Small Parcel Audit

Package Auditing – It’s More than Late Packages

At Lamprey Systems we audit 1000s of our client’s FedEx and UPS invoices each week evaluating the performance of every shipment on every invoice. We then use our longstanding relationships with FedEx and UPS to insure that every single dollar owed to our clients for avoidable FedEx and UPS service failures is sent to our clients. While often the largest and most talked about example of a service failure is a late package, after 13 years of of being in this business we have found over 30 unique reasons a business may be owed money from their carrier. In this week’s post, we walk you through a few of them.

Incorrect Residential Surcharges – Being charged residential delivery fees on commercial addresses

A Residential Surcharge is an extra fee which both UPS and FedEx charge for delivery to a home or a business operating out of a home. The Surcharge ranges from $3.10 to $120 depending on the service and it can be negotiated lower during the Contract Negotiation Process. How do the carriers determine if an address is a residence? It’s determined by FedEx’s and UPS’s own database or by the delivery person. The address databases aren’t always correct and sometimes the delivery person gets it wrong. It isn’t uncommon to see manufacturing facilities, retail stores, and offices being incorrectly billed Residential Surcharges. In one example we saw a company that before coming to us had one of its own retail locations flagged as a residence. Every time the company would mail a package from the company’s warehouse to its own retail store, the company was being incorrectly charged a $3.10 Residential Surcharge for what was clearly a commercial address.

UPS Manifested but Never Shipped – Being charged for shipments that you made but never shipped out

Not all problems are entirely the carrier’s fault and if you are a UPS shipper, you may be experiencing this problem. Often businesses will create labels but never use them. These manifested but not shipped packages are charged to your account but show no activity. It is not in your carrier’s best interest to alert you to these shipments so they normally go unnoticed. For some businesses this is a very small and abnormal occurrence, while for others it can be considerable recurring issue. In either case, unused labels can be refunded and if we see a pattern of them, we will alert the client so that they may take steps to avoid the issue altogether in the future.

Unwarranted Address Corrections – When the address is correct but it gets corrected anyways

Address Corrections Surcharges range from $12.50 to $68 per correction and can happen on perfectly valid addresses.  If any shipment has an incorrect or incomplete address carries will do their best to get it to the destination. Often this is a legitimate charge for packages where the shipper omitted a crucial piece of information such as the zip code. Understandably, if an important piece of information is missing from an address, it will take more effort on the carrier’s part to delivery. A significant amount of the time however, carriers fail to use common sense and charge an Address Correction Surcharge on a valid address. For example common sense abbreviations such “st” for “Street” or “apt” for “Apartment” can trigger an Address Correction. At the same time, we’ve seen the reverse happening, full spellings of “Street” triggering an Address Correction to the abbreviation. The issue happens with dozens of interchangeable words and abbreviations and unfortunately there is no simple clear cut solution to avoid unwarranted Address Correction Surcharges.

Saturday Delivery Not Requested – Getting charged for a Saturday Delivery when you didn’t ask for a Saturday Delivery

If you didn’t request Saturday Delivery Service and your packages happen to arrive on Saturday, you are still going to be charged for the unasked for service, $16 per package. Why does this happens? We honestly couldn’t tell you but when it does, the $16 surcharge can add up quick. When it happens, it is a straightforward mistake on the carrier’s part so a refund is due on the surcharge even if the package arrived earlier than expected.

And 30+ Other Reasons

FedEx and UPS manage an incredibly complex network of thousands of stores, planes and trucks delivering millions of packages and they do get it right most of the time. It is important to remember that when they do make a mistake, which is about 5% of the time, FedEx and UPS don’t want their clients paying for it. After 13 years of Small Package Auditing, it is clear to us that it isn’t just about late packages but about a much longer list of possible service failures.





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