Common Small Package Fees that Affect UPS Shipping Costs

Get a more accurate estimate of your UPS® shipping costs by planning for some of the most common small package fees.
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Managing your small package shipping means planning for variables that you know will affect cost, such as weight, zone and service level. But did you know that your shipments are also subject to additional charges for services not included in standard shipping prices? Understanding the most common fees can help you estimate your UPS shipping cost more accurately and avoid billing surprises after you ship.

The following are some of the most common small package fees that affect businesses.

Residential surcharge

Just because you’re shipping to a business doesn’t mean that the business resides in a commercial area. Before you ship, be sure to verify that your shipping address is commercial. And, if you are shipping to a residential address (any location that is a home or private residence) – even if it’s a business – always check the “Residential” box so that your quote accurately reflects the associated shipping costs. I you don’t designate that the address is residential, the carrier can still make this determination upon delivery and apply the charge.

Pickup fee

If you use scheduled or on-call pickup services for your small package shipments, you will pay a pickup fee. Most carriers have multiple pickup options available, so you can select the one that works best for your frequency and volume of shipping. And if over time your company’s shipping behavior changes, you can pick a different pickup option.

Delivery area surcharge

UPS shipping cost will increase when delivering packages to remote or rural areas. A delivery area surcharge or extended area surcharge (also known as an international out-of-delivery-area surcharge) is applied to packages shipped to less-accessible ZIP codes within the contiguous United States or to remote and less-accessible international locations. These charges can be assessed in addition to other applicable fees, including a residential surcharge.

To understand if these fees apply to your deliveries, you can check your shipment’s ZIP code on the UPS website.

Address correction fee

If a package has an incorrect address, UPS will attempt to correct the address and an address correction fee will be applied. An incorrect address can delay delivery and increase UPS shipping costs.

An address correction fee can also be applied to incomplete addresses, such as an address missing a suite or unit number. You can easily avoid these expenses by verifying that the address is correct on all of your shipments.

Shipments addressed to a P.O. Box or P.O. Box ZIP code are also subject to an address correction charge.

Additional handling fee

An additional handling fee is assessed when a package includes anything that might cause an issue with a carrier’s conveyor belts, slides, sorting machines, etc. Any shipment that requires special handling – such as an irregular or heavy package – may be charged an additional handling fee at the discretion of the carrier.

Examples of UPS packages that require special handling, accruing additional handling fees, are:

  • Any package with an actual weight (or average weight of a group of packages) of more than 70 pounds
  • Packages with an outside shipping container made of metal, wood, hard plastic, soft plastic or expanded polystyrene foam
  • A package with a longest side greater than 48 inches or its second-longest side greater than 30 inches
  • Any cylindrical-like item not fully encased in a corrugated cardboard shipping container

For more details on when additional handling fees apply, view the 2019 UPS Rate and Service Guide, page 120.

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