Does Shipping Weight Have To Be 100% Accurate?

Weight matters a lot when it comes to shipping packages. Apart from the receiver’s location, the weight of a parcel is a huge determining factor in its shipping cost and other chargers.

If you think you can give an estimate of the number when declaring the parcel weight, think again. There might be additional charges if you indicated inaccurate weight.

This is why, as much as possible, the shipping weight has to be accurate.

Here’s How Accurate Shipping Weight Must Be:

The shipping weight indicated must be accurate to ensure that the correct shipping charges are applied. The shipping weight may be a little off, but the carrier will still allow it if the difference is not that big. Otherwise, there may be surcharges and additional fees that will apply.

How To Ensure That Your Shipping Weight Is Accurate:

People who work with the US Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, or other carrier companies can tell if the indicated weight of a package is accurate or not.

Just by holding the package, they can estimate the weight. They can tell immediately if something feels off about a package.

If the shipping weight you provided is inaccurate, it may trigger an audit wherein the carrier will get the package’s actual weight. You may be charged if there are big discrepancies between the weight you provided and the actual weight.

This is why entering accurate information about your package is very important. It would be best if you ensured every detail you provided was correct.

Here is how to ensure that the shipping weight is accurate:

Weigh the package.

This is a no-brainer solution. The best way to get the accurate shipping weight of the package is by actually weighing it.

Carriers recommend that you use a postage weighing scale as this type of scale is designed for weighing packages for shipping and will give you accurate numbers. If you do not have one at home, which is the case for most customers, you can go to your local post office and have it weighed there for free.

If you own a small business that frequently ships orders, investing in a postage weighing scale is best since you will be using it a lot.

You can also use a kitchen scale if you send a small package. This weighing scale can also give you accurate measurements for small packages.

Get the dimensions of the package.

The dimensions of the package may also influence the number of shipping charges.

When providing details about your shipment, the weight and dimensions go hand in hand.

Get the correct dimensions by measuring the length and width of the package. You can use a tape measure for this. You can even use a ruler if the package is small.

What Are The Consequences Of Inaccurate Shipping Weight?

Providing inaccurate shipping weight has consequences not just for you as a shipper but for the whole supply chain as well.

This is why carriers urge customers to input accurate information as much as possible.

Many customers underestimate the importance of correct shipping weight when sending out parcels. There are several consequences of inaccurate shipping weight, which can affect other shipments.

Here are the consequences of inaccurate shipping weight:

  1. Providing inaccurate shipping weight can trigger an audit wherein the actual weight and dimensions of the package will be obtained.
    • If they do not match what has been entered, the customer will be asked to pay for any corrections or additional charges.
  2. Inaccurate shipping weight can also trigger an audit, resulting in the package being returned to the sender.
    • The sender will then be asked to re-ship it with accurate weight.
  3. Consistently providing inaccurate weight may also result in a penalty.
    • It is okay to make mistakes occasionally, but if a carrier notices that the customer is always entering inaccurate information about the package, they may be asked to pay fines.

Inaccurate shipping weight does not only bear consequences for you as a customer but can also affect other people’s shipments.

A package weighing more or less than indicated increases the risk of issues along the transportation supply chain. While this may seem like a carrier problem, this is an issue for the customers because this can delay the arrival of the packages.

The number of containers placed on a transportation vessel is calculated based on weight. If some containers weigh less, they may be left behind, including the packages. This can delay the arrival of your packages and other people as well.

How Strict Is UPS On Weight?

Like all carriers, UPS has specific weight and size limits for the packages you ship with all the services it offers.

The restrictions apply to individual packages, and any package that exceeds the maximum weight and size allowed will require using the company’s freight services.

UPS is strict with its weight limits. If a customer provides an inaccurate shipping weight, the company has the right to charge the customer with any additional fees or surcharges.

Since being asked to pay for small errors may sound harsh, UPS would only charge a customer for inaccurate shipping weight if the adjustment to the shipping fee is more than $5.00.

If the difference between the indicated weight and actual weight is not that big, for example, 0.5 lbs, then the customer will most likely not be charged.

What is the weight limit for UPS?

When shipping through UPS, packages can weigh up to 150 lbs or 68 kg.

The size of the packages should also be up to 165 inches in combined length and girth. Special pricing may be based on dimensional weight calculations for oversized packages that meet the maximum weight allowed.

These limits apply to most packages and destinations, but there are slight differences in the limits for international shipments.

This is because some countries have local restrictions on items entering their border.

How Strict Is USPS On Weight?

The US Postal Service has lower maximum allowed weights for packages than private companies.

All services offered by the USPS have maximum weight restrictions. Furthermore, many services use the weight of the package to calculate the postage weight.

This is why USPS urges its customers to weigh their packages using a postage weighing scale to get accurate measurements. You can go to your local post office and have your package weighed there if you do not have a scale at home.

USPS generally rounds up to the next pound or ounce when calculating shipping charges. For example, if your package weighs 3.5 lbs, you would be charged at a rate applicable to 4 lbs.

This applies to all mail and packages for domestic or international shipments.

What is the weight limit for USPS?

The maximum weight allowed for USPS shipments is 70 lbs or 32 kg, but it can be lower depending on the type of shipping service that you will avail yourself of.

Below are the weight limits for each type of USPS service:

  • USPS First Class – 1 lb
  • USPS First Class International – 4 lbs
  • USPS Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express – 70 lbs
  • USPS Priority Mail International and Priority Mail Express International – 70 lbs
  • USPS Parcel Select – 70 lbs
  • USPS Flat Rate Priority Mail International Large – 20 lbs
  • USPS Flat Rate Priority Mail International Small – 4 lbs

How Strict Is FedEx On Weight?

FedEx is also pretty strict on package weight.

According to the fine print, FedEx reserves the right to re-weigh and measure all packages that go through their network.

This is to verify the actual and dimensional weight the customer provides. If the dimensional weight is more than the actual weight, there will be adjustments to the shipping charges based on the dimensional weight.

The customer must pay for the corrections in the charges and any additional charges that may apply.

What is the weight limit for FedEx?

With FedEx services, you can ship packages that weigh up to 150 lbs or 68 kg.

In addition, the maximum size allowed is up to 108 inches in length and 130 inches in length and girth combined.

If a package weighs more than 70 lbs or 32 kg, it is still within the allowed limit, so it will be accepted for shipping, but FedEx will place yellow and black safety labels on them to indicate that they are heavyweight packages.

As a customer, it is your responsibility to know the weight limits of the carrier that you will be shipping through. It is also your responsibility to weigh the package correctly.

This is to ensure that the delivery of your package will be smooth and free from errors as much as possible.

Sources:

How To Weigh And Measure Loads For Shipment

Why Accurate Shipment Weights Matters

The Hidden Dangers Of Incorrect Weights For Your Shipment