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.
Carrier adjustments are charges from the carrier billed after the parcel has shipped if the carrier finds a difference in the rate that was initially paid versus what should have been charged.
Adjustments most frequently occur when the weight, dimensions, and packaging details on the label do not match your actual package. They can also occur for oversized packages or packages that require additional handling.
Entering accurate information for each shipment and pulling in weights from a scale using ShipStation Connect will help avoid adjustments related to inaccurate shipment configurations, which are often the highest adjustment amounts.
Other common reasons for adjustments include:
A package that is an unconventional shape, like a cylinder or tube
Package dimensions exceed the service or carrier maximum
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 package must be returned due to incorrect Harmonization codes or missing IOSS
Automate Shipping Workflows to Avoid Adjustments
You can configure shipping with various automated methods that take the guesswork out of your shipping process. For details on using different types of automation, please review the product defaults, service mapping, and automation rules articles.
When shipping with a ShipStation Carrier, if the carrier that delivers the parcel determines any of these adjustment reasons apply to your parcel, it could result in the carrier issuing a rate adjustment. When this occurs, ShipStation will apply the carrier's adjustment to your ShipStation Balance.
ShipStation will automatically debit the difference between the original label price paid at the time of label creation and the price of the final label from your ShipStation Balance once the carrier has sent us the corrected label fee. Please be aware that adjustments can result in a negative balance if the adjustment is greater than your available funds.
You can view ShipStation Carrier adjustments on your Transaction History page. If an adjustment occurs, it will appear on the Balance tab typically within a few weeks of the original label's ship date.
Transaction History Shows ShipStation Carriers Adjustments Only
Adjustments will only appear in ShipStation for labels created with a ShipStation Carrier. Adjustment charges to Your Carrier accounts will not appear.
Click Transaction History.
The Transaction History page will open and display your balance history in a grid.
View your adjustments by reviewing the Type, Credit, and Cost columns of the Balance Tab.
The Type column will describe the type of transaction.
If you owe additional funds for a label, you will see "Adjustment" in the Type column and the amount debited in the Cost column.
Click on the date to view the transaction details, which will include the adjustment reason and cost.
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.