A guide to 2020 carrier holiday surcharges


For e-commerce businesses, the holiday season was always a time of increasing sales volume. This year, however, e-commerce volume has outpaced any projections. The Covid-19 crisis has massively accelerated the shift to digital and hence, the growth of e-commerce. Carriers and e-commerce retailers alike are getting ready for what is going to be the most digital Q4 retail season ever. Several carriers have already announced temporary rate increases due to the increased e-commerce order volume and additional expenses resulting from Covid-19.

USPS Surcharges

USPS will temporarily increase their rates in the weeks leading up to the holidays. The holiday surcharge is effective from October 18, 2020, until December 27, 2020.

USPS Rate Increase

USPS Priority Flat Rate Increase

UPS Surcharges

UPS Holiday Peak Surcharges will be in effect from November 12, 2020, until January 16, 2021.

A Peak Surcharge will apply to certain UPS Air Residential, UPS Ground Residential, and UPS SurePost packages, for all US origins and destinations, for customers who ship more than 25,000 packages per week as explained below:

Peak Surcharge applies to all packages in any weekly invoice period exceeding 110% of the customer’s average weekly volume for the appropriate service level for February (February 2 through February 29, 2020), as determined by UPS in its sole and unlimited discretion.

Other charges

An additional Peak Surcharge will apply to Large Packages, packages that are Over Maximum Limits, and packages that require Additional Handling. That applies to customers who at any point during the Peak Period ship more than 1,000 packages per week or ship more than 10 packages per week that otherwise qualify for any of these Peak Surcharges.

A complete breakdown of UPS holiday shipping surcharges can be found here.

FedEx Surcharges

FedEx peak surcharges are in effect from November 2, 2020, until January 17, 2021.

Customers at the enterprise level who send more than 35,000 packages on average per week will be charged a Peak - Residential Delivery Charge for packages shipped from November 2, 2020, until January 17, 2021.

Peak - Residential Delivery Charge per Package by Peaking Factor

For more information about the Peaking Factor visit the FedEx’s Peak Surcharges and Fees page here.


While the above carriers have announced specific surcharges for this holiday season, we advise our customers to check with their carrier representative or account manager to get a final quote on fees that will specifically affect you.

If you have any enquires regarding the above surcharges, please do not hesitate to reach out to support via phone, email, or live chat. Our shipping specialists are more than happy to provide the assistance you need to find ways to save money and time on every shipment and make this your most profitable holiday season yet.

Stathis Kampylis

Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Shiptheory