On a store I’m building I have all of the products entered with their weight.
I have the Fed Ex carrier calculated shipping module setup on the store.
When I perform test orders on my store I view the shipping value from Fed Ex, which appears significantly different than if I create the same order on my actual Fed Ex website account.
I’ve been working with Shopify and Fed Ex support to try and understand why the dramatic variance is happening between the two, but am not yet at an answer.
It has been suggested that it may be an issue with product dimensions, but Shopify doesn’t (by default) allow a person to enter product dimensions. I’ve also been told that “Fedex will feed the shipping rates to Shopify based on weight and value of the cart.” so it seems dimensions wouldn’t clear up the problem anyway?
Further, I’ve been told “Fedex may have an API for dimensional shipping. If not they should have a dimensional weight formula that you can integrate with your shop using weight-based rates. You can also reach out to our API forums where you can post this question. Our API team will see what other options may be available.”
So, here I am reaching out to see if anyone else has experienced this issue and found a solution.
I'm sure it has nothing to do with dimensional weight issues.
I assume you have "Real Time Rates" turned on, correct? If that's case, and if you have entered your FedEx account info correctly in Admin / Settings / Shipping, you should not be seeing this discrepancy (for domestic shipments, at least).
Shopify doesn't use any dimensional information to get your negotiated rates.
The item database doesn't have any fields to support this, only weight, but not dimensions or volume, which would be needed by any of the USPS/FedEx/UPS APIs.
This is really a shame, since all the carriers are going to a dim. weight model and away from actual weight. Even when you ship larger boxes with USPS Priority Mail, they now ask for the box's dimensions, which affect the rate.
In fact the total volume of all items should be used to select the proper shipping container/box to optimize the shipping.
The real time rates are being pulled correctly for my Fedex account, but not for all the levels of service!! Home Delivery and Fedex First Overnight are correct to the penny, but other common ones are not.
FedEx Express Saver is about $10 higher than what my rate is, FedEx 2 Day is about $8 higher, FedEx Standard Overnight is only about $1 off, but why are these off and the others NOT???
Is Shopify working on a solution to dim weight or do I have to look for another platform that supports this item value?
Freight Forwarders have been using Dim Weight for decades. They are not new and certainly not part of some movement that e-commerce has spawned. Simply put they charge appropriately for shipping a small heavy item in a small box just as they would for a light item in a large box. The weight charged is based on the larger of either the weight alone or the box size divided by some factor.
Not all carriers use the same formula and you're also forgetting to include zones. Carriers charge more for delivering to the sticks in the country than perhaps a more urbane neighborhood in a city.
If you are having trouble getting the right shipping rates for your special e-commerce store needs, you can always control your shipping rates by plugging in your own. Shopify totally supports that. So when you find your rates from FedEx or UPS differ from what you expect, maybe you just need to deal directly with them, saving yourself from presenting more general rates based on nothing but weight.
The problem is that calculating dimensional weight is tricky, and requires knowledge of your available shipping box sizes. But as someone who gets crushed by dimensional weight issues, I can tell you what a huge issue this can be. Our shipments are often subjected to dimensional weights 2-3x the actual weight. And without some way to know this ahead of time, we're often subject to variance on some shipment costs that are more than what the product cost in the first place (let alone whatever our profit was).
Yes, we jacked up the weight on our products 3x to try and be in the right ballpark. But it is so inexact and frustrating, and we still often get killed on the costs depending on the specific configuration of the order.
And come January, both Fedex and UPS will be applying dimensional weight calculations to both ground and air shipments. Without a ready solution to this, many Shopify merchants are going to find themselves in a world of hurt.