Peak Season Surcharges

Peak Season Surcharge

UPS Peak Surcharges Basics

We’ve already begun to see them: peak season surcharges. This relatively new fee applies to packages that are shipped during the busy holiday season. Why? Because they can.

There is simply an additional fee for everything you ship during particular dates based on service level. This is a fee that goes directly to your bottom line assuming you can’t adjust your own shipping rates for the six week holiday season without drastically affecting sales. This is just another example of why parcel auditing is so important.

How will Peak Season Surcharges affect me?

How much will this impact your shipping profile? That’s actually pretty easy to calculate as the fees are pretty straightforward. They vary but apply to every shipping level. The most common will be:

UPS Next Day Air: 81 to 84 cents levied on shipments from December 16th through December 23rd

UPS Ground: 27 cents levied for packages shipped between November 19th and December 2nd & packages shipped between December 17th and December 23rd.

You can see the full list of charges and shipping levels via this pdf:


How to Track UPS Peak Surcharges?

Tracking is similar to every other accessorial which means not always easy. It will be a line item on your physical bill which is unformatted. This one doesn’t vary too much so you can do the math above to approximate what the impact will be.

Accessorial Dashboard featuring UPS Peak Surcharge

Like all accessorials, you can easily track them with the Franklin Parcel Accessorials report. If you sign up for our 60-day free trial, you should be able to track the entire impact of these fees for free (as well as utilize all the additional tools and features).

 How to Avoid the UPS Peak Surcharge?

There’s not much you can do to avoid these fees if you have to ship with UPS. Some of our shippers have some latitude about when they ship. Collect orders during the busy November times and slightly delay shipping until the lower priced safe window before the charges pick back up on the 17th. Once you’re into that period, you will probably just have pay a little more.

FedEx announced that they will not be charging the holiday fees on residential deliveries so if you have contracts with both, it may be worth shifting some volumes over.

You can read the full details at FedEx:

However, don’t expect this to continue for 2018.

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