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UPS Announces No Residential Peak Surcharges During Holiday Season

August 27, 2019
Author: Caroline McManus

Quick takeaways

  • UPS® will not be applying additional peak surcharges for residential deliveries during the 2019 holiday season.
  • They will be applying peak surcharges for "large packages", over-maximum limit packages and those requiring additional handling.

What does this mean for your business?

During the 2018 holiday season, UPS applied a residential peak delivery surcharge of $0.28 for ground and $0.99 for air shipments. Shippers had to factor this extra cost into how they did business and e-commerce providers often had to pass this additional charge onto their customers. This year UPS has decided not to apply these peak surcharges during the busy 2019 holiday season.

According to UPS Chairman and CEO, David Abney, this change “enables UPS customers to plan now for a great holiday shopping season and to satisfy their customers by utilizing UPS’s industry-leading on-time delivery service, once again this year.” This is good news for shippers of all sizes who won’t have to worry about the extra peak residential surcharge when they ship with UPS during the busy holiday period. UPS’s competitor, FedEx, waived residential peak surcharges last holiday season but has not yet announced if they will do the same again this year.  

UPS said it is prepared for what they expect to be a record influx of packages during the 2019 holiday season. Recently they’ve developed new Super Hubs that are equipped with automated sortation machinery that is able to handle more than 700,000 additional packages per hour.

What peak surcharges will be in effect? 

While UPS is not applying the additional peak surcharges for residential deliveries, other peak surcharges, especially for large and heavy packages, will be applied during the holiday season. Now that you have this information your business can work to avoid these peak charges or negotiate with your UPS contact to find different service options or see if these charges can be removed or decreased. 

1. Additional Handling Peak Surcharge

Packages requiring additional handling will be hit with a peak surcharge of $3.60 by UPS between November 24 and January 4. For more detail on what qualifies for an additional handling surcharge we’ve listed the main requirements below:

  • Any package with the longest side exceeding 48 inches or its second-longest side exceeding 30 inches
  • Any package with an actual weight greater than 70 pounds
  • Any item that is no fully encased in cardboard shipping container

2. Large Package Peak Surcharge

Another fee to watch out for is the large package peak surcharge of $31.45 which applies to packages shipped by UPS between October 1 and January 4. A shipment is considered a “Large Package” when its length plus girth combined exceeds 130 inches or its length exceeds 96 inches.

3. Over-Maximum Limits Peak Surcharge

Finally, the over-maximum peak surcharge of $250 per package applies to items shipped by UPS between October 1 and January 4. This is for packages with a weight of more than 150 pounds or that exceed 108 inches in length.

Don't worry yet, because knowledge is power! If you know that your business ships some larger or heavier items, especially during the busy holiday season, contact your UPS provider to see what services they recommend you use so that you can avoid these elevated charges. 

For more detail on these surcharges and how to avoid them on your holiday shipping invoice download our Shipping Surcharges ebook. If you have any other questions please write them below or reach out to your Quadient representative, 877.888.0677. Stay tuned for more information on holiday shipping news, rates, and tips by making sure Quadient emails don't get lost in spam—move Quadient to your primary tab so you are always in the know!



August 27, 2019 at 4:44 pm
Della Moreno
The over-maximum peak surcharge of $250 per package applies to items shipped by the UPS between October 1 and January 4 for wt 150lb then it is considered Freight, correct?
August 29, 2019 at 8:17 am
Hi Della, You are correct, if you send something that is over 150 lbs in the small package system it is subject to an over-maximum peak surcharge of $250 but a package of that size can be sent as part of UPS freight services without any surcharges. Thank you,
August 27, 2019 at 4:04 pm
Zola Burns
UPS is United Parcel Service, the guys in the big brown trucks. USPS is United States Postal Service, which is the entity I trust you are serving.
August 27, 2019 at 4:10 pm
Hi Zola, you are correct! UPS and USPS are two different organizations but we actually have products and solutions to help your business work with both organizations. If you have any questions about either please don't hesitate to reach out. Best
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