How Can I Avoid UPS Surcharges?

November 2, 2023 Deyman Doolittle

How can I avoid UPS surcharges

The need to keep running costs low may have you asking ‘How can I avoid UPS surcharges?’ We’ll help you answer that question in this article by breaking down different UPS surcharges, exploring the reasons behind them, and providing you with practical tips to minimize these additional fees. 

Does UPS Charge a Delivery Fee?

Before we dive into the details of UPS surcharges, let's first clarify whether UPS charges a delivery fee. The answer is yes, but it's crucial to distinguish between a standard shipping cost and additional surcharges.

Does UPS Charge a Delivery Fee

A standard shipping fee (a.k.a. shipping rates) is the basic cost associated with shipping a package from one location to another. This fee is calculated based on factors such as package size, weight, and shipping speed, and it's a mandatory charge you must pay.

In addition to the standard shipping cost, UPS may impose extra fees for deliveries that involve special circumstances. These are commonly referred to as delivery surcharges, and they come in various types, depending on the specific scenario. Examples include the residential delivery fee, remote area surcharge, and delivery area surcharge, among others. We will provide a detailed list of these surcharges along with descriptions in another section below.

Why Is UPS Charging Delivery Fee?

UPS charges extra fees when the shipment calls for specific services or circumstances beyond standard delivery. Some reasons for UPS charging delivery fees include:

  • Accessibility of the Destination: UPS may impose a charge for deliveries to remote or hard-to-reach areas where the cost of delivering packages is higher. This is not the same as a residential delivery surcharge.
  • Type of Address: Delivering to residential addresses can be more costly and time-consuming than delivering to commercial addresses. UPS may charge a fee for residential deliveries to help offset these costs.
  • Package Size and Handling Requirements: Packages that are unusually large, heavy, or require special handling may incur additional fees to cover the extra resources needed to transport and deliver them safely.
  • Weekend Delivery: UPS offers free weekend delivery for ground residential delivery packages but charges a fee for Saturday ground commercial delivery packages. However, no fee is charged if the customer enrolls in commercial delivery services with a scheduled Saturday pickup.
  • Address Correction: If a package's delivery address needs to be corrected or updated after it has been shipped, UPS may charge a fee for this service.

Why Is UPS Charging Me Extra?

One day you may have looked at your invoice and thought ‘UPS charged me extra!’ In addition to the delivery situations we mentioned earlier, UPS can add extra charges for various other reasons such as:

  • Your package is above limits: If your package is larger or heavier than the standard limits set by UPS, you may incur additional charges. UPS has specific actual weight and size limits for different service levels, and exceeding them can result in extra fees.
  • Your package needs more coverage: If you declare a higher value for your package than UPS's standard liability coverage (up to $100), you may be charged an additional fee based on the declared value of the shipment.
  • To cover fuel price fluctuations: UPS, like other shipping carriers, adjusts its fuel surcharge periodically based on the current fuel prices. You may see fluctuations in this.

These are just a few of the reasons why UPS may assess an extra fee on a shipment. For more scenarios in which UPS applies additional charges, check out the list of UPS ground surcharges 2023 and express surcharges in the section below.

What Are the UPS Additional Charges for 2023?

The table below displays UPS additional charges 2023 along with their respective prices.

UPS Additional Charges Table

UPS Additional Charge



Additional Handling

An Additional Handling charge will be assessed for any package that requires special handling, as

determined by UPS, based on the package's weight, dimensions or packaging, among other criteria.

An Additional Handling charge will not be assessed when a Large Package Surcharge is applied.


Zone 2

Zone 3–4

Zone 5+





Length + girth 


















Address Correction

An Address Correction charge will be imposed on the shipper when UPS corrects an incorrect or incomplete address.

Package and UPS Worldwide Express Freight Services


UPS Ground with Freight Pricing

$19.50 per package up to a maximum

of $136.50 per shipment

Chargeback for Consignee

Billing Shipments

If the consignee or a third party doesn't make the payment, the original shipper will be billed a refusal fee, along with the shipping charges.


Dangerous Goods

(Hazardous Materials)

UPS applies this fee to shipments containing materials deemed hazardous due to their potential risks during transportation.


  • UPS Ground (Fully Regulated and Lithium Battery): $48.00
  • UPS Standard to/from Canada: the greater of $54.00 per shipment or $6.12 per Dangerous Goods package

Domestic and International Air Services

Accessible Dangerous Goods

  • UPS Domestic Air Services*: $145.00 per package
  • UPS International Air Services*: the greater of $215.00 per shipment or $25.81 per Dangerous Goods package
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight Services: the greater of $217.00 per shipment or $1.18 per lb.
  • Lithium Battery: Domestic $68.50, International $107.50

Inaccessible Dangerous Goods

  • UPS Domestic Air Services*: $68.50 per package
  • UPS International Air Services*: the greater of $107.50 per shipment or $12.91 per Dangerous Goods package
  • UPS Worldwide Express Freight Services: the greater of $107.50 per shipment or $0.59 per lb.

Dry Ice

Additional fee for shipments containing dry ice. 

$7.05 per package

Delivery Area Surcharge

Deliveries to certain ZIP Codes within the 48 contiguous states attract a surcharge.

