Surcharge shipping fees are at peak season once again. November and December is the time of year shipping and sorting facilities are just as bustling as shopping malls, and drop-ship warehouses, like Amazon. So their services are in high demand and at a premium in the form of peak surcharges. 

Shipping Surcharge Fees: What they Are

As you probably already know, a shipping surcharge is an additional fee the carrier adds to your shipping cost. But why do carriers add them? The reason is shipping surcharge fees compensate for any extra expense- be it time, money, convenience, or the rise in shipments ie peak season- your shipment costs the shipping provider. 

This extra expense can include additional handling, any sort of special service or unusual delivery. This may also include exceptional requirements or circumstances. But what does all this mean?. 

Additional handling fee stipulations are different depending on your carrier, but they typically apply to packages exceeding certain weight and dimensions. Another standard for additional handling fees applies to items not fully encased in shipping containers. 

Moreover, “special services” can refer to such exceptions as enhanced and same-day local pick-up and delivery. And during the peak season, when shipping carriers are especially busy, time and convenience are at a premium. So shipping providers charge more at this time of year for any surcharge you may incur. 

How do you Beat these Peak Season Fees? 

So how do you avoid these peak season surcharges? Sometimes surcharges are inevitable, but for those you can avoid, there are a few simple rules of thumb. 

  • Double Check Addresses: Packages can be delayed if one digit is off on the ZIP code or numeric portion of the address. 
  • Double Check Packaging: If the packaging is falling apart, you will likely incur an added surcharge. And not only can this result in surcharge fees, but it could also be delayed and its contents may be damaged.
  • Double Check Provider Requirements: As mentioned, shipping providers have different weight and dimension stipulations for surcharge fees. Perhaps packing lighter and smaller is a route you can take. 

You can also avoid shipping with carriers that have released a peak season schedule and try to avoid those dates, and/or choose a different carrier during those times. Canpar Express recently released its peak season surcharge table. As of November 1, 2019, until January 3, 2020, their peak fees apply to irregular, overweight, large and over-max parcels. Meanwhile, Loomis Express released its peak season fee table with similar stipulations and rates, but include a special handling rate. And FedEx also released its seasonal table, effective October 21st. 

When weighing your shipping strategy options, make sure you’re partnering with the right shipping service. ShipTime lets you enter box dimensions and package weight for an accurate rate quote. Aggregating data to find you the best shipping rates available, the ShipTime search engine finds you the best possible shipping rates. Meanwhile, the ShipTime dashboard speeds your shipping quote with predefined box sizes. It also provides predefined incentive rewards with a “My Pickups” functionality to track scheduled pickups and times. 

Learn more here.