Addressing Address Correction Fees

Rich Harkey

July 29, 2016


$13 can buy you a lot of things. Like lunch, a movie ticket, a couple beers, or a large pizza. $13 also happens to be the amount you’re charged for an address correction fee on your shipping invoices. And if you’re a high-volume shipper, those $13 charges can add up really quick. The good news is that there are ways to prevent these charges from being incurred. And if somehow they keep sneaking by, there’s a way to mitigate the costs incurred.

Before we go into detail about how to prevent or remedy address correction fees, let’s first dig a little deeper into what they are and how they are incurred. FedEx defines an address correction as such: “If the shipper provides an incomplete, incorrect or P.O. box recipient address, we may attempt to determine the correct address, complete delivery and notify the shipper of the address correction... We assess an additional charge for delivery or attempted delivery to the corrected address.” So basically, if the ship-to address you enter doesn’t match the corresponding address in your carrier’s system, they’ll correct it and charge you $13.

So if you end up putting down the incorrect street name, or city, or something else serious, you’ll be charged $13 for the associated address correction fee, so long as the correction sufficiently impeded the carrier’s ability to deliver your shipment. Bummer. Unfortunately this is a valid address correction fee, since you flubbed the address so badly that the carrier had a hard time delivering the shipment. But let’s say you get the street, city, etc. info all correct but put “Unit 101” instead of “Building 101” and get charged and see an address correction fee on your invoice. This would be an invalid address correction fee and should not have been charged.

Unfortunately, valid address correction fees will need to be paid. But thankfully, a parcel audit will easily catch all of the invalid charges and get them credited back to you.

The best way to prevent address correction fees altogether is to use a shipping software with built-in address verification technology. Systems like these will ping the carriers’ address database as shipment information is being inputted and preemptively correct the address so no correction fee will be imposed once the shipment is in transit. In addition to preventing address correction fees, a TMS system can help prevent a slew of other common shipping errors and inefficiencies.

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