I had two packages to ship from my location and then two more to drop ship. I ended up driving over to FedEx and got both packages delivered for about $1.00 more than UPS wanted for the one package.
I have a UPS account, but I try to drop ship most items and you don't get a discount until you've spent at least $50.00 per week in shipping costs for a month. You have to maintain that in order to keep your discount, too. It hasn't made sense up to this point.
I spoke to the teller at FedEx and he said that the biggest reason for the increases was because of ObamaCare. The costs of employee health care had to be passed on. I honestly don't know whether that's a fact or just his opinion. It does make sense, though.
That being said, I do NOT want this to turn into a political discussion! That wasn't my intent at all. My point was, if you're shipping physical products, you need to start checking your shipping rates carefully. You may have to make some decisions that you don't like, like raising your prices to offset the additional costs.
This is definitely going to affect my next major order with my main supplier. I'm leaning toward only stocking smaller items. The package dimensions have as much to do with the cost as the weight. They get corporate rates and that's a BIG plus. Still, I'll be checking my invoices to make sure things aren't rising too fast.
One thing those guys did recently is set-up a warehouse in the Midwest, as well as the west coast. That was intended to help offset shipping costs and get orders fulfilled faster. Smart move.
I also intend to use the USPS flat rate boxes as much as possible. You can ship up to 70 pounds in them for one flat cost. The only thing I don't like about them is the $50.00 insurance coverage they come with. You have to pay more for each additional $100.00 worth of insurance.
I'll be interested to see how my competition handles this come spring when things get busy.