The Top 5 Charges and Fees Hiding in Your Parcel Invoice

There are numerous charges hiding in your parcel invoices. Without the right tools, these charges are easy to miss. Even audits can overlook the impact of your carrier contracts on these hidden fees. 

The big take away is that these top 5 charges hiding in your parcel invoice are avoidable with Parcel BI

Parcel BI’s own, Giles Manias, authored a white paper that will educate you on finding these hidden fees, so you can better manage your parcel and reduce spend. This article overviews the key points, the big takeaway is that these charges are avoidable.

You can download the full white paper at the bottom of the page to learn more about the 5 charges and how to avoid them.

The Top 5 Charges Hiding In Your Parcel BI Invoice by Giles Manias of

Additional Fees Are Avoidable When You Have Insight

Just because your carriers make data available through invoices and downloads, does not mean they want you to understand or do something with this data. 

While the billing guides provide some high-level descriptions of charges, when you look at the actual data, it is not easy to understand. 

Hidden Charges Are Avoidable with the Right Tools

Invoice Charge Detail Snapshot from Parcel BI - The Tool for Parcel Spend Management and Visibility

The Invoice Charge Detail report within our Invoice Analytics tool gives you insight into the charges that are impacting you the most. Click the photo above to see the various charges included in this dynamic report. 

This is just one of the tools within Parcel BI that connects companies shipping parcel through common carriers with data analytics to… 

Criteria for the Top 5 Hidden Carrier Charges

The charges in your invoice are almost as unique as a fingerprint. They are unofficially ranked based on commonality, frequency and monetary impact.

What you ship, where you ship, how much you ship, and who you are shipping it to all factor in to these fees. We call this your “Parcel Profile”. 

The Top 5 Charges Carriers are Hiding in your Parcel Invoice

It's important to remember that every organization's Parcel Profile is different. The best way to discover the fees that are impacting you is through accessible and valuable reporting.

Using business intelligence to make data-driven decisions can save you hundreds of thousands (and for some, millions) in parcel spend every year.

Here are the top 5 hidden fees that could be costing you more than you know...

#5 Late Fees

Late Fees are the #5 Hidden Fee Hiding In Your Parcel Invoice - Expose Cost Savings with Parcel BI

These charges are costly and can happen to any company. They can occur when credit cards aren’t updated on time, reconcilers are disconnected from shipping terms, payment standards change on a corporate level, and on other related occasions.  

  • This charge is partial to one of the major carriers
  • This carrier contractually obligates the subject to payment terms that are 15% by default when late fees are not paid
  • These fees are not recoverable through an audit and are not assessed on the original invoice 
  • These fees can be recovered through the Parcel BI Tool

#4 Declared Value

Declared Value is the #4 Hidden Fee Hiding In Your Parcel Invoice - Expose Cost Savings with Parcel BI

Declared value works like insurance and is often applied unnecessarily. Carriers automatically cover $100 per package and when you apply declared value as a blanket on shipments – you leak margin. 

Do you have insight into third-party shipper’s policy? Thinking beyond outbound shipping is key to avoid missing unnecessary declared value with shipping partners.

#3 Chargebacks / Re-bills 

Chargebacks, or Re-Bills, are the #3 Hidden Fee Hiding In Your Parcel Invoice - Expose Cost Savings with Parcel BI

When chargeback (sometimes referred to as a rebill) issues are present, they indicate a bigger problem. These occur when a shipment made on collect or a third-party account number is disputed or the charge refused. 

This can happen for a reason as simple as attaching or typing the wrong account number accidentally. When you use an invalid account, it also adds an invalid/missing account fee – heavily increasing the fees on the shipment in question.

#2 Audit Fees

Audit Fees are the #4 Hidden Fee Hiding In Your Parcel Invoice - Expose Cost Savings with Parcel BI

This fee is hard to expose because it’s not assessed to a package, but as a line titled “fee” on your invoice.

UPS charges “Audit Fees” assessed by account when “the average shipping charge correction in an invoice week is greater than $2.00 per package subject to a shipping charge correction.”

The fee is $1.00 per package or 6% of the total amount of corrections in that invoice period, whichever is greater

#1 The Shipping Charge Correction

Shipping Charge Corrections are the #1 Hidden Fee Hiding In Your Parcel Invoice - Expose Cost Savings with Parcel BI

This is the most common and costly hidden fee among them all. This fee is an adjustment to the total cost of shipping a package that occurred after the package was picked up. Typically, these are an increase over the expected cost.

Billing and processing are done off of the manifested or expected cost at the time of shipping, not after the package is delivered. This makes the fees hard to spot and because the two major carriers handle them differently, they’re harder to manage and recover.

Some common causes for corrections:

  • A discrepancy in the weight of the package; may be due to guessing instead of using an accurate scale.
  • The dimensions not being entered or different than what the carrier measured
  • Additional handling / over-sized charges such as packaging or an undercalculated weight
  • Service (commercial vs. residential)

Once You’ve Identified Your Hidden Charges, What’s Next?

These 5 hidden fees are just the tip of the iceberg, and identifying them isn’t easy. It’s difficult for shippers to manage parcel data due to complicated, lengthy invoices and fees like these not being attached to the package or labeled in detail by the carrier.

Having an experienced partner can help to identify and use impactful data affordably, effectively, and timely. Parcel BI – Invoice Analytics is a tool that makes it easy and empowers leaders to make an impact in their organization. 

Parcel BI Main Dashboard - the tool for parcel spend mangaement

Dive Deeper with the White Paper

Download the white paper to learn how you can identify and recover these fees. 

Download White Paper

Parcel BI is a proactive business intelligence tool for big shippers that use major carriers. We will help you identify the key process that need to be adjusted for long-term parcel savings, beyond audit recovery. 

Click here to schedule a demo using your organization's data.

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