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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a custom screen printer, and 75% of my customers are from out of state. Average order size if 72 - 300 t-shirt pieces. I've been offering free shipping on all orders using UPS ground shipping. I used to just stop by the UPSstore and pay and ship there, but recently created an account online so I just print and pay my slips online. I thought that the UPSstore upcharges the rates, But I find that the rates are exactly the same from online vs. store!

Is there a way I can get better shipping rates from UPS? Is there a business account I can get? The rates are killing me (for instance, I profited $600 on a recent order, but it cost $200 to ship it!). I would like to avoid hiding shipping costs in my prices. How do you guys ship bulk shirts?
 

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My rates are much lower with my business account than the UPS stores. I actually print my labels online and drop off my packages at the UPS store because its closer than the main UPS drop off. With your quantity of shipping you should definitely be able to do better than those rates. I don't really ship that much through UPS. I do mostly priority USPS mail, but my stuff is probably much smaller than yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been researching, and my rates won't go lower until I register for a daily pick-up account with UPS. But they charge a service fee weekly depending on the volume of shipments per week. Does anyone know how low there daily pick up rates are compared to there regular rates?

Is there a way to get the low daily pick up rates without using there daily pick up service to avoid there service fees? I'd much rather just drop off the packages at a UPSstore which is only a minute away from my warehouse.
 

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I've been researching, and my rates won't go lower until I register for a daily pick-up account with UPS. But they charge a service fee weekly depending on the volume of shipments per week. Does anyone know how low there daily pick up rates are compared to there regular rates?

Is there a way to get the low daily pick up rates without using there daily pick up service to avoid there service fees? I'd much rather just drop off the packages at a UPSstore which is only a minute away from my warehouse.
Are you sure about that? I don't have a daily pick-up from UPS and I use their services maybe once every 2 months. But I have an on-line account with them and my rates are significantly lower than what they would be if I didn't have an account. I create the label at home and just drop off at the UPS Store right down the street. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, $200 is high! That is what got me thinking that the rates weren't any lower when having an online account. I was creating a shipment last night of 3 boxes (20x16x14) each weighing about 35lbs from seattle to georgia. I was quoted $195 which includes fuel charge etc. I canceled the shipment, so instead I am going to the UPSstore I always go to and have them ship there (I have some prepaid shipments to drop off anyhow). So, I will double check to see if the store charges me the same rate.

(The reason I thought the UPSstore and my online account charges the same thing is that I would take my old receipt of a package I shipped at the store, and quote a price online using my account with the same specs, and the price would differ by about $2.00 more if I printed my own labels! It doesn't make much sense...which is why I am confused...)
 

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For customers getting your shirts from Seattle to Georgia, they must have a reason to get their printing done so far away, either price or quality. If they are happy customers, I don't think it would be unreasonable to throw in some shipping charge of some sort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Can someone do me a huge favor and create a shipment quote using your UPS account to see if the rates match mine?

The specs I used are:
Shipment Date: Monday, August 25, 08.
Detailed Time and Cost:
From: Seattle, 98199
To: Atlanta, 30303
RESIDENTIAL

MY PACKAGING
35 lbs.
20x16x14 (box size)
$0 USD value
Will drop off prepaid packages at ups store.
No daily pick up.

The rate for UPS Ground I get is: $47.23.

Thanks!!
 

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In my experience it isn't very difficult to get a discount from UPS or FedEx, don't know about DHL. You need to call and get an account manager, it doesn't really matter what their guidelines say, the account managers have discretion to bypass all that. Ask them to waive the fee for the weekly pickup. You don't really say how much shipping you do, but if you ship everyday I would expect up to a 50% discount.

Don't be married to one company - shop FedEx and DHL. I would also consider freight options.

As an aside, I suspect you are cutting your own throat with the free shipping. Only you know if you can afford it or not but you might consider setting minimums for the free shipping or offering reduced shipping.

FYI: I get $33.05 from FedEx Ground for your example to Atlanta. I get the same price as you from UPS.
 

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In my experience it isn't very difficult to get a discount from UPS or FedEx, don't know about DHL. You need to call and get an account manager, it doesn't really matter what their guidelines say, the account managers have discretion to bypass all that. Ask them to waive the fee for the weekly pickup. You don't really say how much shipping you do, but if you ship everyday I would expect up to a 50% discount.

Don't be married to one company - shop FedEx and DHL. I would also consider freight options.

As an aside, I suspect you are cutting your own throat with the free shipping. Only you know if you can afford it or not but you might consider setting minimums for the free shipping or offering reduced shipping.

FYI: I get $33.05 from FedEx Ground for your example to Atlanta. I get the same price as you from UPS.
Agree 100%. Free shipping for 1 or 2 shirts is one thing. But doing it for cases will eat up profits pretty quick.

We switched to Fed-X ground 3 years ago. They are consistently 20% less than UPS.
 

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You need to set up a UPS business account and run Worldship on site with a daily pickup. Call their 1-800 number for a rep. There is a weekly fee but shipping bulk you should easily ship enough dollarwise to qualify for the lowest weekly rate. I was going to cancel my daily pickup but the CSR said I'd lose the 28% discount. Since you probably ship multiple packages to one customer you can also use the multiple package function which can qualify you for the hundredweight discounts too.
 

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Can someone do me a huge favor and create a shipment quote using your UPS account to see if the rates match mine?

The specs I used are:
Shipment Date: Monday, August 25, 08.
Detailed Time and Cost:
From: Seattle, 98199
To: Atlanta, 30303
RESIDENTIAL

MY PACKAGING
35 lbs.
20x16x14 (box size)
$0 USD value
Will drop off prepaid packages at ups store.
No daily pick up.

The rate for UPS Ground I get is: $47.23.

Thanks!!
I get the following prices

$45.08 for UPS Ground

$29.37 for DHL

So I stick with my first post, try DHL out!


 

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With our discounts I get $33.05 for the same shipment. We do have hundred weight shipping and other discounts, and do a LOT of shipping though. I shipped 85 pounds (3 packages) to VA from CA last week for 84 and some change.

Don't know if this really helps as I don't know the nature of your business or how much you ship. We typically ship anywhere from 13 - 50 packages depending on the day.

Dave
 
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