E-commerce News and Insights
Oct 4, 2022

2022 Peak Season Surcharges: USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL

With Fall finally upon us and the holidays coming into view, e-commerce merchants everywhere are starting to prepare for peak season. Stocking up inventory, getting your staff ready, and getting your fulfillment operations in order is essential, but one aspect you can’t ignore is the 2022 peak season surcharges.

For the third year in a row, all major national U.S. Carriers are implementing some type of peak surcharge. This additional fee is assessed on certain service levels to help carriers keep up with the increased demand in shipments.

Not every carrier is assessing the same temporary rate change, so knowing how each carrier plans to asses these fees will help you develop your holiday shipping strategy.

USPS Holiday Rate Changes

Regarding temporary holiday rate changes from the USPS, shippers can expect anywhere from a 25 cent to $6.50 increase. The exact amount will depend on the weight of the package, the zone it’s traveling to, and the service level used.

The service levels that will be affected by the temporary peak rate change include:

Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes will also be affected by the 2022 holiday rate changes. The temporary increase of USPS rates will last from October 2, 2022, to January 22, 2023.

But as a thank you, Shippo customers can avoid peak surcharges on Priority Mail services for a limited time in early October. After that, they’ll be able to avoid peak season rates on qualifying USPS shipping services. To make the holidays even merrier, they will be able to access the best rates for USPS shipping labels throughout the season and beyond.

To learn more about the 2022 USPS Peak Season rate adjustments and how they will affect you, click here.

UPS Peak Surcharge

As a commitment to SMBs, UPS will not apply its Peak Season Surcharge to merchants that opened their account on Shippo.

The businesses can also take advantage of discounts of up to 77% off on UPS® Ground shipments, up to 72% for UPS Next Day Air® and UPS 2nd Day Air® service, and up to 88% off on international services. You also don’t have to worry about an additional Fuel Surcharge and Residential Surcharge for all services and Delivery Area Surcharge for domestic services since these are already included in the discounted rate.* These deep discounts on UPS shipping labels will also continue to be available throughout the season and even after the holidays.

E-commerce businesses that have their own account with UPS can find more information on Peak Season Surcharges on ups.com or by contacting their UPS representative.

*Discounts off UPS® Daily Rates. Rates are limited to shipping from the U.S. only. Rates and any applicable discounts are subject to change at any time without notice.

FedEx Peak Surcharges

FedEx has recently announced that they will be implementing peak surcharges in anticipation of the increase in volume in the coming months. FedEx peak surcharges have started sooner than in years past and will occur on a rolling basis as demonstrated by the table below.

In addition to these FedEx peak surcharges, there will also be a peak residential delivery charge assessed from October 31, 2022, to January 15, 2023. These charges will be applied to FedEx Express and FedEx Ground U.S. domestic residential packages. These do not include FedEx Ground Economy and FedEx One Rate® packages.

The amount charged for residential delivery will change week over week. It will be calculated based on shipment volume from two weeks prior to the application date compared to shipment volume from June 6, 2022 until July 3, 2022.

For example, if your FedEx Ground® volume from October 10, 2022, through October 16, 2022, is between 105%-125% higher than it was during June 6, 2022, through July 3, 2022, you will face a $1.25 surcharge on FedEx Ground packages during October 31, 2022, through November 6, 2022.

For exact rate changes, check out our table below:

 For more information on FedEx peak season surcharges, visit FedEx here. Keep in mind, Shippo users with a FedEx Advnatage membership can still qualify for discounts on FedEx services throughout the holiday season including up to 50% off FedEx Express® shipping.

DHL Holiday Shipping Surcharges

Regarding DHL holiday shipping surcharges in 2022, there are no general rates set. While there will be surcharges to look out for this holiday season, the exact time they will go into effect, and the exact rate fluctuations will depend on your individual account with DHL. 

You’ll need to speak with your account manager to identify how much more you can expect to spend shipping with DHL during peak season. However, one thing that Shippo users can count on during this season and beyond is getting discounted rates of up to 63% off DHL Express services.

How To Prepare For Peak Season Prices

In last year’s State of Shipping report, 58% of merchants said that the cost of shipping was their biggest challenge. Knowing that the price of shipping is going up while also knowing your customers expect you to lower your prices this time of the year adds to this challenge.

Because of these circumstances, you’ll want to consider the following when preparing for peak season prices.

  1. Consider the state of the economy – with inflation still a looming issue among many Americans this year, the need to find ways to lower cost isn’t just a way to entice customers to buy, but a necessity to compete for their business.
  2. Use automation when possible – With shipping software such as Shippo, you can automate the process of generating shipping labels so that you avoid any human error and always select the lowest cost option.
  3. Train your fulfillment team to avoid surcharges – You’ll want to make sure whoever is packaging your products does so correctly so that you avoid any additional handling or oversize fees.
  4. Take advantage of discount labels – With Shippo, you can take advantage of discounted shipping labels among the nation’s top carriers and even avoid peak surcharges altogether with UPS.

For merchants with their own accounts with these carriers, you’ll want to make sure you speak to your account manager about peak surcharges. Have your past data and sales forecasts ready when speaking with them so that you can negotiate the best possible rates this year.

For more information on how to prepare your e-commerce business for the upcoming holiday season, check out our 2022 peak season guide and checklist.

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Hasan Nabulsi
is the Content Marketing Manager at Shippo.

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