Peak shipping season is almost upon us – make sure you are up to date on rate changes.

It’s that time of year again: peak shipping season. UPS and FedEx recently announced what additional charges they will be implementing during this busy season, and they are targeting those large, heavy and oversized packages. Be aware: as carriers deal with higher shipping volumes, they are taking compliance more seriously. This season, take the time to audit your shipping invoices and take note of which surcharges might affect you.

FedEx, in an effort to reward loyal customers, will repeat what it did last year and will not be implementing a peak residential surcharge. However, they will be targeting those large unwieldy parcels and will be slapping surcharges on domestic express and domestic and international ground shipments that are oversized or unauthorized and require additional handling. On the other hand, UPS will apply the peak residential surcharge on all their service levels and domestic destinations, and will slightly raise their rates from last year.

UPS and FedEx Peak Surcharge Comparison

We’ve broken down the peak surcharges that both UPS and FedEx will be enacting below and when. Keep these charges in mind and double-check your large packages.

FedEx peak surcharges run from November 19th through December 24th. UPS peak surcharges are in effect from November 18th through December 22nd.

  • Peak-Additional Handling Surcharge: FedEx, $3.20 per package; UPS, $3.15 per package
  • Peak Ground Unauthorized Package Surcharge: FedEx, $150 per package; UPS Over Maximum Limits, $165 per package
  • Peak Oversize Charge: FedEx, $27.50 per package; UPS, $26.20

In addition to peak season rate announcements, UPS announced some general rate changes in June and FedEx recently followed with their own round of general rate changes that were effective Monday, September 3rd. They are targeted at larger and heavier packages – sensing a pattern? Take the time to closely review your company’s larger and heavier shipments and weigh your options with all your carriers.

  • FedEx Rate Increase: For packages with an actual weight of more than 70 pounds, the surcharge has increased from $12 per package to $20 per package for US express package services and US international ground services.
  • UPS Rate Increase: The additional handling surcharge for any US domestic package exceeding 70 pounds in actual weight went from $12 to $19. Large package surcharge for any US domestic package delivered to a residential address went from $80 to $90.
  • FedEx Rate Increase: The ground unauthorized package charge has increased from $300 per package to $675 per package.
  • UPS Rate Increase: The fee for over maximum limits and the oversized pallet handling surcharge increased from $500 to $650, and a new shipping charge correction audit fee was added.

In conclusion, before you dive into the holiday shipping season, be sure to audit your shipping invoices to understand when you are getting hit with surcharges. You can adjust your shipping strategy by leveraging multiple carriers or automating carrier compliance with shipping software.