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Singing The Shipping Blues

SOHO freight carries a premium weight.

Operate a homebased business from the boonies or 'burbs? Either way, it costs more bucks to ship to or from your business.

UPS announced in February it was tacking on a $1 delivery area surcharge to less accessible ZIP codes--atop the added buck it charges on residential deliveries--for all packages to residential addresses.

The delivery area surcharge (DAS) helps UPS defray the cost of making daily deliveries to remote ZIP codes, says Steve Holmes of UPS. Some 2.5 percent of all UPS shipments are affected by the charge, which Holmes says hits the shipper--not the recipient.

"Everybody else does it," Holmes says of his competitors. Indeed, FedEx charges $3 for unscheduled package pickups, but in February dropped a $1 surcharge from its Express Saver three-day delivery product, according to Carla Boyd of FedEx.

Want to avoid the charge? Have a traditional office-based company ship or receive your packages. Or use a pack-and-ship service. But beware: They often charge their own fee for service.

Jeff Zbar is a homebased writer, speaker and author of Home Office Know-How (Upstart Publishing).

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