Other than parking tickets, paying for shipping has to be one of the least enjoyable ways to part with your hard earned money. Between our free duty calculator and our own BorderBuddy Shopify app, we do what we can to avoid delivery shock and give you total visibility when shipping your packages across the border. However, recently, industry bigwigs like UPS and FedEx have revealed their own shipping schemas, touted to reduce the cost of shipping for those shipping orders large and small.
According to UPS, via Freightwaves, “UPS (NYSE: UPS) is marketing the initiative as a simplified way to pay for shipping and a convenience to shippers.” There is a catch (when isn’t there?) as upon closer inspection, these consolidated rates might look like discounts, but by doing away with individual import codes in favour of a blanketed approach, shippers may end up paying more shipping and duty on the same products.
Size matters here, but to the benefit of SME (small and medium enterprises) or hobby shippers. The new format will be available to all customers, regardless of the size of their average shipments (also known as their “shipping profile”). The new formula will be available to those shipping by air and ground, as well as internationally. No minimum volume commitment will be needed for small to midsize shippers (SMBs), who make up the bulk of our BorderBuddy clientele. The larger volume shippers will have a minimum volume commitment, but that is unlikely to affect you.
Bottom line, are streamlined, one-size-fits-all shipping rates good for me as a small importer/exporter?
Consolidated shipping rates have existed for a long time, but only recently has a streamlined option been made available to smaller shippers. Time will tell if UPS’ streamlined rate makes much of a difference to you. It will also be interesting to observe whether other major shipping companies, like FedEx or Purolator, follow suit. We’ll keep watching and let you know. After all, our mission is to make the border disappear, while fattening up your bottom line and leaning down your shipping and duty rates.