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Occasional Contributor
Status: New


Shipstation does not account for the cost of non-standard packaging with FedEx when quoting rates and recording shipping expenses. And the way it does it for UPS is not elegant or user friendly.



Both UPS and Fedex have additional fees for parcels that require special handling.  Those parcesl incur an Additional Handling Surcharge known as AHS.  The AHS can be triggered by these things:

  • Actual Weight over 50 lbs
  • Length over 48 inches
  • Width (second measurement) over 30 inches
  • Non-Standard Packaging that isn't a simple 6-sided cardboard box (cylindrical tube, plastic packaging, straps, etc)

Shipstation handles the first three of these conditions within the current weight and dims. If any of those first three conditions are met, Shipstation adds the AHS to the rate quoted.  But the fourth item, non-standard packaging, is not taken into account when quoting rates.  This is a problem for accurate rate quotes. Since AHS charges range b between $14.00 to $31.50 in 2022, this is a significant cost that is missed by Shipstation.


With UPS by Shipstation carrier, there is a tick box available when printing labels that will add the fee.  That's a solution, but not an elegant one.   With FedEx, there is no way to designate or get a quote for a nonstandard packaged parcel.  We use FedEx a lot and ship non-standard a lot.  So this Shipstation limitation is considerably undercounting what we---and many other shippers--are actually paying.




The best way to elegantly handle this problem is to create a new tick box on the custom packaging types setup dialog.  When setting up a packaging type, just designate it as non-standard packaging.  Then the shipper selects that packaging type and the non-stadard AHS is added ot the cost of shipping the parcel. 



The four AHS conditions have different costs depending on which condition triggers it.  And only one AHS charge is added per parcel, regardless of how many conditions are met.  The carriers apply only the most expensive AHS of those.  So for instance, if a parcel is going to Zone 3, and it is a 51 lb item wrapped in plastic, a $27.50 weight AHS is added but the $16.00 non-standard packaging AHS will not be.  However, if the item is 49 lbs and wrapped in plastic, a 16.00 non-standard packging AHS will be applied, but not any other.  If the same parcel were going to Zone 2, a $14.00 charge would be added for the non-standard packaging. In other words, a human operator shipping a package cannot easily determine how much the AHS will be and then add it.  


Shipstation can easily build this calculation into its algorithm even if the carriers don't return the adjusted AHS for non-standard.  Yes, it would be the "published" AHS for non-standard packaging, but that is better than ignoring this significant shipping cost altogether as it does now.