You may think it’s too early to be thinking about the holidays, but your favorite mailing and shipping service organizations don’t think so. They’ve already bumped up their rates in anticipation of peak shipping season. The carriers do this to help cover the extra handling costs that result from the higher volume of mail and packages they’ll be delivering.

To help you know what increases to expect so you can budget and make any adjustments, here’s a quick summary of the peak shipping season price changes now in effect at the most commonly used carriers.

USPS Peak Shipping Season rate changes

When: Oct. 2, 2022 until Jan. 22, 2023.

Services affected: both commercial and retail domestic.

  • Priority Mail Express
  • Priority Mail
  • First-Class Package Service
  • Parcel Select Ground
  • USPS Retail Ground

For example: USPS has increased the cost of sending a Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express item by $0.75 for Commercial and $0.95 for Retail.

See the complete breakdown of USPS peak shipping season rate hikes.

 

FedEx Peak Shipping Season surcharges

When: Sept. 5, 2022, until Jan. 15, 2023.

Services affected: All key services, including FedEx Express and FedEx Ground.

Surcharges increasing:

  • Additional Handling Surcharge
  • Oversize Charge
  • Ground Unauthorized Package Charge
  • FedEx Ground® Economy Package Services

For example: if you send an item using FedEx Ground® Economy Package Service, you’ll have to pay a peak shipping season surcharge of $1.50 per package between Oct. 21, 2022 to Nov. 27, 2022, $2.50 per package between Nov. 28, 2022 to Dec. 11, 2022, and $1.50 per package between Dec. 12, 2022 to Jan. 15, 2023.

See what all of the FedEx peak shipping season surcharges are.

 

UPS Peak Shipping Season surcharges

When: Oct. 2, 2022 until Jan. 14, 2023.

Services affected: UPS® Air Residential, UPS® Ground Residential, and UPS SurePost® Packages.

Surcharges increasing:

  • The Peak/Demand Surcharge applied to UPS® Air Residential, UPS® Ground Residential, and UPS SurePost® Packages will go into effect on Oct. 30, 2022 until Jan. 14, 2023.
  • Larger shipments requiring additional handling will incur a surcharge from Oct. 2, 2022 until Jan. 14, 2023.

For example: if you send an item with UPS that requires additional handling there will be an extra cost of between $3.50 to $6.50. On large packages that additional handling charge will be between $40 to $70.

Get the full story on the UPS peak shipping season surcharges.

 

Steps to take to deal with peak shipping season increases

  • Ensure you’re paying the correct amount: If you handle the mailing and shipping of your items manually, it can be challenging to make sure you know what the correct rate is for each item you’re sending during peak shipping season. A simple way to ensure you do know is to implement an online mailing service like Switch or a postage meter. In both cases, these services automatically update the rates being charged by the carriers which means you’ll always know you’re being charged the most current rates.
  • Shop for the best rate: The rate increases being charged by one carrier for the service you need may be less at another carrier, especially during peak shipping season. If you’ve only been relying on one carrier, do yourself, and your budget, a favor and shop around before you send your next item. You can do this manually or if you don’t have the time automate the process by using shipping software to do the legwork for you.
  • Use flat rate shipping whenever possible: If you’ve been shipping all of your packages based on dimensional weight, you might have been paying more than you had to. When you ship an item based on dimensional weight the cost is based on the size of the package and its weight. This mean even if an item is lightweight, if it’s bulky in shape, it’s costing you. With the temporary increase in prices, peak shipping season is the perfect time to investigate whether some of your lightweight, bulky items could be shipped using flat rate shipping. With flat rate shipping you don’t get charged based on dimensional weight. If the item fits in a flat rate envelop or box, you’re only charged the flat rate fee.
  • Use the smallest package possible: Double check whether the item you need to send could be shipped safely in a smaller package. In most cases, the smaller the package, the lower the cost. This is especially true if you have to use a service whose rates are calculated based on dimensional weight.
  • Avoid boxes: If the item you’re sending is soft or flexible (e.g., clothing or books), using large flat envelopes or pouches instead of boxes is a really efficient way to reduce costs and avoid dimensional weight pricing.

 

Review before you ship during peak shipping season

Unfortunately, there is no way around having to pay for peak shipping season rate changes and surcharges. Every carrier increases their prices in some way. The best thing to do is to take stock of the items you are likely to be sending over the next few months. Then invest some time and compare the rate changes and services offered by each carrier. By conducting this type of review you will likely discover a few options you can take advantage of to reduce your mailing and shipping costs during peak shipping season.