Why is Shipping So Expensive?

Posted by Alexis C. on Jun 09, 2022


Did you know that roughly 86% of people abandon their shopping carts because of the shipping cost? This number might not be a surprise when big companies like Amazon have built a whole platform on the idea that shipping will be quick, easy, and free. In fact, because of these large retailers, free shipping has become a shopping incentive that has taken over the online retailing world.

Unfortunately, this has led the consumer to lose perspective on how expensive shipping can be. But this is to be expected when shipping costs have been hidden from them for years - whether behind membership fees, product prices, or even purchasing thresholds. While we, too, offer free shipping after a certain threshold, we would like to provide some transparency and insight into why shipping can sometimes be so expensive.

1.Complicated Courier Agreements

Despite constantly searching for the most affordable courier option for our customers, entering an agreement with any company can be pretty complex. These agreements contain multiple small components that are not expensive by themselves but add up. Basically, these can trip up an ill-informed shipper.

These components include package insurance, money-back guarantees, and dimensional weight. Dimensional weight is a penalty for shipping a large package, even if they don’t weigh very much. While we protest any unnecessary additional fees in a contract, our #1 priority is ensuring your package arrives safely and securely.

2. Fuel Surcharges

Fuel charges are a standard cost that is often overlooked- despite these charges potentially adding up significantly. Fuel surcharges are extra fees added by couriers that cover fuel price fluctuations and usually apply to domestic and cross-border shipping. Throughout our 30+ years of business, fuel surcharges have increased with fuel price increases but never decreased with fuel price decreases. With gas being the most expensive it has ever been, it is no surprise that these surcharges are through the roof.

3. Minimum Charges

All major couriers, including UPS, FedEx, and many others, implement minimum package charges. Despite how small or light a package may be, there is always a minimum charge per package, no matter what.

Even with discounts, minimum package charges can raise shipping costs because it negates most of the discounts for lighter-weight packages, specifically those under five pounds.

4. Value-Added Services

Although some of these costs can often be avoided, value-added services can increase the cost of shipping. A few examples of these services include delivery change requests, address correction fees, delivery area surcharges, and residential fees. While you can not control if your shipping location is off the beaten path, you can control the address you enter. For this reason, companies often reserve the right to pass on the address correction fee to the consumer.

We have some recommendations to avoid these extra charges.

To potentially avoid these additional fees, we always suggest sending your package to a business address and double-checking to ensure the address is entered correctly. Although we do address validation on all orders, this doesn’t always catch everything. The best way to protect yourself is to ensure you enter the correct address.

5. Variable Factors

Last but not least, there are always several variables involving how packages ship that impact shipping costs. These factors include package size, weight, and destination, which can significantly affect shipping prices.

Luckily, we are experienced in the art of packing. Our orders are packed by flag experts, not robots, who do their best to navigate these factors and avoid additional costs as much as possible.


Despite all these factors contributing to shipping costs, we do our best to transfer savings to our customers as possible. As a business, we get a discounted shipping price compared to the average joe going to a courier to send a package, and we transfer these savings to you. For example, to ship a package from Florida to Maryland would cost you $38 from a FedEx office/print facility, while it would cost us roughly half of that with our negotiated rates. We never make money on shipping; in fact, we often lose money on it. Helping you get the most bang for your buck is our priority, and of course, whenever we can, we make shipping free for our customers!

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