Post-Shipment Billing Adjustments

Carrier adjustments are a frustrating reality of shipping that most shippers will have to deal with from time to time. These adjustments can affect your shipping costs and delivery timelines. This article can help you understand what adjustments are, why they occur, and offer ways to minimize their impact on your business.

We also include details on how to dispute adjustments with specific carriers like USPS, UPS, and DHL.

Adjustments are charges or credits from the shipping carrier that are billed or credited to your Endicia account balance. Adjustments are typically made by carriers to ensure fair billing and accurate delivery. They can result in increased costs or delays in the shipping process. Adjustments are typically caused by factors like package weight, dimensions, delivery location, or service level.

Adjustments can sometimes appear from several days to several weeks after the ship date.

There are several reasons you might receive an adjustment, including (but not limited to):

  • A package that is an unconventional shape, like a cylinder or tube

  • Package dimensions exceed the service or carrier maximum

  • The package triggers dimensional weight pricing but no dimensions were entered prior to purchase

  • Saturday deliveries

  • The package is packed in something other than cardboard, such as wrapped in plastic or encased in metal

  • The recipient address is incorrect or incomplete

  • The label was attached incorrectly, so the barcode could not be scanned

  • Residential or out-of-area deliveries

  • Fuel surcharges or Peak surcharges

USPS automates much of its adjustment process with its Automatic Package Verification (APV) System. Other carriers use similar methods to ensure compliance with their shipment regulations.

Keep Track of Your Adjustments

  • In some circumstances, adjustments can put an account into a negative balance, which might also trigger overdraft protection with Automatic Postage Purchases. It is important to keep track of adjustments to avoid this.

  • Adjustments from non-USPS carriers do not display the reason for the adjustment within Endicia. For these adjustments, please compare your shipping information with that supplied by the carrier.

Review Your Account Adjustments

To review any adjustments that have been applied to your account:

  1. Click the HISTORY Tab and select an order that has an adjustment listed in the Adj. Amount column.

    endiciawebhistorytabadjustmentorderselected112922.png
  2. Go to the Services section on the Order Details panel to see the details about the adjustment.

    endiciawebcarrieradjustmentdetail112922.png

How to Avoid Adjustments

The best way to avoid adjustments is to make sure you enter accurate weight and dimensions for every package you ship. This will ensure the correct rate is applied when preparing your shipping label. Entering accurate package information is the responsibility of the shipper. This is true for all carriers.

Other things to consider:

  • Use a postal scale. Don't guess! Using a scale, properly calibrated, helps ensure accurate weights.

  • For dimensions, round up fractional amounts: For example, 6.3 inches should be rounded up to 6.5 inches.

  • Check limitations for size or weight: Make certain you package is within any limitations the carrier or service has.

  • Use the smallest box: Using the smallest box that can contain proper packing materials will help avoid unnecessary surcharges, like the Dimensional Weight Surcharge.

  • Use sturdy packaging: Use materials that will not deform during shipping. A deformed package can, in some cases, exceed dimension limits for some services.

  • Indicate Special Handling: If your package is a non-standard shape or is not a corrugated cardboard box, it will require special handling. For example, boxes that are very long, very wide, or an odd shape (like tubes).

  • Get familiar with your carrier's rules: Some carriers have supplemental surcharges for delivery to certain areas. While these have been in place for many years, be sure you are aware of any extra costs.

List of Common Carrier Adjustments

Below is a list of common adjustments by carrier. For further details about the types of adjustments a carrier may apply, please visit your carrier's website.

USPS Adjustments

Non-Machinable Letter Surcharge

This USPS surcharge only applies to letters that cannot be automatically processed. 

The USPS relies on machines to automate the processing of its mail volume. To be processed by these machines, mail must have certain physical characteristics.

The following are common criteria for avoiding the surcharge on a letter:

  • Must bend easily. If a letter is too rigid or has uneven thickness, it may not pass through the machines.

  • Dimensions must be within 22" x 18" x 15” and weigh less than 25 lbs.

  • For pieces more than 4-1/4" high or 6" long, the piece must be at least 0.009" thick.

  • Delivery address must be parallel to the long side of the mailpiece.

  • For booklet-type pieces, the bound edge must be along the longest dimension, and cannot be across the top.

  • If the letter is a self-mailer (such as a bifold or trifold flier), the mailer should be securely closed at all openings (sides and front) with wafer seals or cellophane tape.

