Will New UPS Fees Make Your Holiday Shopping More Expensive?

UPS is trying to offset the costs of its busiest season by charging up to $1 more in November and December.
santa running with package

UPS recently announced that this year it would be instituting shipping surcharges during its busiest time of the year: the holiday shopping season.

Should you factor these price increases into your November and December budget? Read on for our full breakdown of this UPS news.

Pay Up to $1 More to Ship Your Gifts

Unsurprisingly, the extra fees will be charged depending on your preferred shipping method.

"A fee of 27 cents a package will be levied on deliveries by the residential ground network on certain weeks in November and December," according to Bloomberg. "Parcels sent to homes using next-day air will see an additional charge of 81 cents in the week ending Dec. 23, while shipments through the deferred network will incur a per-package fee of 97 cents."

UPS explained the charges were to offset the extra expenses it usually experiences during the holiday shopping season, such as hiring seasonal workers and paying for additional airplane and truck capacities.

UPS ships 30 million packages per day during its peak season, as opposed to the 11 million it typically ships each day during non-peak times.

Last year, Big Brown hired 95,000 temporary workers to help handle the millions of additional packages it ships each day during this busy time. UPS ships 30 million packages per day during its peak season, as opposed to the 11 million it typically ships each day during non-peak times.

The charges are aimed at residential deliveries, which have a higher cost per package than deliveries made to businesses (which tend to receive more packages at a time). Many analysts expect FedEx — which has also experienced growing pains with the rise in volume of e-commerce — to follow suit, but the company has yet to announce any such plans.

SEE ALSO: How Much Is Shipping on Amazon, and When Can You Get It for Free?

It's also unclear whether these charges will be absorbed by online merchants like Amazon, or if they'll pass the costs on to shoppers. However, some retailers have already commented that they'll opt to use other shipping companies during the holiday season.

What do you think readers? Are the charges fair, or will you avoid using UPS during the holiday season? Let us know in the comments.

Stephen Slaybaugh
DealNews Contributing Writer

Stephen has been writing for such national and regional publications as The Village Voice, Paste, The Agit Reader, and The Big Takeover for 20 years. He covered consumer electronics and technology for DealNews from 2013 to 2018.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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I will not use UPS anymore. about 2 years after the recession started I had to ship out a package so went to UPS and at this time and fuel prices had come way down. They were still charging a fuel surcharge of a couple bucks I believe. So my $19 dollar item cost me $11 to ship back. Believe it or not the Post office has competitive rates and I can ship across the country in just days.
Will definately be looking at options other than UPS. Shipping charges are high enough already.
Paying extra for temps? Working retail I've watched them dump entire truckloads in my back parking lot so another driver can pick them up. At my own house, I was IN the front room and instead of knocking on the door or leaving on porch, he put package on top of garbage can. Holiday upcharge, are you kidding? They are hiring seasonal because there is more business and they are making more money. The increase is more likely because they are building new centers and need to offset that cost.
So, to save $.27 (27 cents) or even a dollar, nobody is going to drive anywhere. Most people wouldn't even get out of their chairs. I am surprised it took until now for big brown to capitalize on the gimme now mentality that has become oh so prevalent. They will just bitch and moan, and pay.