There are two ways that shipping zones truly affects ecommerce fulfillment. The first one is money, which is the metric most directly affected. When shipping carriers create the price of the package, they base the cost on the zone the package is shipping to. The second one is time. The higher the zone, the most expensive but also the longer it will take to be delivered. The relationship between is not necessarily linear. You also have to take into account the weight of the package. That can also affect the pricing in each zone.
Each carrier sets their own rates, and they base it on the zone the package is going to as well as the weight of the package. The farther away the package is shipped from your fulfillment center, the higher the zone. With a higher zone, the more expensive the package will be to send.
Shipping zones don’t necessarily tell you the exact length of time it will take for your package to come. If there is a package going to Zone 3, it will most likely get there in one or two days. Although the zone suggests it would be 3 days. Another example is how packages going to Zones 8 or 9 are usually delivered within 5 days. Now with the higher zones, its harder to know exactly when they will come but it is safe to say it will take long the higher the zone is that the package is being sent to. But the zones can not give you an accurate delivery time.
Weight and Shipping Zones
Shipping heavier items already have a higher price but with that price, carriers take into account the zone it is being shipped to as well. Let’s compare pricing.
If you ship a 5-pound package through FedEx Ground, it will cost around $9.87 to send it to Zone 2. That same package with cost around $10.96 to ship to Zone 3. That is about an 11% price difference.
Now with a heavier package, lets say 35 pounds, going to Zone 2 on FedEx Ground will be around $17.82. sending that same package to Zone 3 will cost $21.92. That is a 23% difference. The DIM weight of your packages definitely changes and messes with the cost of shipping your package in each zone.
If you sell a heavier product, make sure to include shipping zones into your fulfillment strategy. Understanding zones and how the truly affect your fulfillment process will be a game changer throughout the growth of your business.