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Understanding Shipping Surcharges

June 19, 2018

All ecommerce businesses are affected by shipping surcharges. Below are examples of common types of surcharge fees and how they may affect your bottom line.

What Are Surcharges?

Often referred to as a “service fee” or “handling charge”, surcharges are additional expenses applied on top of already existing shipping fees. Varying from temporary surcharges – such as holiday surcharges applied during peak shipping periods – to permanent fees that range from fuel surcharges to large package surcharges, there is a wide range of additional expenses that shipper’s need to know about. The question is, however, do you?

To help understand the depth and details of these additional expenses, it’s first important to recognize that all carriers have different surcharges. UPS, for example, has different surcharges than FedEx even if many are similar – and both have complex and often overlooked surcharges incorporated into their shipping contracts. Details such as transit time and pickup locations can all influence potential surcharges, with many shipper’s unaware of these fine-print details. As a result, ecommerce businesses often spend much more on their parcel overhead than they need to – despite opportunities that exist for them to avoid surcharges or potentially save money.

Types of Shipping Surcharges

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