Does UPS Audit Every Package? (Explained)

Package auditing is the process of reviewing the invoices that you get from carriers. These invoices indicate all the important information about every delivery, including whether it was done on time or not.

All carriers, including UPS, audit the packages before they leave the facility.

What To Know About UPS Audits:

Packages are audited as they are being shipped to determine their dimensions, including the package’s length, width, and height. This number is rounded to the nearest whole number to get its billable audited dimensions. After the audits, there may be adjustments to correct any inconsistencies.

What Is The Process For UPS To Audit A Package?

As a general rule, shippers, or you as the customer, are responsible for providing complete and accurate information about the package you will be shipping. You are expected to provide the correct weight and dimensions of the packages you are about to ship.

As the carrier, UPS has the right to audit any package and check whether the correct information has been provided. This includes the weight and the dimensions.

When UPS audits a package, the process involves weighing and measuring the package. 

Here is how the process normally goes:

  1. Before shipping, the customer fills out a form indicating the weight and dimensions of the package they are about to send.
  2. The customer drops off the package at a UPS store, or the carrier picks up the package.
  3. UPS accepts the package through its network and processes it for shipping.
  4. If the package weight does not seem to match the actual, an audit on the package will be triggered.
  5. The audit will determine the actual weight and dimensions.
  6. Any adjustments on the shipping fee based on the actual weight and dimensions may be charged to the customer.
  7. UPS may also charge an audit fee, which will appear on the invoice or billing statement.

This is to verify if all the information provided by the shipper is correct. If any information is incorrect, UPS reserves the right to adjust the charges at any time.

If you check your UPS invoice, you will see a section for adjustments, where the Audit Fee will be displayed. The Audit Fee is charged when the correction on the shipping fee for your package is more than $2.00.

Here are the factors that contribute to a shipping fee correction:

  • Incorrect weight entered by shipper or customer, resulting in UPS re-weighing the package.
  • Incorrect package dimensions, resulting in UPS correcting these details.
  • Missing package dimensions, resulting in additional fees like Large Package Surcharge, Additional Handling, and Over the Maximum.

UPS implemented the above policies because UPS wants its customer to provide as accurate shipping information as possible.

In addition, UPS also reserves the right to thoroughly screen the package if the staff suspects that the package contains any prohibited items.

Here are some of the items prohibited by UPS for shipping:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Articles of high value
  • Ammunition
  • Bank bills, notes, or currency
  • Biological substances
  • Dangerous goods or hazardous materials
  • Firearms and weapons, including explosives
  • Furs
  • Gold or other precious metals
  • Hemp and cannabidiol
  • Livestock or other live animals
  • Non-domesticated animal products
  • Perishables
  • Personal effects
  • Plants and seeds require a UPS account
  • Tobacco, including cigarettes and little cigars
  • Vape products

If UPS suspects that your package contains any of the items mentioned above, they can open it for further screening and auditing.

How Often Does UPS Audit Packages?

Shippers or UPS customers are expected to provide accurate information about a package, including the weight and dimensions, when it is shipped.

To ensure that all the information is correct, UPS audits packages. These audits are being done randomly.

The website does not indicate how often UPS is doing the audits, but customers expect that they are being done regularly.

This urges them to provide correct information about the package they will send. With all the modern technology and equipment we have, shippers should be able to provide correct information about their packages.

Measuring a package is easy – all you need is a ruler or a measuring tape. Getting the weight of the package can also be done anytime. You can even use a bathroom weighing scale for this.

What Triggers A UPS Audit Of A Package?

While some people may be inclined to put in a smaller number for the package weight to incur lower shipping charges, many people would advise against this.

This will trigger an audit of a package at UPS if a worker suspects that the actual package weight is heavier than what is provided by the customer.

Most packages are weighed once it is accepted at the UPS office. Almost everyone in this industry can pick up a package and get a general idea of how much it weighs just by holding it.

So if something feels off to them, it can trigger an audit, resulting in them re-weighing the package and getting its correct dimensions.

If you are sending a package and you put in a weight of 5 pounds, most UPS workers can tell if it weighs 5 pounds or not, and they reserve the right to audit it if they feel that it is inaccurate.

What Are The Consequences Of A Failed UPS Audit?

A failed audit means that UPS has audited a package, and its exact details do not match what was provided by the shipper.

The main consequence of a failed UPS audit is that the shipper would need to pay extra if there are any corrections on the shipping fee or any additional surcharges that would reflect on the bill.

Here are the most situations that would cause a failed UPS audit:

  • You shipped a package which incorrect or missing dimensions, which resulted in additional surcharges such as Large Package Surcharge or Additional Handling Service. These surcharges would appear on your UPS billing.
  • Your package is missing dimensions that resulted in billing a new dimensional weight. This will trigger adjustments or corrections on the shipping fee.
  • You brought your package to UPS with an incorrect weight, which resulted in the re-weighing of the package.
  • You provided an incorrect address, which resulted in the adjustment of shipping fees based on the location.

Being asked to pay for small errors may sound harsh, and UPS agrees with this. This is why you would only get charged if the adjustments to the shipping fee are more than $5.00. 

However, if your packages consistently fail UPS audits, repeated errors can result in penalties. UPS reserves the right to charge higher fees if you always provide incorrect information about your packages.

Can Shippers Appeal A Failed UPS Audit?

As a paying customer, you have the right to question or scrutinize every fee you charge, regardless of how small the amount is.

You can appeal and have these charges disputed if you have additional charges on your UPS bill due to a failed audit.

Here’s how:

  • Go to the UPS Billing Center website and click on the Invoice Tab.
  • Select the dispute link for the UPS Invoice that you want to dispute.
  • Fill out the form and submit it.

UPS will then review your dispute and respond accordingly. You have to take note that filing a dispute does not automatically guarantee that they will adjust the charges.

The solution is simple if you want your packages to pass every UPS audit. Send only allowed items through UPS, and ensure accurate dimensions and weight information about your package.

Sources:

Everything You Need To Know About Parcel Audits

UPS Audit Fee: Shipping Charge Correction Fee

UPS Billing Changes: Audit Fee For Shipping Charge Corrections

UPS Parcel Freight Audit