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FedEx Additional Handling Surcharge: What to know

By Last updated on: October 3, 2023

Many FedEx shippers see an additional handling charge on their FedEx invoices and wonder what it is and why it is so expensive. Additional handling charges are an added fee because the package did not conform to FedEx’s characteristics. They have to treat the box differently than the rest. So how much are these fees, and how can we reduce them?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

How much is the 2024 FedEx additional handling fee?

2024 Domestic Express & Ground CostsZone 2Zone 3-4Zone 5-6Zone 7+
Weight – actual weight greater than 50 pounds$34.50 $37.50$44.00$43.50
Dimension – longest side exceeds 48 inches$22.00 $24.50$27.00$30.00
Packaging – non-standard packaging$19.50$23.00$24.00$25.00
Additional Handling Surcharge2024 FedEx

How does FedEx define an additional handling charge?

  • (Dimension)
    1. measures greater than 48 inches along the longest side;
    2. package measures greater than 30 inches along the second-longest side;
    3. or the package is greater than 105 inches in length and girth — the length and girth is length plus (two times the height) plus (two times the width)
  • (Weight)
    1. actual weight greater than 50 lbs.
      • (U.S. Express & Ground Services)
    2. the actual weight greater than 70 lbs.
      • (International Express & Ground Services)
  • (Packing)
    1. Non-standard packaging, including any package that:
      • is not fully encased in an outer shipping container;
      • encased in an outer shipping container not made of cardboard;
      • covered in shrink or stretch wrap;
      • is encased in a soft-sided pack (poly bags or bubble mailer) longer than 18 inches
        • or 13 inches along its second-longest side or 5 inches in height;
      • cylindrical;
      • bound with metal, plastic, or cloth banding, or has wheels, casters, handles, or straps; or
      • could become entangled or cause damage to other packages or FedEx equipment

How much is the 2023 FedEx additional handling fee?

2023 Domestic Express & Ground CostsZone 2Zone 3-4Zone 5-6Zone 7+
Weight – actual weight greater than 50 pounds$29.00 $31.50$33.50$36.00
Dimension – longest side exceeds 48 inches$18.50 $20.50$22.50$25.00
Packaging – non-standard packaging$16.50$19.00$20.00$21.00
2023 FedEx additional handling fee

Demand — Additional Handling Surcharge

Effective October 2, 2023, FedEx will apply an added charge to the standard additional handling charges. FedEx shippers will see an additional charge of $6.95 per package during this time. This year’s price increase is longer and more significant than the previous FedEx peak additional handling surcharge.

Demand — Additional Handling Surcharge 2024 FedEx
2023 – 2024 Demand Additional Handling Surcharges
2022 FedEx Peak Additional Handling Surcharge
2022-2023 FedEx Peak Additional Handling Surcharge
2021-2022 FedEx Peak Additional Handling Surcharge
2021-2022 FedEx Peak Additional Handling Surcharge

How can a company avoid additional handling charges?

FedEx’s additional handling and other fees account for a considerable portion of a small parcel shipper’s overall shipping spend. Therefore, effective shipping spend management is vital for any business to achieve a competitive edge in the densely populated e-commerce market. Our analytics and reporting will provide shipping and transportation insight for all levels of your logistics and technology.

Price Reduction

They cannot avoid shipping packages within the FedEx definition. Many companies have this cost reduced during a contract agreement negotiation with FedEx. The carrier might agree to a 25-75% fee reduction.  

A shipper can also request to have one of the four different situations discounted. Rather than receive a 50% discount on all the additional handling fees, opt for a reduction on the two most used fees and the total price on the others. 

Definition Variance

But what if, instead of a cost reduction, a company could negotiate a variance in the definition of FedEx additional handling? A variance causes fewer packages to fall within limits. Therefore, alter the FedEx agreement to increase the actual weight limit to 53 or 55 pounds if your company has a product over the limit. Another alternative is to negotiate a change to “any package with its longest side exceeding 50 inches or its second-longest side exceeding 33 inches.”

Contact the experts at Refund Retriever to analyze your current accessorial fee spend. In summary, we can help lower future shipping costs with a complete contract analysis. Our reporting can reveal the shipping intelligence your company needs.

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 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 www.refundretriever.com or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.

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