Not applicable when you use UPS Ground with Freight Pricing or UPS Simple Rate.










Commercial Extended



Residential Extended




  • Delivery Area Surcharge: $3.70
  • Delivery Area Surcharge Extended: $4.50

Delivery Reattempt

An extra charge may apply when the initial delivery fails and UPS has to reattempt. 


Demand Surcharges

These are additional fees imposed during periods of peak shipping demand. 

Check details on UPS Demand Surcharges page. 

Destination Outside Service Area

This fee may apply if a UPS Next Day Air Early package needs to be delivered to a location outside its service area.


Extended Area Surcharge

Applies to shipments for some international origins and destinations’.

Greater of $49.00 per shipment

or $0.49 per lb.

Large Package Surcharge

Charged when a package meets UPS’ large package criteria. 


Zone 2

Zone 3–4

Zone 5+


Length + girth > 130"




Length > 96"





Length + girth > 130"




– Length > 96" 






Missing/Invalid Account

Number or Refusal Fee

Fee is charged when the consignee account number is missing or invalid.


Missing PLD Fee

Fee is applied when UPS does not receive all applicable Package Level

Detail (PLD) info from the shipper prior to delivery.

$3.00 per package

Over Maximum Limits

Applies to packages that exceed UPS size and weight limits.

$1,150.00 per package

Oversize Pallet

Handling Surcharge

Applies to pallets that exceed maximum size and weight restrictions. 

$1,150.00 per pallet

Package Tracking, Tracing and Refund Requests

UPS may charge a fee per request, when you make too many tracking, tracing and refund requests.


Pickup Area Surcharge

Pickups from certain ZIP Codes within the 48 contiguous states attract a surcharge.

Greater of $49.00 per shipment

or $0.49 per lb.

Prohibited Item Fee

Packages containing prohibited items are subject to certain fees. 

$150.00 per package

Rebill Fee

Fee is charged for each request to change the bill-to account of a shipment. 

$19.50 per request

Remote Area Surcharge

Applies to certain hard-to-reach Zip Codes.


  • Alaska: $38.00
  • Hawaii: $13.05
  • 48 contiguous states: $13.05
  • Non-U.S. origins and destinations: Greater of $49.00 per shipment or $0.49 per lb.

UPS Worldwide Express Freight Services

  • Alaska/Hawaii/48 contiguous states: Greater of $49.00 per shipment or $0.49 per lb.
  • Non-U.S. origins and destinations: Greater of $49.00 per shipment or $0.49 per lb.

Residential Surcharge

Applies to any delivery to, or a UPS On-Call Pickup request from a residential address (home).


  • UPS Domestic and International Air Services, UPS 3 Day Select and UPS 3 Day Select from Canada: $5.85
  • UPS® Ground Services: $5.25
  • UPS® Standard Services: $5.50
  • UPS Ground with Freight Pricing: $51.30 per shipment

UPS Worldwide Express Freight Services

– $185.00

Shipping Charge Correction

Audit Fee

An audit fee will apply if the average shipping charge correction exceeds $2.00 per eligible package during an invoice week.

Greater of:

  • $1.00 per package subject to a shipping charge correction during the applicable invoice period; 


  • 6% of the total amount of shipping charge corrections during the applicable invoice period.

Special Handling of

Undeliverable Shipments 

A fee will be charged to the shipper to return domestic packages that are declined by the consignee or are undeliverable for any cause.

  • UPS Air Services and UPS 3 Day Select: applicable UPS 3 Day Select rate
  • UPS Ground and UPS Ground with Freight Pricing: applicable UPS Ground rate
  • All applicable surcharges apply

Undeliverable Shipment


In the case of international shipments declined by the consignee or undeliverable for any reason, UPS will consult with the shipper.

Applicable costs plus $10.00

per undeliverable shipment


If you'd like to read more about the UPS surcharge for 2023 read this article.

How Can I Avoid UPS Surcharges?

How Can I Avoid UPS Surcharges

Here are some tips to help you avoid UPS surcharges:

  1. Provide accurate measurements: Ensure that you provide precise dimensions and weight for your packages when creating labels to avoid UPS’ correction surcharges.
  2. Use proper packaging: Use packaging materials that are acceptable by UPS to avoid the additional handling surcharge.
  3. Consider UPS limits: Stay within UPS's size and weight limits for your selected service level to prevent oversized and overweight charges.
  4. Verify your addresses: Double-check the accuracy of the recipient addresses to avoid address correction fees. Ensure you include apartment numbers, suite numbers, and other relevant details when possible.
  5. Consider third-party shippers: Explore third-party shipping solutions or aggregators that may offer competitive rates and help you avoid some UPS surcharges.
  6. Review and understand UPS policies: Familiarize yourself with UPS's terms and conditions, as well as their surcharge policies. Regularly check for updates to these policies.

How ShipSigma Can Help

Are you tired of high shipping costs? ShipSigma is here to assist you with FedEx and UPS shipping rates. With a track record of saving over $100 million for more than 300 satisfied customers, you can trust us to deliver the cost savings you're looking for.

Get in touch with us today, and let's work together to maximize your savings.

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