1. Shipping Cost Calculation
Typically, the cost of shipping consists of two parts—the basic shipping charge associated with the weights and sizes of the packages and a variable fuel surcharge. The basic shipping charge is usually updated once a year, but the fuel surcharge can fluctuate every month based on the monthly average spot prices for kerosene/jet fuel (monthly average spot prices are found on the U.S Gulf Coast Index), as published by the US Department of Energy
. As a result, when you use our online calculator to estimate your shipping cost, you will find that the actual cost depends not only on the weight and size of the packages, it also depend on the date of the shipment, because different fuel surcharge rates might apply.
Cost = Shipping Charge (updated annually) + Fuel Surcharge (updated monthly)
is determined by either the actual weight
or the dimensional weight
of the package. The actual weight is just that, the actual reading you get when you place the package on a scale, rounded up to the next integer; the dimensional weight, however, is the product of the package's length, width, and height (in inches) divided by #volumeWeightFactor#
, again, rounded up to the next integer. The shipping charge is calculated based on the shipping weight, which is the larger
of the actual weight and the dimensional weight. If there are more than one package in a particular shipment, then the total shipping weight is the sum of each package's shipping weight.
For example, there are two packages in the above shipment. The first package weighs 40 lbs and the calculated dimensional weight is 36 lbs. The shipping weight is therefore 40 lbs, the larger of the two numbers. The second package, however, weighs only 12 lbs while the dimensional weight is 15 lbs, resulting in a shipping weight of 15 lbs. The total shipping weight of this shipment is then calculated by adding the two shipping weights, which is 40 lbs + 15 lbs = 55 lbs
2. Shipping Cost Discrepancy
Our business model relies on the customers to weigh and measure the dimensions of the packages before shipping, sight unseen, and the shipping charge is estimated and collected accordingly. Quite often, the weight and dimensions of the packages reported by the customers are later found different from the values reported on the bills we receive from the express logistics company that actually handles the shipment. Occasionaly, additional charges are also assessed because the receiver's address is considered a "remote area". In such cases, our standard policy is to pass this information to the customers and the customers will either get a refund or be charged for difference between the money collected and the amount reported on the bill. In a nutshell, MeiMei Express bases the final shipment cost on the bills we receive. If the customer overpaid, we refund; if the customer underpaid, we collect
Typically, the bills from the logistics company arrive weekly. We would compare the bill with our records in the database and filter out the shipments that require adjustments. Emails will be sent to all customers who have at least one shipment with a non-zero adjustment. Customers have up to 5 days to respond and/or dispute about any of these shipments, otherwise, all shipments will be settled based on the calculated adjustments, which means either a credit is deposited into the customer's account, or a charge is to be collected from the customer. Here is a sample email message we send out every week:
From this example, we can see that this customer has three shipments that need to be adjusted. The first shipment has a reported weight of 60 lbs, yet the bill only shows 59 lbs, based on the price structure for the date of the actual shipment, the customer is entitled to a $2.21 refund
(in green color). The second and third shipments are just the opposite. The reported weights are less than the weights shown on the bill, and the customer has negative credits
(in red color) for these two shipments. The net credit for this entire batch is -$5.52
, which means we are going to collect this amount from the customer. On the other hand, if this were a positive number, we will give this customer a credit which will be applied towards the next shipment.
Through our fully automated backend system, we are able to determine each shipment's status once we receive the bill from the logistics company. We always pass this information transparently to our customers. We will credit the customer's account if there is a refund, and we will collect if there is an amount due.
All express logistics companies that MeiMei Express works with feature the latest, state-of-the-art, precision measuring systems. Nonetheless, human errors can never be entirely eliminated no matter how advanced the technology is. So, it is still possible, although unlikely, that the logistics companies would record erroneous numbers in their billing systems. If you feel strongly that there is an error for a particular shipment after you receive our billing adjustment email, please contact us within 5 days
, we will investigate the shipment and file a dispute on your behalf if necessary.