Peak season is in full-swing and many commerce merchants are preparing to meet heightened customer demand. From inventory forecasts, to marketing promotions, specialized fulfillment initiatives, and inventory prep—it’s heads-down planning from now until the big events.
Yet with all this forethought, many merchants often forget to account for one costly line item: peak carrier surcharges.
Understanding carrier peak surcharges
If you’re an expert on all things surcharges, you can skip to this year’s pricing by carrier.
For those new to the eCommerce game—or those participating in peak season for the first time—the concept of surcharges may feel unfamiliar. Here’s the TL;DR overview:
Between Black Friday and Christmas of each year major carriers (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.) implement fees on top of their usual transportation base rate, fuel rate, and service fees. This is to offset the additional equipment, trucks, and labor needed to flawlessly execute on delivering a larger volume of packages in a shorter window of time. While most surcharges are small, they can add up quickly.
Surcharges vary by carrier and business cases, but common criteria for Ground surcharges include:
- Oversized packages (large dimensions or high DIM weight)
- Rural delivery
- Priority service levels
Accounting for these additional fees before they’re charged will help you better maintain your costs this holiday season.
Get access to competitive peak season surcharge pricing with Deliverr
When your business partners with a 3PL like Deliverr to fulfill orders during peak, you get access to competitive pricing—including lower surcharge rates and no additional fuel surcharges. We’re able to charge less overall than the industry average with a simple pricing structure for two key reasons:
- We place inventory close to demand so our shipments travel less distance. This allows us to save on shipping costs.
- We absorb portions of the increased peak costs of warehouse labor and transportation so it has minimal impact on your business.
These additional fees will be used to increase labor forces so we can continue to meet on-time shipping and delivery SLAs and help you maintain a positive customer experience for your brand this holiday season.
2022 peak season surcharge rates when self-shipping versus using Deliverr
While the specific surcharges your business incurs depends on the services you use, the below chart provides a comprehensive view of what peak surcharge amounts you’ll pay on top of regular package pricing using Deliverr versus self-shipping carrier rates:
|Carrier||Package surcharge||Fuel and inflation surcharges||Effective dates|
|Deliverr||$0.28 per unit for SKUs below 1 lb |
$0.39 per unit for SKUs at or above 1 lb
|No extra surcharge added||Oct. 21, 2022 - Jan. 15, 2023|
|Amazon MCF||$0.20 per item for small standard items|
$0.30 per item for large standard items below 2 lb, and $0.50 per item for large standard items 2 to 20 lb
|Extra surcharge added||Oct. 15, 2022 - Jan. 14, 2023|
|FedEx||$1.25 - $6.00 per Ground shipment|
$2.25 - $7.00 per Express shipment
|Extra surcharge added||Oct. 31, 2022 - Jan. 15, 2023|
|UPS||$1.25 – $6.00 per Ground package|
$2.25 – $7.00 per Air Residential package
|Extra surcharge added||Oct. 30, 2022 - Jan. 14, 2023|
|USPS||$0.25 – $5.50 per Ground Commercial shipment|
$0.25 – $6.50 per Priority Express Commercial shipment
|Extra surcharge added||Oct. 2, 2022 - Jan. 22, 2023|
A breakdown of 2022 peak surcharge pricing by major carrier type
Ecommerce shopping continues to steadily climb and carrier fees are rising to align with demand. During the 2022 peak season, surcharge amounts for major carriers are increasing by as much as 10% compared to last year.
Below is a breakdown of what additional costs you can expect to incur when self-shipping with certain carriers this peak season:
Surcharge effective date: October 31, 2022
Surcharge end date: January 15, 2023
This year, FedEx is implementing peak season surcharges for its Ground and Express shipments based on peaking factors (dynamically adjusted each week based on shipping volume), as well as additional fuel surcharges for FedEx Express, Ground, and Freight services.
Surcharge effective date: October 30, 2022
Surcharge end date: January 14, 2023
Similar to FedEx, UPS structures its peak surcharges based on a percentage of the baseline volume. The surcharge applies to certain UPS Air Residential, UPS Ground Residential, and UPS SurePost packages. UPS will also continue to charge fuel surcharges for its Ground and Air services during the holiday season.
Surcharge effective date: October 2, 2022
Surcharge end date: January 22, 2023
Keeping with the theme of years past, USPS’s surcharges continue to be on the lower end for self-shippers compared to other traditional parcel delivery carriers. USPS services experiencing surcharges in 2022 include Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select and USPS Retail Ground. International products are not being affected.
Surcharge effective date: October 15, 2022
Surcharge end date: January 14, 2023
For the first time in peak season history, Amazon is implementing surcharges on its fulfillment services for third-party sellers. The commerce giant is charging an additional $0.20-$2.50 more per item sold through multi-channel fulfillment to cover accumulated logistics and fulfillment costs related to holiday shopping volume. Peak fulfillment fees are charged based on the product size tier:
- Small standard: $0.20 more per item
- Large standard below 2 lb: $0.30 more per item
- Large standard 2 to 20 lb: $0.50 more per item
- Small oversize: $1.00 more per item
- Medium, large, and special oversize: $2.50 more per item
Don’t settle for expensive surcharges this peak season
Ensure your peak inventory is inbounded to the Deliverr network in time to take advantage of these competitive rates!
The inbounding deadline for merchants is November 6, 2022.
Finalize your peak season planning with these additional resources: