions for each product will need to be noted. And these dimensions must be listed on your website in order to accurately provide shipping estimates.
Based on these dimensions, the website will need to calculate a total dimension size and select a box size to ship the items. Your website’s FedEx or UPS API will then calculate shipping based on the size and weight on the total order.
How can we prepare for these changes?
To best prepare for the shipping changes, you’ll want to start gathering the dimensions for all of your products. This way, when the changes roll out and edits to the website have to be made, you will already have all of the product details on hand.
We also recommend you contact your FedEx or UPS representative. Businesses may be able to negotiate rates or discuss other options and extensions on an account basis.
Other options to consider include switching to flat rate shipping, using a set number of sized boxes, researching local shipping options for state-wide options, and researching other carrier pricing.
What can we expect from Web Solutions?
FedEx has yet to publish the exact requirements or any technical information, so we will be looking out for their details and insight. More details are set to publish on December 27, 2014. We will then be making any necessary changes to our eCommerce platform to allow for the consideration of product dimensions and shipping box dimensions.
However the changes affect your shipping processes, we’re here to help facilitate the changes on your website. If you have any initial questions regarding these changes and how they might affect your website, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your FedEx/UPS shipping representative or to contact us.