Large retailers will feel impact of UPS surcharges

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Delivery surges caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic are driving UPS to tack peak surcharges onto high-volume shippers, such as Amazon and Best Buy. 

Effective May 31, 2020 until further notice, select U.S. domestic packages will be subject to one or more peak surcharges. Qualifying customers who shipped more than 500 large packages during the prior week will pay a surcharge of $31.45 per large package, regardless of shipment volume, until the peak surcharge period ends. 

In addition, during the same time period, qualifying customers whose combined volume of UPS ground residential and SurePost parcels during the prior week exceeded the customer’s average weekly volume for February 2020 by more than 25,000 packages will pay a surcharge of $0.30 per package until the peak surcharge period ends.

These new domestic surcharges are being levied in addition to several international peak surcharges UPS instituted April 12, 2020. Shipments from mainland China to the U.S., Hong Kong to the U.S., and all other international locations to the U.S. will have a surcharge that varies by per-pound billable weight of shipment and/or UPS service level.

This marks the first time UPS has applied peak period surcharges outside the holiday season. FedEx and DHL are currently applying COVID-19 surcharges to some international shipments but not to any domestic shipments. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, domestic surcharges will primarily impact large U.S. retailers who are experiencing sharp increases in online order volume.

As previously announced, a Peak Surcharge applies to certain international shipments from all origins to all destinations, including the U.S., effective April 12, 2020 until further notice. The Peak Surcharges applied to international shipments will continue to apply. Peak Surcharges are subject to change and Peak Periods may be extended or otherwise changed. Shippers should continue to check surcharge for updates prior to tendering shipments. Peak Surcharges will apply to packages shipped during the specified Peak Periods for the origins, destinations, and service levels and in the amounts set forth below. Peak Surcharges apply in addition to all other applicable charges.