All Things Shipping
Feb 23, 2022

UPS Q&A: What Online Merchants Can Expect When Shipping With UPS

For first-time or early-stage e-commerce businesses, figuring out your shipping options can be a bit overwhelming. While initially, it may seem best to just stick with one carrier, the true value lies in adding more carriers to your shipping arsenal. Enter UPS.

As one of the largest parcel carriers in America, adding UPS to your list of shipping options helps ensure you’re getting the best rates while also getting proven reliability for your customers and your business.

But, given the sheer amount of information that goes into shipping with UPS alone, we decided to reach out to Jason Robinson, Director of Marketing from UPS, to get answers to the biggest questions e-commerce merchants have when signing up for a UPS account through Shippo.

Here are their answers.

Q.) How Long Does It Take To Set Up A UPS Account?

A.)  Mere minutes! It is very easy to add UPS as a carrier (or add an existing UPS account) to your Shippo profile. Here’s a step-by-step guide of how you can select UPS as your carrier and ship with them on Shippo today. You can also easily add an existing UPS account to your Shippo profile by following these steps.

Q.) What Shipping Options Are Available For E-commerce Merchants?

A.)  Through the partnership UPS and Shippo have fostered, e-commerce merchants can enjoy a wide array of UPS® premium services. We know that every e-commerce merchant is not the same, and there’s an assortment of UPS products available to equip you to select the shipping option that works best for you. Merchants have instant access to the list of UPS service levels below at a discounted rate, and with no volume requirement. If you’ve linked an existing UPS account to your Shippo profile, you can also continue to enjoy discounts.

Supported UPS Service Levels

Q.) What Are UPS Surcharges And When Are They Applied?

A.) From a 30,000-foot view, surcharges happen when a package requires extra attention in the UPS system. For example: if you’re mailing a package that is unusually heavy. That will take more than one UPSer to get it loaded safely onto the truck and to your door. Or if a package has irregular dimensions and can’t go on our conveyor belts, but rather must be carried from point A to point B it will require extra handling and fees will be levied. Please see the 2023 UPS® Rate & Service Guide for a complete list of all surcharges. 

Q.) How Can Online Merchants Minimize UPS Surcharges?

A.) The adage of ‘measure twice cut once’ is a good rule of thumb to think about as you print your label. (And be sure to measure the outside dimensions of the package versus the inside dimensions —which are the figures that are typically printed on the box).

Merchants can minimize UPS surcharges by measuring twice and printing once. Additional handling surcharges will be applied if:

  • A package with the longest side exceeding 48 inches or the second-longest side exceeding 30 inches.
  • A shipment where the average weight per package is greater than 50 pounds or packages over 50 pounds with the weight not specified on the source document or the UPS automated shipping system used.
  • A package that is not fully encased in corrugated cardboard. Any cylindrical-like item, such as a barrel, drum, pail or tire, that is not fully encased in a corrugated cardboard shipping container.

Merchants can avoid over maximum size surcharges by ensuring:

  • Packages do not exceed 150 pounds.
  • Packages do not exceed 165 inches in length and girth combined.
  • Packages can be up to 108 inches in length.
  • Packages with a large size-to-weight ratio require special pricing and dimensional weight calculations.

Merchants can avoid large package surcharges:

For domestic shipments, a package is considered a “Large Package” when its length (longest side of the package) plus girth [(2 x width) + (2 x height)] combined exceeds 130 inches or its length exceeds 96 inches.

Q.) What Resources Does UPS Offer Small And Large E-commerce Businesses?

A.) The partnership of UPS and Shippo equips small and large e-commerce businesses with special tools to help them do business:

  1.     Discounts: Get discounts on domestic and international shipping, including up to 78% off on UPS® Ground shipments, up to 73% for UPS 2nd Day Air® service, and UPS Next Day Air® service and up to 82% off on International services*. With rates that include Fuel Surcharge and Residential Surcharge for all services and Delivery Area Surcharge for Domestic Services.
  2. Bring Your Account – if you already have negotiated rates and/or an existing UPS relationship you have the option to easily add your account to your Shippo profile.
  3.     Options: When you’ve got a business to run, the last thing you want to worry about is shipping. Trust UPS to keep your customers happy with packages that show up on time. And with our proactive tracking, you’ll always know right where your shipments are. Pick from a full arsenal of shipping services to meet your timetable—just take a peak at the full list from question number 2!
  4.     Convenience: Short on time? Schedule a pickup with UPS through your Shippo account.
  5.     Reliability: UPS delivers 90% of Ground volume in 3 days or less. Provide your merchants access to fast, industry-leading service and reliability.
  6.     Weekend Services: UPS offers 90% delivery and pick-up coverage on Saturdays. UPS’ service offering provides both B2C and B2B customers with choice and speed over the weekend. *
  7.     Accessibility: UPS Access Point® Locations include The UPS Store® locations, national retail chains such as CVS and Michael’s, and other independent retailers to provide merchants with over 22,000 convenient locations to drop off shipments 7 days a week!

*Saturday Ground pickup is available in the contiguous 48 states

Q.) How Can E-commerce Merchants Limit Their UPS Shipping Label Cost?

A.) Again, I would encourage all merchants to measure twice and print once. Making sure you’re measuring correctly will empower you to ship with the peace of mind that you won’t be hit with any surprise fees after your package is delivered.

How To Correctly Measure a Package

Determine Length, Width, and Height

The longest side of your package is your length.

  •   Round-Up

Make sure you’re rounding up to the nearest inch when taking your measurements.

  •   Keep Measurements Handy

You’ll need these when you create your shipment.

For any other questions you may have when it comes to creating a UPS account through Shippo, our UPS API, or printing UPS shipping labels through Shippo, reach out to our Sales or Customer Service team.

*Discounts off UPS daily rates. Rates are limited to shipping from the U.S. only. Rates and any applicable discounts are subject to change at any time without notice.

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Hasan Nabulsi
is the Content Marketing Manager at Shippo.

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