While still mailable, letters that do not meet these criteria are considered "nonmachinable" and due to this, incur additional postage charges.

If one or more of the following applies to your letter, click the Add'l Options button and select the Odd Shaped/Non-machinable checkbox:

  • It is polybagged, polywrapped, or enclosed in any plastic material.

  • Has clasps, strings, buttons, or similar closure devices.

  • Contains items such as pens or loose keys that cause the thickness to be uneven.

Large Package Surcharge

Packages larger than the dimension criteria will be subject to an additional charge, depending on the size. This surcharge does not apply to First Class and Media Mail packages.

The USPS criteria for large package surcharges:

  • If the longest side of a package is more than 22 inches but less than 30 inches, a $4.00 surcharge will be applied.

  • If the longest side of a package is greater than 30 inches, a $15.00 surcharge will be applied.

  • Packages with missing or incorrect package dimensions that result in any dimensions-based fees, a $1.50 surcharge will be applied.

  • If the volume of the package is greater than 2 cubic feet, a $15.00 surcharge will be applied.

    A square package 1 ft x 1 ft is one cubic foot. A square package 2 ft x 2 ft is two cubic feet (a 2 cubic foot square box is pretty big and well beyond the size of most packages) .

    For boxes that aren't square, measure the length, width, and height of your box in inches. Multiply the length, width, and height, then divide that total by 1,728. That is the exact cubic dimension of your package.

UPS Adjustments

Charge Type

Services Affected

Available Details

Address Change

All Services

Additional Handling

All Services

  • Any article that is encased in an outside shipping container made of metal or wood

  • Any cylindrical item, such as a barrel, drum, pail, or tire that is not fully encased in a corrugated cardboard shipping container

  • Any package with the longest side exceeding 100cm (39.5") or a second-longest side exceeding 76cm (30")

  • Any package with an actual weight greater than 70 pounds (32 kg)

  • Each package in a shipment where the average weight per package is greater than 70 pounds (32 kg) and the weight for each package is not specified on the source document or the UPS automated shipping system used

Large Package Surcharge

All Services

A package is considered a “Large Package” when its length plus girth [girth = (2 x width) + (2 x height)] combined exceeds 300cm but does not exceed the maximum UPS size of 400cm

Large packages are subject to a minimum billable weight of 40kg in addition to the Large Package Surcharge

Over Maximum Limits Charge

All Services

Packages with an actual weight of more than 70kg, or that exceed 274cm in length, or exceed a total of 400cm in length and girth combined [girth = (2 x width) + (2 x height)], are not accepted for transportation. If found in the UPS small package system, they are subject to an additional charge

Packages exceeding 400cm in length and girth combined are also subject to the Large Package Surcharge

Saturday Delivery

All Services

UK Border Fee

All Services

Packages between Northern Ireland and Great Britain

Alternative Address

All Services

DHL Express Adjustments

Charge Type

Services Affected

Available Details

Fuel Surcharge

All Services

Peak Surcharges

All Services

Alaska/Hawaii/Puerto Rico Pickup

All Services

Residential Delivery

All Services

Out of Area Delivery

All Services

How to Dispute Adjustments by Carrier

If you believe an adjustment was made in error, follow these steps to dispute it with the specific carrier:

Dispute USPS Adjustments

USPS adjustments are assessed by USPS and then either added to or subtracted from your Stamps.com account balance.

You can dispute any adjustments with the USPS by sending an email to VerifyPostageHelp@usps.gov. This email should include the following information:

  • The Tracking # of the package.

  • The Adjustment ID associated with the adjustment.

  • The reason or explanation for the dispute (please provide as much detail as possible).

If the USPS requires more information, they will reach out to you via email.

The USPS will notify us once they reach a decision, which we will forward to you via email.

Dispute UPS Adjustments

UPS adjustments are assessed by UPS and then either added to or subtracted from your Stamps.com account balance.

If you feel a UPS adjustment may have been made in error, please contact our Customer Care team by email or call us at 1-855-860-7867 within 180 days of billing.

Dispute DHL Express Adjustments

DHL Express adjustments are assessed by DHL and added to or subtracted from your Stamps.com account balance.

If you feel a DHL Express adjustment to your stamps.com account may have been made in error, please contact our Customer Care team by email or call us at 1-855-860-7867.

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