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How FedEx and UPS Fuel Surcharges Affect Shipping Rates

By Last updated on: February 15, 2023

When it comes to small parcel shipping companies like FedEx and UPS, you may have noticed a fuel surcharge. The cost of fuel and transportation impact delivery companies considerably. The surcharge was designed to help protect carriers during times of high gasoline, diesel, and airplane fuel prices. However, the fuel price dropped by almost a third last year to levels not seen in a while. Despite the drop in fuel cost, the surcharge still exists, although the percentage has gone down.

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Why Does the Fuel Surcharge Exist?

Fuel surcharges allow UPS and FedEx to keep their base shipping rate while making the necessary changes to cover any increase in fuel price. In other words, instead of making changes to the standard shipping rate every month instead of once a year as the current policy is set, they can add or decrease the fuel surcharge rate.

In addition to the fuel surcharge, there are other fees that UPS and FedEx use to keep their base shipping price the same. From residential and extended area surcharges to pickup charges, adding fees has become the preferred method for shipping companies to cover their revenue while not changing the base price.

FedEx and UPS Fuel Surcharges

Fuel Surcharge Percentage Increase

UPS and FedEx add a fuel surcharge percentage to import and export shipments, raising the overall price. The percentage is based on the average monthly fuel price increase or decrease over the course of the year. Since fuel prices normally rise in the spring and early summer, it adds a noticeable charge to your shipments.

FedEx Fuel Surcharge: Effective Feb. 1, 2021

The fuel surcharge for U.S. Domestic Express Freight services will be assessed based on the rated weight of the shipment. The charge per pound is subject to weekly adjustment based on the weekly published U.S. Gulf Coast (USGC) spot price for a gallon of kerosene-type jet fuel.

How Refund Retriever Can Help You with Parcel Recovery

Charges like these creep into your invoices and make them less predictable for businesses that rely on FedEx and UPS.

Want to cut the cost of shipping? Our late shipment and refund technology will be your new best friend. Sign up using the online form and you are ready to go. Get refunds for late deliveries (GSR), duplicate charges, non-shipments, and shipping refunds for a variety of charges such as deliveries on Saturday, incorrect addresses, and residential surcharges. Contact us today.

Learn More about FedEx and UPS Fuel Surcharges

Brian Gibbs

Author Brian Gibbs

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Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever

Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay-based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever's primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce, and more. Learn more at or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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