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The Big Three Peak Season Surcharges: a comparison of FedEx, UPS, USPS peak season surcharges and what it means

As we move to the peak holiday season, parcel shipping services will be in high demand, especially because more consumers are shopping online. Already the pandemic is causing untold mishaps in shipping and delivery. Still, the new wave of peak surcharges from major carriers are also creating tons of issues on ecommerce brands and retailers.

 

With the higher demand, there is also a matter of delivery delays and operational changes to deal with, which can threaten profit margins and customer satisfaction. To emerge victorious from the myriad of chaos, your brand must rethink its strategy to mitigate the impacts of the peak season surcharges. Therefore, you need to consider adjusting your shipping speed/mode, find ways to recoup costs or pass the cost on to your customers and lots more.

 

However, the first step you must take is to explore your transportation options. Although all major carriers have increased fees, calculating the true cost of using each of them for your business is the right way to figure ways to mitigate their impact. To help you, we have studied the new peak surcharges and estimate their cost impact on specific shipping packages. This will help you compare FedEx, USPS, and UPS pricing to figure out the best for you to reduce costs and maximize ROI.

 

While shipping charges are something we all need to prepared for, don't forget to consider the

2020 Holiday Shipping Deadlines from the three major carriers (FedEx, UPS, USPS). 

Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Get the Guide

Know when to ship to guarantee deliveries to your customers.

 

FedEx, USPS and UPS Peak Surcharges At a Glance

 

FedEx Peak Surcharges

 

Do bear in mind that FedEx has halted money-back guarantees because of delays in ground services due to the pandemic. 2020 Peak Surcharges for FedEx apply to Residential and SmartPost shipments. They in-turn affect unauthorized oversize, oversize, and additional handling. This year, FedEx peak charges will be in effect until January 12, 2021.

 

Service Levels

Amount

2020 Peak Period

 

FedEx SmartPost

$1.00

Nov 2 – Nov 29

$2.00

Nov 30 – Dec 26

$1.00

Dec 7 – Jan 17

FedEx Ground (1 – 5 business days)/ Home Delivery Residential

$1.00 - $1.44

Nov 2 – Jan 17

FedEx Express Residential

$2 .00 to $4.00

Nov 2 – Jan 17

Additional Handling

$4.90

Oct 5 – Jan 17

FedEx Standard Overnight (next day

$51.50

Nov 2 – Jan 17

Oversize

$52.50

Oct 5 – Jan 17

Unauthorized Oversize

$350

Oct 5 – Jan 15

 

USPS Peak Surcharges

 

USPS has filed for temporary price change from October 18 to December 27 citing increased demand and expenses. The present increment applies only to commercial rates so, people shipping presents to their loved ones will not be affected. Overall, the present rates apply to all commercial domestic parcels including Parcel Return Service, First-Class Package Service, Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, and Parcel Select.

 

USPS Service Levels

2020 Increase

USPS Select Ground

$0.40 (for 19 ibs, rates will be zero instead of $0.40; for 20ibs, rates will be $0.06 instead of $0.40

USPS First Class Package Service (1-3 Days)

$0.25

USPS Priority Mail ( 1- 3 days)

$0.40

USPS Priority Mail Express (Overnight Guaranteed)

$1.50

Parcel Selct DDU Entry

$0.24

Parcel Select Destination Sectional Center Entry

$0.40

Parcel Return Service

$0.24

Parcel Select Lightweight

$0.24

Parcel Select Destination Network DC Entry

$0.40

 

UPS Peak Surcharges

 

 

Do bear in mind that the UPS has suspended all service guarantees and made extensions on deliveries due to the pandemic. This year, peak surcharges apply all residential packages, UPS SurePost and packages that require additional handling. These surcharges began in October and will run until January 16, 2021.

 

 

UPS Service Levels

 

2020 Amount

(per package)

Peak Period

 

UPS Ground Residential

 

$0.30

May 31 to Nov 14

$1 - $3

Nov 15 to Jan 16

UPS Next Day Air

$2 - $4

Nov 15 – Jan 16

Other Air Residential

$2 - $4

Nov 15 – Jan 16

Over Maximum Limits

$250

Oct 4 – Jan 16

Additional Handling

$5

Oct 4 – Jan 16

Large Package

$50

Oct 4 – Jan 16

 

Price Comparison: Fedex, USPS, and UPS Shipping Rates

Bear in mind that prices are based on 2020 peak surcharges and not overall pricing.

