In the shipping industry, the package weight and dimensions matter a lot. This is because the shipping fees and postage largely depend on these factors.
While customers are urged to enter accurate weight and size information about their package, the US Postal Service verifies that these details are correct.
Here’s How USPS Checks Package Weight & Dimensions:
The US Postal Service verifies that the package details match what you entered when you made your shipping label. This is done through an automated machine, so it’s not as tedious as it sounds. These machines run reports to show the variance between the actual and declared weight.
Does USPS Verify Package Dimensions?
USPS verifies a package’s dimensions, especially if the package is too big.
The post office workers will measure the package once it is received at the counter, and you pay the corresponding postage and shipping fees.
It is different when you use the USPS Click-N-Ship service because you will enter the package dimensions as you create a shipping label.
Remember that USPS has upper limits on package dimensions for Priority Mail classes and will only accept pieces 108 inches in combined length and girth.
If it’s bigger than the maximum size, it may still be shipped through USPS Retail Ground as long as it does not exceed 130 inches.
Does USPS Check The Weight Of All Packages?
USPS workers always weigh all packages shipped through the local post office once they are received at the counter.
They need to weigh the packages to quote the customer the correct postage and shipping fees.
Even if the customer uses a Flat Rate Shipping Box where a fixed postage fee is applied regardless of the weight, USPS still checks the weight of the packages.
In this case, they do so to ensure that the package does not exceed the upper weight limit of 70 lbs.
Read also: Does USPS Open Or Inspect Packages? We explain here!
Click-N-Ship Weight & Dimensions
When you ship through the USPS Click-N-Ship service, you will enter the package weight before paying online for the prepaid shipping label.
USPS does check the weight of all packages, especially if the packages are from the Click-N-Ship service.
This is to ensure that the actual package weight aligns with what was entered by the customer when the prepaid shipping label was created. This also ensures that the correct postage and shipping fees are applied.
Is It OK To round Off The Numbers?
It is OK to round off the numbers when entering the weight to generate a prepaid shipping label.
The US Postal Service recommends rounding off the numbers because they use certain algorithms to determine the cost of shipping based on the weight and dimensions of the package.
These algorithms are based on the capacity and weight limits of the equipment that your package has to go through while in transit. Rounding up the numbers lets you get the most accurate pricing.
If the package weighs 4 lbs., you will pay the corresponding rate for 4 lbs. If the package weighs 4.2 lbs., you will pay the rate for 5 lbs. That is how USPS shipping rates work.
How Exactly Does USPS Measure The Weight And Dimensions?
USPS measures the weight and dimensions of packages through automated machines.
Packages go through parcel sorting machines that weigh them to check if the declared weight aligns with the actual one.
These machines run reports and show if there are any variances between the actual and declared weight.
If the machine detects a difference in a package’s actual and declared weight, it will be sorted and set aside to be measured more accurately.
What Happens If A Package Has The Incorrect Weight?
One common mistake customers make when shipping a package is entering the incorrect weight.
This small mistake can often lead to errors which may cause a delay in the delivery of the package.
If a package you shipped weighs more than what you entered, then any of the following scenarios could happen:
The package will be marked with “Insufficient Postage” and returned to you. This will cause a delay because you will have to pay the correct fees before shipping it again.
The package will be held at the post office with a notice of “Postage Due,” and the recipient will have to pay for the difference in postage fees.
This will also cause a delay because the recipient cannot collect the package until it is paid.
Nothing will happen if a package has the incorrect weight but is shipped using a Flat Rate Shipping box. The package will be delivered as normal since weight does not matter when using a flat-rate box.
If a package you shipped weighs LESS than what you entered and you end up paying more for shipping, it will also be shipped as normal.
They will not refund you for any excess postage that you paid.
Read also: Our answers to 12 Common Questions about USPS Express Mail!
What Happens If A Package Is A Bit Too Heavy Or Big?
When a package is too heavy or big, it often causes problems and delays in delivery. This is why USPS urges customers to enter accurate weight and size information.
Any of the following could happen if a package is too heavy or big:
- USPS will not collect the package if it is overweight and exceeds the weight limit of 70 lbs.
- The package will be collected, but you must pay additional fees and surcharges.
- The package will be returned to the shipper, and you must generate a new prepaid shipping label to ship it again.
So if you are sending something, enter the package weight and dimensions accurately and round the numbers off. This is to prevent any errors and delays in your shipment.
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