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How Are 2021 UPS Peak Surcharges Affecting Your Business?

Handle your shipping and communication to customers accordingly, and have a plan

  • Written by RaShea Drake
  • Published on August 17, 2021
  • Time to read 9 minutes

Suppose it seems like UPS peak season surcharges are not only higher but lasting longer, too; you’re right. Since March 2020, UPS has had to adapt to the significant changes in e-commerce and the global supply chain. In a nutshell, people were buying more online… a lot more. Thanks to this increased demand, most shipping carriers had to adapt, UPS included.

One adaptation included changes to peak season surcharges. Typically, peak season is just around the 4th quarter, the busiest time of the year for retail. Since the logistics industry hasn’t quite recovered from 2020 (have any of us?), we’re seeing peak season stretch beyond 4th quarter.

It’s already here. Not only that, we’re seeing it split into what resembles a tier system. If you thought surcharges were expensive, well, I have some not-great news for you.

Peak Season Surcharges: Tier 1

July 4 — October 2, 2021 Fees:
The following applies to all US domestic, import, and export shipments, qualifying customers who have shipped >1,000 total packages or more than ten that required Additional Handling during any week following February 2020.

  • Additional handling charges increased from $3.00 per package to $3.50
  • Large Package peak surcharge increased from $31.45 to $40.00

Peak Season Surcharges: Tier 2

October 2, 2021 — January 15, 2022 Fees:
The following applies to all US domestic, import, and export shipments, qualifying customers who have shipped >1,000 total packages or more than ten packages that required Additional Handling during any week following February 2020.

  • Additional Handling peak surcharge increases from $3.50 to $6.00 per package
  • Large Package peak surcharge increased from $40.00 to $60.00 per package
  • The following will apply to all US domestic, import, and export shipments.

The Over Maximum Limits peak surcharge will be $250.00 per package

Handle your shipping costs and communication to customers accordingly, and have a plan for when things go sideways

Bonus Round of Surcharges for High-Volume Shippers

October 31, 2021 — January 15, 2022 Volume-Based Fee:
The following applies to certain UPS Air Residential, UPS Ground Residential, and UPS SurePost, who have shipped more than 25,000 packages during any week following February 2020.

October 31, 2021 – January 15, 2022

UPS SurePost

110% to 200% of February 2020 volume$1.15 per package
> 200% to 300% of February 2020 volume$2.15 per package
> 300% to 400% of February 2020 volume$3.15 per package
> 400% to 500% of February 2020 volume$4.15 per package
> 500% of February 2020 volume$5.15 per package

UPS Ground Residential

110% to 200% of February 2020 volume$1.15 per package
> 200% to 300% of February 2020 volume$2.15 per package
> 300% to 400% of February 2020 volume$3.15 per package
> 400% to 500% of February 2020 volume$4.15 per package
> 500% of February 2020 volume$5.15 per package

UPS Next Day Air Residential

110% to 200% of February 2020 volume$2.15 per package
> 200% to 300% of February 2020 volume$3.15 per package
> 300% to 400% of February 2020 volume$4.15 per package
> 400% to 500% of February 2020 volume$5.15 per package
> 500% of February 2020 volume$6.15 per package

All Other UPS Air Residential

110% to 200% of February 2020 volume$2.15 per package
> 200% to 300% of February 2020 volume$3.15 per package
> 300% to 400% of February 2020 volume$4.15 per package
> 400% to 500% of February 2020 volume$5.15 per package
> 500% of February 2020 volume$6.15 per package

Current Service Levels With UPS Service Guarantee:

The following applies to certain UPS Air Residential, UPS Ground Residential, and UPS SurePost, who have shipped more than 25,000 packages during any week following February 2020.

  • UPS Next Day Air
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver
  • UPS Next Day Air Early
  • Domestic Express Plus
  • Domestic Express
  • Domestic Midday
  • Domestic Express Saver
  • UPS Worldwide Express Plus
  • UPS Worldwide Express
  • UPS Worldwide Express NA1
  • UPS Worldwide Express Saver
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight Midday
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight
  • Transborder Express
  • Transborder Express Plus
  • Transborder Express Saver

How Does This Affect Your Peak Season?

I think the most important thing to remember is that the peak season results in a lot more shipments, which can mean increased waiting times for customers, delays, and maybe increased charges. Handle your shipping costs and communication to customers accordingly, and have a plan for when things go sideways.

It could also be worth taking a look to make sure you’re getting the best rates on your business shipping. Our shipping specialists can perform an analysis that tells you where you’re already shipping most efficiently and exactly where you could be saving more. Contact us to get started on a custom analysis for your business.

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