5 Day Delivery Option: USPS vs. UPS vs FedEx

 

Example:

Countryside, CA to Miami, Ohio (6" X 8" X 8" package weighing 2 pounds)

 

Carrier

Price

Shipping Timeframe

FedEx Home Delivery

$16.99

1 – 5 business days

USPS

$17.89

1 – 3 business days

UPS

$11.19

1 – 5 business days

 

Small Flat Rate Box Option: FedEx versus USPS

 

In this case, we compare FedEx and USPS because UPS has no flat-rate service. Flat-rate boxes are excellent. USPS gives these boxes for free plus the flat rate fee applies up to 20 pounds anywhere in the US within 1 – 3 business days. FedEx One Rate also provides free boxes, but you do not need to weigh packages under 50 pounds with definite between 1, 2 and 3 days.

 

Example: 

Illinois, Chicago to Miami Beach, Florida ( 8” X 5” X 1” package weighing 10 pounds)

 

Carrier

Price

Shipping Timeframe

Box size

FedEx One Rate Express Saver

$12.05

1, 2, and 3 business days

(107/8 X 1 -1/2 X 12 0/8)

USPS Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box

$7.65

1 – 3 business days

( 5 3.8 X 8 5/8 X 1 5/8”

 

Small, Lightweight Packages: FedEx vs. USPS vs. UPS

 

Small, lightweight packages tend to be the bread and butter of e-commerce businesses. If you’re looking to ship a package under one pound, you’ll likely want to consider the USPS First Class Package Service (FCPS). It caters to packages less than 1 pound, and has an average delivery of 1-5 business days.

 

Example: 

Los Angeles, CA to New York, NY (6" X 6" X 4" package weighing 10 pounds) 

 

Carrier

Price

Shipping Timeframe

FedEx Home Delivery

$9.80

1 – 5 business days

USPS First Class Package Service

$4.32

1 – 3 business days

UPS Ground

$10.95

1 – 5 business days

 

Large & Heavy Packages: FedEx vs. USPS vs. UPS

 

Example: 

Los Angeles, CA to Boston, MA (12" X 12" X 10" package weighing 65 pounds) 

 

Carrier

Price

Shipping Timeframe

FedEx Home Delivery

$129.69

1 – 5 business days

USPS Priority Mail

$106.02

1 – 3 business days

UPS Ground

$130.10

1 – 5 business days

 

 

3-Day Delivery Option: FedEx vs. USPS. vs. UPS

 

Example: 

Los Angeles, CA to New York, NY (10" X 10" X 10" package weighing 5 pounds) 

 

 

Carrier

Price

Shipping Timeframe

FedEx Express Saver

$34.54

1 – 5 business days

USPS Priority Mail ( Cubic, Tier 0.2)

$8.71

1 – 3 business days

UPS 3-Day Select

$32.17

1 – 3 business days

 

Overnight Express Rate Comparison

 

Example: 

Los Angeles, CA to New York, NY (10" X 10" X 10" package weighing 5 pounds) 

 

 

Carrier

Price

Shipping Timeframe

FedEx Standard Overnight

$130.99

2 days

USPS Priority Mail Express

$71.35

1 day

UPS   Next Day Air Saver

$131.63

1 – 5 business days

 

 

How To Determine The Best Shipping For You?

 

Understanding peak surcharges is the first step. But then again, you need to consider your shipping distance, appropriate packaging, handling packages, and actual delivery

 

As you imagine, shipping items is different for small ecommerce shops. Trying to handle the shipping, tracking and inventory storage may be cumbersome and costly. For many ecommerce shops trying to scale, the right choice is a third-party retail fulfillment company.

 

The right third-party logistics company can help you scale, ship faster and even lower your shipping cost. They can negotiate cheaper rates with shipping carriers, help you take advantage of multiple fulfillment centers, and handle your inventory. All together, you can enjoy the best delivery service tailored to your needs which further boosts your profits and reputation.

 

Need a third-party retail fulfillment solution? Talk with one our team members today about solving your delivery needs. 

 

DeliverOL

 

 

Be sure to check out DeliverOLs solutions and learn how we can help your business ensure delivery and customer satisfaction this holiday season. Talk with one of our team members today.

 

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