Information about Shipping
So you got to the shipping estimate page and it seems a little high. We thought we should give you a bit of an insight into how our freight calculators work to give you some insight so you can understand what goes into your freight costs.
Freight is extremely tricky. Especially, in a big country such as Australia, with a lot of remote areas that are sparsely populated and can be an hour or two from the nearest freight company depot. This means that a driver needs to drive a bit of a distance with just a few boxes, which isn't very cost effective. Therefore, areas with higher populations, such as metropolitan areas, benefit from lower costs of shipping due to economies of scale. On top of this, with rising fuel costs, couriers will add what they call a "fuel levy", which can be as high as 25% (+ GST) added to the cost of the delivery fee (this changes monthly).
For value for money, the best thing is to fill those boxes to just below 25kg (don’t forget to add the box into the calculations - which is about 500-800g for those of you playing the calculating game at home), so best aim for 24kg. While we put the weight in the details tab of each product, we also need to consider the dimensions of the product, for example it is hard to put a 20L drum of detergent into a box, so that will be classed as 25kg to the shipping calculator. The reason this is best as the base rate is the same, but the variables (like weight and size increase in smaller increments).
Another thing to consider, some bulkier items are calculated on what the industry calls “volumetric weight” or "cubic weight" (for maths nerds: (Lmm x Wm x Hmm) x 250kg = Volumetric Weight in kg). Our buckwheat hulls for example, while they only weigh 13kg with the bag, in volumetric weight ((34mm x 90mm x 50mm) x 250kg) they are 38 kg. Confusing, huh? Sorry about that, we told you freight can be tricky.
In short, these are the things that are factored into your freight cost:
- Cost of picking it up from the sender (us). This is called the base rate, this is how much we get charged no matter the size of the product.
- Weight of the box
- Size of the box. To cater for space in the vans/trucks/pallets as a percentage of fuel costs
- Price of Fuel. Added as a variable Fuel Levy %
- How many boxes. Some couriers will add an extra tracking charge to multiple boxes on the same consignment due to the increased complexity. That is why you might see that 1 x box is $10, while 2 boxes is $28 (for example).
- Depot handling costs. Labour costs in Australia are expensive.
- Distance from source, to destination and how many hands it goes through. For example: driver 1, depot 1, truck, depot 2, driver 2.
- Is it being delivered to a residential or commercial address. Residential deliveries often take more time to deliver as they are sparsely populated and often with less boxes to each drop.
At Sovereign Foods, we only charge what we are charged for freight. We don't add anything to the freight cost for consumables like boxes, tape, labels etc. We don't add the cost of shipping into the product sell price so we can subsidise the freight. We also don't add the cost of our contribution to carbon removal programs. We don't rely on subcontractors on a gig economy, like some large multinationals through potentially shady practices that rob them of holiday pay, sick pay or superannuation.
We understand some of the cost of freight to some areas might seem a bit high but we have tied our store directly into the courier companies' software and the calculator is showing you what we will get charged.