UPS Over Maximum Limits Charge

May 29, 2022 Deyman Doolittle

The UPS over maximum limits charge is a hefty shipping surcharge you are charged when your package is larger than what UPS allows for parcels. According to UPS, in 2022, it is $1025.00 per parcel, so it is a fee especially important to avoid. Performing a parcel invoice audit is one way to make sure you understand what fees you are being charged, so you can better plan your shipping going forward to avoid these types of charges. At ShipSigma we can help make sure you pay the absolute minimum in FedEx and UPS surcharges with our automated audits and shipping insights and analysis services.


What Are UPS Surcharges?

In general, surcharges are any additional fees a company may charge. For many shipping companies, UPS included, surcharges are anything that is charged above the baseline shipping rates. Some of the most common surcharges from UPS include:

What Are The Maximum Limits for UPS Parcel Shipping?

According to their website, the UPS maximum box size acceptable for sending via their small package delivery network is:

  • under 108 inches long
  • under 165 inches in length and girth combined (girth is 2 x width + 2 x height)
    • a parcel 100” long, 18” wide and 18” tall is over maximum limits {100+[(2 X 18)+(2 x 18)] = 172}
    • a parcel 80” long, 10” wide and 12” tall is not over maximum limits {80+[(2 x 10)+(2 x 12)} = 124}
  • under 150 pounds in weight
  • large size-to-weight ratio require special pricing and dimensional weight calculations (so if your parcel is very large and unusually heavy for its size, you’ll need to inquire about your individual case)

If your package is larger than any of these measurements, you cannot send it via UPS small package delivery. It must be sent as freight, which has different regulations. Theoretically, a shipper should not be able to send a package that exceeds this maximum limits - the UPS online or in person system should not allow these types of parcels to be shipped as small packages. However, mistakes do happen and the over maximum limits charge in 2022 to a shipper whose package ends up here is $1025 per package.

What is the Difference Between Oversized and Over Maximum?

There can be understandable confusion between the terms oversized packages and over maximum packages. Although the term oversized package isn’t one that UPS specifically uses, they have several surcharge categories that apply to oversized parcels, including UPS large package charge, UPS heavy package charge, and UPS additional handling weight charge. So how big is an oversized package, and how is that different from an over maximum package? According to the UPS 2022 Rate and Service Guide: Retail Rates document from their website:

  • By Weight
    • 0-50 pounds is standard
    • 50-70 pounds will have an additional handling surcharge
    • 71-150 pounds will be charged a heavy package surcharge (but not additional handling)
    • 151 pounds and above is over maximum limits and will be refused or charged a $1025 surcharge
  • By Length (measure of the longest side, from the outside of the box)
    • 0-48 inches is standard
    • 48-96 inches will have an additional handling surcharge
    • 97-108 inches will be charged a large package surcharge (but not additional handling)
    • 109 inches and above is over maximum limits and will be refused or charged a $1025 surcharge
  • By Length + Girth (girth = 2 x width + 2 x height)
    • 0-105 inches is standard
    • 106-130 inches will have an additional handling surcharge
    • 131-165 inches will be charged a large package surcharge (but not additional handling)
    • 166 inches and above is over maximum limits and will be refused or charged a $1025 surcharge

Why Did UPS Prices Go Up?

If you have been shipping with UPS or another major shipping company for any length of time, you have probably noticed a sharp increase in their shipping rates and surcharges in the last few years, especially for some of these larger parcels. This is caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • increased shipping volume during the pandemic
  • technological improvements demanding more infrastructure spending
  • general increases to the cost of delivery

Another reason the cost of over maximum limits parcels have gone up so much is to deter these extremely large parcels from being sent through the small package delivery network. This package network is set up to deliver small packages to individual customers, and is designed and operated much differently from the freight network. The small package delivery network will lack infrastructure to deal with very large or very heavy parcels. Putting such parcels into this network risks injury to workers and damage to machinery and UPS wants to discourage these very large parcels as forcefully as possible.

Avoid Unnecessary, Costly Shipping Fees

Over maximum limits surcharges are one of the highest fees that can be charged in UPS shipping, and with the right planning and monitoring, you should never need to pay one. Eliminate the risk of human error or ineffective shipping controls with ShipSigma’s automated, AI-driven technology. Our parcel invoice audit will find places you are being charged unnecessarily and get you refunds for mistakes that have already been made. Our carrier contract negotiations and shipping analytics will save you more than anyone else. Contact us to try it for free today!

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