ShipStation Carrier Adjustments

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

  • Saturday deliveries

  • 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

  • Residential or out-of-area deliveries

  • Fuel surcharges or Peak surcharges

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.

View Carrier Adjustment Transactions

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.

  1. Click Transaction History.

    The transaction history tile is highlighted on the Payments and Subscriptions screen.

    The Transaction History page will open and display your balance history in a grid.

  2. View your adjustments by reviewing the Type, Credit, and Cost columns of the Balance Tab. 

    Settings>Carriers>View Transaction History> Balance tab with carrier adjustments highlighted

    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.

  3. Click on the date to view the transaction details, which will include the adjustment reason and cost.


How to Dispute an Adjustment

If you feel an adjustment is incorrect for Canada Post or DHL Express, please contact ShipStation support and provide the following information:

  • Tracking Number

  • Charge Amount

  • Dispute Information (including adjustment reason and package dimensions)

  • Proof against the adjustment. This can include photo evidence and invoices.

List of Carrier Adjustments

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.

GlobalPost Adjustments



Available Details

Weight Adjustment

GlobalPost Economy Int'l

If max weight is exceeded


GlobalPost Economy Int'l

If max size limit is exceeded

Unreadable barcode

GlobalPost Economy Int'l

Handling and relabeling fee

UPS Adjustments

Charge Type

Services Affected

Available Details

Address Change

All Services

Additional Handling

All Services

  • Any article that is encased in an outside shipping container made of metal or wood

  • Any cylindrical item, such as a barrel, drum, pail, or tire that is not fully encased in a corrugated cardboard shipping container

  • Any package with the longest side exceeding 100cm (39.5") or a second-longest side exceeding 76cm (30")

  • Any package with an actual weight greater than 70 pounds (32 kg)

  • Each package in a shipment where the average weight per package is greater than 70 pounds (32 kg) and the weight for each package is not specified on the source document or the UPS automated shipping system used

Large Package Surcharge

All Services

A package is considered a “Large Package” when its length plus girth [girth = (2 x width) + (2 x height)] combined exceeds 300cm but does not exceed the maximum UPS size of 400cm

Large packages are subject to a minimum billable weight of 40kg in addition to the Large Package Surcharge

Over Maximum Limits Charge

All Services

Packages with an actual weight of more than 70kg, or that exceed 274cm in length, or exceed a total of 400cm in length and girth combined [girth = (2 x width) + (2 x height)], are not accepted for transportation. If found in the UPS small package system, they are subject to an additional charge

Packages exceeding 400cm in length and girth combined are also subject to the Large Package Surcharge

Saturday Delivery

All Services

UK Border Fee

All Services

Packages between Northern Ireland and Great Britain

Alternative Address

All Services