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Accessorial Fee Wars (Part 1)

By Last updated on: January 17, 2019


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Refund Retriever sponsors and attends many trade-shows each year. Twice a year we have a table at the Independent Retailer Conference within ASD Las Vegas and we are repeatedly asked what can be done about all the “extra fees” on UPS and FedEx invoices. These extra fees have many names: accessorial fees, surcharges, value-added services and service fees. We will call them accessorial fees in this discussion.

What are accessorial fees?

These are any fees in addition to a package’s base rate. The fees are supplemental to transportation charges and are calculated using a number of small, but important variables including pick-up and delivery criteria. Each carrier has these listed in their service guide and various publications. The carriers even have subset categories for a single accessorial fee! It can be very confusing.


UPS Value Added Services (Domestic, Export & Import)

UPS Value Added Services (Domestic)


FedEx Fees & Other Shipping Information Chart

FedEx Fees & Other Shipping Information



Many shippers are simply tired of being “nickel and dimed” on each invoice. Since most online retailers and e-commerce companies charge their customers for shipping at the time an order is being placed, it becomes frustrating when the actual shipping charges exceeds their initial expectation due to accessorial fees. When the shipping costs surpass the associated revenue collected from the customer, these accessorial expenses turn into unforeseen charges which in return can and will reduce expected profits. Accessorial fee surcharges can easily account for up to 40 percent of your overall FedEx or UPS invoice costs, so this is something that should not be taken lightly. Accessorial fees and other charges as a percentage of total shipping cost and is a good scale to judge your usage and discounts.

Top Carrier Surcharges


Stay tuned for more information on these surcharges….



Part 2 / Part 3


Brian Gibbs

Author Brian Gibbs

More posts by Brian Gibbs

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 then 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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