It’s not an uncommon occurrence to experience an unexpected shock or scare when sending parcels. From surcharges hidden in the small print to suddenly finding out an item you sent wasn’t covered by the insurance on the service level you selected, sending parcels is fraught with potential horrifying moments. Let’s take a closer look at how some couriers can trick, rather than treat, their customers, how you can be aware of the potential traps, and how The Collect Group does things differently.

Fuel Surcharge
It’s very common for fuel surcharges to be added to your contract rates for sending parcels, as a percentage of the overall price you pay; typically surcharges are in the region of 8-10% for domestic services. These charges fluctuate in line with the variable cost of fuel, however it’s usually not linked; courier service providers will usually review their surcharge rate annually, so even when there has been a prolonged dip in fuel price, such as during the COVID working from home period, fuel surcharges are unlikely to decrease in line with it.

The Collect Group does not charge any additional fuel surcharges on collections; the price we quote per parcel is the price you’ll pay.

Parcel Size / Weight Surcharge
This is another surcharge commonly applied by couriers. However in this case, it usually only occurs due to user error, and avoiding it is simply a matter of ensuring accurate information about the parcel’s size and weight is provided during the booking process. Our booking portal generates pricing based on the measurements entered, so if a parcel is above its declared weight or size, effectively the proper postage cost has not been paid, and our delivery partners may apply both a surcharge for the difference in cost, as well as an administrative charge for the time taken to properly weigh and measure the parcel.

A Size/Weight surcharge is not a hidden cost per se, however they can amount to hefty fees on large parcels, so honesty, accuracy and choosing the most appropriate service for the parcel dimensions are the best way to avoid them!

Additional Handling Charges
This type of charge can occur when any manual handling of the parcel is required by the courier beyond what is reasonably required for a parcel of the declared type. It can occur for reasons such as improper wrapping e.g. parcels being strapped together, being of an irregular length or weight, having an uneven load distribution or containing certain liquids.

We’ve published a list of items that cannot be sent via our CollectPro service, and we have a direct customer service team who can advise you if you’re not sure if a particular item can be sent using our services. As with the size and weight charges, the best way to avoid them is to provide accurate information up front so that we can help you send parcels safely and with confidence.

Residential Delivery Charge
Some couriers will add a surcharge to parcels which are delivered to residential delivery addresses. For retailers, online sellers and even business-to-business senders in these times of increased working from home, this can apply to the majority of parcels sent. The justification for this is that it can take more than one attempt to deliver to a residential address, and the destination addresses are more spread out, increasing mileage and fuel costs for the courier company, which are then passed on to the customer.

We recognise that the majority of our clients are retailers selling direct to home users, and are keen to do whatever we can to help our clients stay connected to their customers, especially supporting home-based online sellers and small businesses – so we don’t impose any additional charges for residential deliveries or collections.

If you need any specific advice on our pricing and charges, or what charges may be applicable to the items you wish to send with us, please contact us here, and one of our ecommerce specialists will be able to help.