To my fellow sellers,
It appears that Shopify has switched to volumetric shipping rates without notifying the sellers. If you have Carrier Calculated Shipping enabled on your Shopify account, you will now see a new section called "Default shipment dimensions". In that section, you are able to edit the default dimensions of your shipments used to calculate shipping rates at checkout. Therein lies the problem - unless your specify accurate dimenssions, FedEx and UPS will use default dimensions that Shopify pre-populated those fields with to return a what is called "Volumetric Shipping Rate". Volumetric Weight Formula will, for the most part, over inflate the size of the package thereby resulting in higher shipping rates.
It is not clear how Shopify has arrived at default shipment dimensions. What IS clear, however, is that those dimensions were grossly overstated for my account. This resulted in UPS and FedEx calculated rates being inflated. In turn, this resulted in significant loss of sales as people are balking at the high shipping rates. This has been going on since at least 04/01/2015, and perhaps earlier.
In addition, this recent change does not take into consideration a situation where a seller has SEVERAL default shipping containers. This means that the rate quoted by UPS or FedEx will be incorrect again should a customer order anything that requires a shipping box OTHER THAN the default one.
How many sellers you think know about Volumetric Weight Formula? I would guess not many. When Shopify rolled out this change, they should have known that it would result in significant shipping rates discrepancies. If they did not, then this speaks of either negligence or incompetence. In any case, the changes that are supposed to help meet the demand of the industry, ended up just punishing the sellers.
If I were you, I would check those shipping dimensions immediately and figure out if this negatively affected your sales.
A better way to get volumetric rates when you have multiple boxes is to use box packaging apps which calculate rate based on dimensional weight. Multi Carrier Shipping label app is one such app. You can very easily put product dimensions for each of your products and then define boxes in which you want the packaging to happen. Once everything is defined, rates are calculated based on a host of algorithms :
- Stack packaging : Box decided based on stacking items one on top of another.
- volume based packaging. Volume of items should be lesser than box volume, etc.
Hence rate calculation is easy for multiple boxes.