Your day was going well until you opened up your shipping invoice only to see a hefty “residential fee” tacked on to your final shipment price. You are flabbergasted. How did this happen?! The package you shipped went directly to an accounting office – what an outrageous fee!
This is perhaps one of the most common complaints we receive – and understandably so. If you ship something to an accounting office or to a publisher – or any company for that matter – you don’t think “this is a residence.” But the term “residential” has a specific definition in the shipping world – and it’s important that customers understand what this means and how either avoid – or anticipate and budget for – those additional charges.
A “residential fee” denotes that the carrier has delivered to a residential area. Just because the receiver is a business doesn’t mean that the location of the business actually resides in a commercial area. For example, if a business is located in a residential area, such as a law office in a quaint brownstone, most carriers are going to charge a residential fee.
Why is that? It’s hard for carriers to get those huge trucks down tiny residential streets. Plus, trucks can cause damage to the surrounding areas.
So how do you anticipate residential fees? Make sure you let us know when booking your freight if the pickup or delivery will occur in a residential area. Or, if you use Unishippers’ Online Transportation Management Systems (Express Manager or Freight Manager), always be sure to check if the sender or receiver area is residential. Or, note the location type so that your shipping estimate reflects the additional cost before you ship. UPS also has a comprehensive list of ZIP codes where Delivery Area Surcharges apply (this includes residential charges). Refer to the list on UPS’s website here.
You might not be able to avoid residential fees, but you can spoil the surprise by knowing the full cost of your shipment upfront to better help manage your budget – and sanity. For more help managing your shipping costs, contact your Unishippers office.