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Avoid billing corrections at the outset

When processing each shipment, enter both the package's weight and dimensions to determine 'billable weight.'

Package measurements are based on the length, width and height of the package from its extreme points – including any bulges.

UPS is committed to ensuring that you are billed correctly for each package. Here are some common questions about UPS's billing and package measurement practices, how UPS audits package measurements, and a few tips on avoiding shipping charge corrections.

How does UPS bill for packages?
In large part, the UPS billing process is based on the honor system. First, you should weigh your packages and measure their dimensions and then submit the information to UPS. The shipping charges for each UPS package are based on the terms of your contract with UPS, as well as package-specific characteristics such as the “billable weight” of the package. The billable weight will be based either upon the actual weight or the dimensional weight. When you enter the package's weight and dimensions, your UPS shipping system will automatically calculate the billable weight.

You can consult UPS's Tariff and Rate and Service Guide, which provides additional information on UPS's billing process and instructions for measuring packages and calculating billable weight.

How does UPS audit your package measurements?
Although UPS handles millions of packages each day, many packages are audited to verify service selection, package dimensions or weight, and applicability of any charges. As part of that audit, UPS may weigh or measure any package using certain measurement devices, such as multidimensional measuring devices. If UPS determines that any aspect of the shipment information provided by the customer is incomplete or incorrect, UPS may, at its discretion, adjust the shipping charges for that package. You can take comfort in knowing that UPS employs trained auditors and state-of-the-art technology to measure packages during the audit process. 

How can shipping charge corrections be avoided?
UPS understands that unanticipated shipping charge corrections can be frustrating. UPS is committed to working with customers to avoid such charges. The key to avoiding shipping charge corrections is to provide UPS with accurate and complete information about the package when it is shipped. UPS's Rate and Service Guide provides information on to how to determine package weight and size and addresses some of the common issues that may result in a shipping charge correction. Some common causes of shipping charge corrections are:

  • Improper or insufficient packaging: Improper packaging may result in a package's dimensions changing during transit. That could affect the package's dimensional weight and result in a shipping charge correction. In the event that a package's dimensions are altered during transit, UPS may bill for charges based on the altered dimensions. You should follow the packaging guidelines set forth in UPS's Rate and Service Guide to reduce the likelihood of a package's dimensions changing during shipment.

  • Bulging boxes or irregularly shaped packaging: Overpacking a box may result in bulges to the sides of the box, which could lead to a shipping charge correction. Package measurements are based on the length, width and height of the package from its extreme points – and that may include the bulge or irregular aspects of the package. When measuring irregularly shaped shipments, treat the shipment as if it were in a regular rectangular box.

  • Relying on the box manufacturer's dimensions: Size limits indicated by a box manufacturer may reflect the interior rather than the exterior dimensions of a package and should not be used as a substitute for the box's actual length, width and height measurements in determining dimensional weight.

These are a few of the ways in which unanticipated shipping charge corrections may occur. If you receive frequent shipping charge corrections, consult a UPS customer service representative who can work with you to determine the cause of such charges and how to avoid them in the future. Additional tips for avoiding shipping charge corrections may be found at

What other options are available to help avoid shipping charge corrections?
UPS can work with you to customize your contract. A customized contract may include terms that can affect the calculation of shipping charges or the applicability of shipping charge corrections. For example, UPS may be able to offer contract terms specifying custom dimensional measurement thresholds and variances that would change the point at which your packages are subject to dimensional billing adjustments. Custom variances could allow your package measurements to vary by a specified number of inches without any billing impact. For more information about this option, contact your UPS account manager.


Reader Comments

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janoss November 19, 2011
This was very useful since I was always confused by the shipping correction charges. Jim <a href="" title="Motorcycle Parts and accessories">Cycle Solutions</a>