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UPS Additional Handling Charge: What you need to know

By Last updated on: September 10, 2019

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

How much is the UPS additional handling fee?

Weight$ 23.00 $ 23.00
Length $ 14.25 $ 14.25
Width $ 14.25 $ 14.25
Packaging$ 14.25 $ 14.25

How does UPS define as an additional handling charge?

 The following is from the 2019 Tariff/Terms and Conditions of Service Agreement that was updated on July 9, 2019:

UPS Additional Handling Charge 

An UPS additional handling charge will be accessed for any package that requires special handling, as determined by UPS in its sole and unlimited discretion, including, but not limited to:

  • Any article that is not fully encased in a corrugated cardboard shipping container. Including but not limited to any article encase in ac outside shipping container made of metal, wood, hard plastic, soft plastic (e.g., plastic bag), or expanded polystyrene foam (e.g., Styrofoam)
  • Cylindrical-like items, such as a barrel, drum, pail, or tire. Those not fully encased in a corrugated cardboard shipping container
  • Any package with its longest side exceeding 48 inches or its second-longest side exceeding 30 inches
  • Package with an actual weight of 71 lbs and up
  • Each package in a UPS hundredweight service, ground with freight pricing, standard, or international shipment(excluding UPS Worldwide Express Freight) where the average per package weight is 71 lbs or more and the weight for each package is not specified in the UPS shipping system used.  

UPS Additional Handling


How can a company avoid UPS additional handling charges?

UPS Additional handling fees can be troublesome for many shippers. They cannot avoid shipping packages within the UPS definition. Many companies have this cost reduced during a contract agreement negotiation with UPS. The carrier might agree to a 25-75% reduction of this fee.   

But what if in lieu of a cost reduction, a company could negotiate a variance in the definition of UPS additional handling? This would cause fewer packages from falling within the limits. Try altering the UPS agreement to increase the actual weight limit to 73 or 75 pounds if your company has a product that is just over the limit. Another alternative is to request a variance in the measurements. Namely, negotiate for a change to “any package with its longest side exceeding 50 inches or its second-longest side exceeding 33 inches.”   

UPS additional handling and other fees account for a huge 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 heavily populated e-commerce market. Our analytics and reporting will provide shipping and transportation insight for all levels of your logistics and technology. Contact the experts at Refund Retriever to analyze your current accessorial fee spend. In summary, we can help lower future shipping costs with a full contract negotiation.

UPS Additional Handling
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 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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