When building your business, each unexpected expense — even the small ones — adds up. Some of the most common expenses are address corrections.
You’ve built an exciting e-commerce business. You have an amazing product. Your marketing is on point, and now customers are placing their orders. But here come the unexpected fees. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the game for a while, unexpected — sometimes hidden — fees can undermine your goals. These fees include errors made by carriers, freight costs, fuel surcharges, customs fees, packaging issues, and costs associated with damages, delays and returns.
Of all these frustrating fees, some of the most common — and most annoying — are address corrections.
Address corrections happen frequently, and while they may not always cost a lot of money, they can really add up. This is especially true given how much these fees have risen over the years (more on that in a minute). Wrong addresses, often the result of tiny clerical errors, can result in incorrect routing, lost shipments, and unhappy customers, all of which cost you money, both in fees and revenue lost over time.
Here is what you need to know about address corrections, including a breakdown of how much they cost, how you can prevent them from happening and why having a little help with logistics can help you save big.
What are address corrections?
Let’s break down what address corrections are to better understand their origin and how to take preventive steps aimed at eliminating this all-too-common error.
Address corrections occur when a carrier is not able to deliver a shipment due to discrepancies in the address. This may be an incorrect zip code, a misspelled street name, or an easy-to-miss mix up such as an address marked “Mulberry Court” instead of “Mulberry Place.” The address may also be incomplete or illegible.
Whatever the case may be, an address correction is when the carrier must correct that address in order to deliver — or at least attempt to deliver — the package. The number of attempts and likelihood of inevitable success varies by carrier, destination and circumstance.
Long story short: Address corrections are time-consuming for the carrier, which costs money. These costs are passed along to you via address correction charges.
How much do address corrections cost?
Now that you have a better understanding of what address corrections are, let’s get to the ugly part: how much they cost. Some of these fees don’t sound like much on their own, but if you allow them to happen again and again, they start to take a big bite out of your budget.
Think of these small fees like you would a daily latte habit. Sure, it’s a few dollars, but a few dollars for 30 days straight can turn into a frightening sum.
USPS offers Package Intercept, which allows a shipper to attempt to recall or redirect a package that has been sent to the wrong address for any reason. The service is available for most packages that have tracking enabled or an extra services barcode and costs $14.65 plus any applicable postage if the intercept is successful (and nothing if it is too late to be intercepted). The intercepted package is then returned to the sender or held at a local post office for pickup.
If you use FedEx, you’re looking at $17 per correction on U.S. Express Package Services and International Express Freight and Package Services, as well as U.S. Ground Service and International Ground Service. U.S. Express Freight Services incur a fee of $88.50 per address correction. FedEx Express Multiweight Pricing costs $119 per shipment. FedEx Ground Multiweight costs $51 per shipment. Both of the latter are maximum charges.
It’s a little simpler with UPS, where you’ll pay $17 per package or $119 maximum per shipment for address corrections.
These charges are on the rise. Since 2019, both FedEx and UPS address correction rates have jumped up. FedEx rates rose anywhere from $1 to $7 for 2020, while UPS rates went up $0.60 per package and $4.20 per shipment this year.
How to prevent address corrections
Businesses can stop wrong addresses in their tracks by taking precautionary measures.
- Always take the time to ensure that addresses are correct before sending out shipments
- Verify zip codes, look for spelling errors and pay special attention to apartment numbers
- If you catch an incorrect address, correct it via the carrier using online platforms
Software can help with this, but no matter what method you use, the solution to avoiding address correction fees is to be thorough and detail-oriented. If it happens once, make sure you fix the address in your systems, so you won’t get charged the address correction fee again.
How 7llbs can help
Taking the time to prevent address corrections sounds doable in theory, but with everything else you have on your plate, errors can still happen. That’s where 71lbs comes in. We’re shipping experts who utilize an automated platform to help our customers with the shipping process. From helping you get your refunds to breaking down common fees, we have a proven track record that can serve your needs.
If you’re struggling with the costs of address corrections and are eager to get help with this frustrating issue (or any other of your supply-chain woes), get in touch with 71lbs.