UPS and FedEx have just both adjusted their shipping fees to work off of Dimensional Weight. Previously, they were just charging you based on the weight of the package. With the new change in effect, you’ll be paying for weight and volume.
How does this affect me?
This change sounds like it won’t affect you outside of shipping fees, however it will affect any online retailers that sells on Google Shopping and uses the Merchant Center “Carrier-Calculated” shipping options.
Google just sent out a notice regarding Dimensional Weight in Merchant Center, the full email is printed below.
In a nutshell, if you’re using Carrier-Calculated shipping rates in Merchant Center, you’re left with several options once it goes into effect on April 6th 2015.
- Add three new columns to the datafeed for package length, width and height
- Switch to a new shipping structure on your site that doesn’t use Carrier Calculated rates (i.e. Flat Rate, Percentage of Order Total etc…)
- Do nothing and hope the account is not suspended
Thankfully, there is time to implement these changes, but you’ll want to make sure you figure out the best solution before the deadline.
Important: You May Need to Add Shipping Package Size to Your Google Shopping Product Data
We’re reaching out today to let you know about changes to the carrier-calculated shipping feature in Google Merchant Center.
In the US, major shipping carriers recently began calculating many of their shipping rates based on the dimensional weight of a package rather than just the actual weight. These dimensional weight rates take into account the weight, height, length, and width of a package.
Today, we’re introducing support for dimensional weight shipping rates for carrier-calculated shipping methods in Google Merchant Center. This update lets you define the dimensions of your packages used for shipping taking into account the length, width, and height of a package — in addition to the weight you already provide. We’ve created three new attributes that merchants can add to their product data to provide the dimensions of shipping packages for an item: ‘shipping length’, ‘shipping width’, and ‘shipping height’.
In a recent review of your Google Merchant Center account (Account ID XXXXXXXXX), we have determined that you have specified one or more carrier-calculated shipping methods in your account. Merchants who have active carrier-calculated methods for the US may need to provide these three additional attributes in their product data in order to allow accurate shipping rate calculations based on dimensional weight. If you’re unsure if your carrier is using a new dimensional weight rate model, or whether your shipments will be impacted, please verify directly with your shipping carrier.
If your carrier has changed the way they calculate shipping rates, you will need to add the following three attributes for items utilizing carrier-calculated shipping rates based on dimensional weight:
‘shipping length’ – Length of the item for shipping.
‘shipping width’ – Width of the item for shipping.
‘shipping height’ – Height of the item for shipping.
Starting April 6th, 2015, we’ll begin verifying that merchants using carrier-calculated rates are providing accurate rates by including these new attributes when the shipping rate is calculated based on dimensional weight. If merchants do not add these new attributes, we’ll continue to calculate the shipping rate based on weight only, which could lead to inaccurate shipping rate calculations. Accounts with inaccurate shipping rates will be suspended from Google Shopping. [Emphasis Added]
To learn more about using the new dimensional shipping attributes, please visit the Products Feed Specification at https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188494 and select ‘United States’ at the top.
It’s worth mentioning that if your website will still lookup rates by weight only, you should be safe doing the same on Google Shopping without getting suspended.